Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

July 14, 2009

RCCF: Van Hook is role model

Ripley County Community Foundation supporters gathered together July 8 at South Ripley Elementary School to review the past year and celebrate the future.

Executive director Sally Morris presented William Van Hook, Batesville, with the Executive Director’s Award. He “is a true example of what a board member should be,” she emphasized.

“He and his wife have started three different endowment funds .... He has served on various committees .... (and) he has never missed a board meeting even through some difficult times when his wife became ill and died .... and he had a stroke.”

Program officer Jane Deiwert introduced scholarship winners. “This is the 12th year of the Lilly Endowment Scholarship Program. We have 18 graduates who have made it through the program.”

Gerald Hardesty and Valorie Wagner, both Jac-Cen-Del High School graduates, were the 2009 recipients. Each will receive full tuition to an Indiana college and an $800 yearly stipend for required books and equipment.

“This year, we had about 75 applicants .... Every year it seems like we are getting more and more .... It was narrowed down to eight finalists.” Those six 2009 graduates – Tess Kuntz, Oldenburg Academy; Chelsea Durham, South Ripley High School; Audrey Huffmeyer, Jac-Cen-Del High School; Ryan Hartman and Christopher Meyer, Batesville High School; and Clinton Covert, East Central High School – were recognized as Ripley County Community Scholars and were granted $1,000 scholarships.

The program officer read letters of gratitude from the two 2008 Lilly Endowment Scholarship winners, Tyler Giesting and Kellen Stolze, who were unable to attend.

Giesting, a DePauw University sophomore, is a cross country and track team member. He wrote that he is “technically undecided on a major .... I want to make sure I get it right.” This winter, he will spend time studying in Germany.

He realized the “tremendous impact” of receiving the scholarship, “to graduate on my feet in 2012 .... I truly think about this opportunity every day, and it’s not something I take lightly.” Stolze echoed these thoughts in his letter.

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