When Gerald Boland, a 54-year resident of Lyons tragically died in the flood of 2013, his family knew they would like to do something to honor him locally. Having taught in Lyons schools for 34 years in addition to being a youth mentor and Boy Scout leader, a scholarship to assist local kids’ dreams of going to college made sense. In 2017, Mr. Boland’s family including his widow Cheron Boland and daughter Amy Hoh helped to establish The Gerald Boland Memorial Scholarship through the Lyons Community Foundation. During the recent senior awards night at Lyons High School, this honor was given to Ethan Burton a graduating senior who plans to attend BYU to study life sciences.
Ms. Hoh explains, “We look at the applications and essays through my Dad's eyes; knowing how much Dad loved the community of Lyons, the people and the students of Lyons schools, and also how we wrote the scholarship to best represent our Dad. Ethan's application and essay sounded like Dad in so many ways - some of his thoughts and words jumped right off of the page at us. Our committee members kept going back to Ethan's application, his accomplishments along with his outlook and goals and he just ‘fit’. I believe my Dad would be very proud that Ethan received the Gerald Boland Memorial Scholarship this year”.
The Lyons Community Foundation has been “in the business” of honoring local student leaders in this way for more than 10 years. There are 8 named scholarships that are awarded each spring to students who demonstrate stated qualities such as leadership and community service. These stand-out kids all not only show academic effort but also a quality of giving back and participating in their community.
In 2009, the family of local business icon Steve Ralston established a scholarship in his memory. Explains Christine Ralston, “The focus of the Steve Ralston Memorial Scholarship is a student's passion for learning and sharing one’s interests, skills and joyful life experiences with their community. This year’s recipient, Raven Moe, beautifully exemplifies a passion for caring for others and giving back. This passion first sprouted growing up in a family committed to community service and being in the hub of pancake breakfasts, Easter egg hunts, fund raisers and parades in an earlier, close-knit, family-oriented, neighborly, inclusive and affordable Lyons”. Raven adds, “So many little things we do for each other add up to the grand scheme that makes a successful team.” There is no doubt that her positivity, encouragement, caring and appreciation of others will serve her well as she pursues her career goals at Aims Community College majoring in Police Science with a minor in Writing.
The Janet Orback Memorial Scholarship is LCF’s newest award, having been established in 2018 to honor the memory of lifelong Lyons resident Janet Orback. Along with her husband Dave, Janet worked tirelessly to provide support and friendship to her neighbors whose homes and lives were destroyed in the 2013 floods, as well as being stewards of the Lyons Cemetery for over 15 years. The 2018 award went to Linda Marquez Rubio. Linda plans on attending Front Range Community College with an anticipated field of study in Science-Nursing. Since the flood in 2013, Linda has been very involved with a group helping to clean up roadways, homes, and parks. She has had a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse, and she feels that this will help her contribute to her community by tending to the healthcare needs of others. Linda has volunteered her time by helping with Booster Bingo, with her church as a tutor and translator, and when in Mexico, volunteers in hospitals and doctor offices.
Georgia Barone is another youth leader honored this year with the 2018 LCF Scholarship. She has been a member of the Lyons Leo Club, serving as their President and Secretary. She also served of president of the National Honor Society, as well as the Treasurer of the Lyons High School Student Council. Through her service, Georgia worked with Habitat for Humanity and has seen what a profound impact a small group of individuals can have on rebuilding our community after a natural disaster. Georgia’s college plans include attending St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas where she will run track and cross country and plans to study biochemistry.
The Joel Mack Scholarship honors the memory of Joel Mack, a Lyons High School athlete and alumni who was killed in 1983 when he stopped to render aid to stranded motorists. Two $1000 scholarships awarded to one female and one male athlete. This years’ honorees are Shaeli Herman and Gabe Paznokas. Sheali, a stand-out scholar and athlete plans to attend Northwestern College where she plans to play softball and study nursing. Gabe, also a decorated athlete and student signed a National Letter of Intent to be the starting long snapper at Western State Colorado University.
The Uncle Louis “Bud” Winkler Memorial Award honoring the local business and community leader went to Adele Walker. Adele was a member of the Lyons Leo Club, serving as their VP with 40+ volunteer hours. She was involved in many school activities including Student Council, serving as class secretary for three years, Jazz Band-trumpet section leader, Volleyball Team Captain and Basketball Team Captain. Adele plans on attending Texas A&M College Station, with an anticipated field of study in Business-Management Information Systems.
Since 2006, The Lyons Community Foundation has awarded more than $45,000 in scholarships to students graduating from Lyons schools. This has been a cornerstone of the foundation’s mission in supporting local education and having an impact on the youth of the greater Lyons area. We congratulate and celebrate these amazing youth leaders.