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Eagles proudly provide $10,000 worth of scholarships to 4 area college students

Four area college students were awarded a total of $10,000 worth of scholarships, thanks to the Millersburg Eagles Aerie 2418. The scholarship recipients were Brandi Myers, front left, Autumn DeWitt, Emily Safarik and Emma Lenart (not pictured), who was unable to attend the scholarship awards ceremony. Behind them are Eagles President Dave Crissey, secretary Eric Smeby, former president Jim Uhl and Historic Downtown Millersburg board representative Joel Yoder.

Dave Mast

The Eagles were flying high in Millersburg, and four area young adults were the beneficiaries of a wonderful act of kindness and service to the community.
The Millersburg Eagles Aerie 2418 awarded $10,000 in scholarship funds on Wednesday, Aug. 2 at the Eagles facility in Millersburg, and three of the four college-bound recipients were on hand to accept their awards. Emma Lenart was awarded $5,000, Emily Safarik was awarded $2,000, and both Autumn DeWitt and Brandi Myers received scholarships in the amount of $1,500.
The scholarship program is part of the Eagles' desire to give back to the community, and they have done so in many ways over the years. The scholarship program is not new, but the Eagles had not been awarding scholarships over the past number of years and felt it was vital to pick it back up as part of its effort to donate back to the community.
“Years ago we had one, and it kind of fell apart, so we wanted to revive it,” said Millersburg Eagles Aerie 2418 secretary Eric Smeby, who helped present the scholarships. “We donate to the Ohio State Aerie, and they allow us to request finances from them, and they will award the money. We are pleased to be able to help these four young women in their career pursuits. We believe it is important to be able to give back to the community in as many ways as we can.”
Each of the scholarship winners had to submit an essay to describe why they felt they were worthy of an Eagles scholarship. Each scholarship submission was then read by a committee, which determined how the funds would be appropriated.
Because the Eagles needed to go through a nonprofit organization, the Eagles opted to present the scholarships through Historic Downtown Millersburg. Joel Yoder, a board member of Historic Downtown Millersburg, was on hand to present the awards.
“These are significant scholarships that are going to help these students greatly,” Yoder said.
Historic Downtown Millersburg director Judy Lamp said the Eagles have been on the giving end of many worthwhile causes over the years, and seeing them step up to the plate and deliver for the area youth is a thrill.
"What the Eagles have done over the years is awesome, but with this being the first year back for this program, seeing them put together $10,000 worth of scholarships is really impressive,” Lamp said. “The Eagles have done so much for our community, and a lot of people don’t even know it.”
The Eagles have already said this is something they plan on continuing and are already in the process of creating the funds for $10,000 worth of scholarships for next year. These four recipients are eligible to reapply, and there are many other college-bound students who could definitely use the scholarships to help erase some of their tuition expense.
“We are excited to be able to give back to the young people of this area who are serious about their college education," Smeby said. “It’s important to us to be able to help meet the needs in our community.”
For the presentation, DeWitt, Safarik and Myers were able to attend, and while Lenart wasn’t able to make it, she did pass along her thanks by phone. The other three recipients joyfully accepted their checks in person and shared a bit about their thoughts on earning the scholarships.
“I wrote about how I can use the things I learn through the mission-based classes I have in college to give back to the community,” said Myers, who will be a freshman at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University.
Myers is a Waynedale High School graduate and will be studying graphic design and intercultural studies. “I have always had an interest in helping others, so that was kind of the theme I chose to write about,” she said.
Safarik will be a sophomore at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, and the nursing major said she has always wanted to stay close to home to work as a nurse. She said receiving the scholarship from the Eagles is a huge blessing as college tuition continues to soar and said their willingness to serve and to support others is inspirational and will drive other people to want to give back.
“Knowing I have received this is a financial relief,” Safarik said. “I feel very blessed and honored and am very grateful to the Eagles.”
DeWitt will be a junior at Malone University, where she is currently pursuing a degree in art. Her hope is to be a painter or a photographer.
Her family has grown up with the Eagles organization, so she knows all about the giving nature of the Eagles fraternity.
“I know a lot of people here and know how involved they have been in the community, and I am so pleased they were able to present this to me to help me with tuition,” DeWitt said.
Lenart, who was unable to attend the presentation ceremony, will attend Eastern Michigan University.

Published: August 7, 2017
New Article ID: 2017170809949