The Three Rivers Area Community Foundation was founded in 1974 with the goal of helping to improve the quality of life for those living in the Three Rivers area. That first year, donations totaled just $9,600. Today the foundation administers over $5 million in assets with over $1.9 million in endowed scholarships that make the following academic scholarships possible. Each recipient is selected by its own unique committee consisting of area community leaders and educators. This year, we will award 27 scholarships totaling $61,500 for 2022.
PAULINE E. ABSHIRE & FLORENCE E. WARNER ART SCHOLARSHIP (in the amount of $500)
Pauline E. Abshire was a lifetime resident of Three Rivers (1898-1996). A graduate of Three Rivers High School (Class of 1917), she was widely known and respected for her kindness, enthusiasm, and interest in her community. She was a very talented artist and had a lifelong appreciation for the creative arts. She had a special interest in young people and enjoyed attending their artistic events. Pauline believed strongly that artistic aptitude should be recognized and encouraged, just as hers had been while she attended Three Rivers High School. This year’s recipient is ANNA IVES
RALPH AND PHYLLIS BENCE SCHOLARSHIP (in the amount of $1,000)
Ralph was born in Kokomo, Indiana where he met and married Phyllis Bacon. Ralph worked in retail and ran the local Firestone store for many years while Phyllis worked at Michigan Power. This scholarship was established to assist students with their future goals and create a life that Ralph would be proud of. This year’s recipient is ABIGAIL GRIFFIOEN
ERIC “BOOMER” CLEMENCE ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP (in the amount of $500)
Eric “Boomer” Clemence was born June 5th, 1983 to Bill Clemence and Becky Clemence (Myers.) Boomer attended Three Rivers schools and had a notable athletic career in wrestling and soccer. After high school Boomer developed a strong love for golf and was on his way to play a round when he passed in a car accident in 2007. His family, friends, and teammates would describe him as full of life, always a smile on his face, a blast to be around, and a loving son, brother, and friend. This scholarship is made possible due to an annual celebration of life golf outing, supported by his family and friends. This year’s recipient is ANNA IVES
JAMES E. CLARK SCHOLARSHIP (in the amount of $500)
This scholarship was established to honor James E. Clark and his life dedicated to business. In 1969, he co-founded Central Mfg. Services with his father Charles E. Clark. Jim was very knowledgeable in business and believed in enjoying and having fun at work. He believed, “the best investment you can make is in yourself and your own business”. The business continues today, run by the third generation. This year’s recipient is ANNA IVES
GARY L. COTTINGHAM SCHOLARSHIP (in the amount of $500)
Gary Cottingham was born in Kokomo, Indiana and graduated from Three Rivers High School in 1964, where he participated in football, basketball, and track. In 1966, he married his high school sweetheart, Marian Rice, an associate broker for Century 21 Arrowhead Real Estate. Gary worked his way into the sales industry, where he was recognized as one of the top producers in the forms business. He was a wonderful husband and a loving, giving father to three sons: Chad, Ryan and Chase. Gary coached his boys in both football and basketball and always made time to hunt and fish with them. His boys look back at their dad with great appreciation for the time he invested in their lives. Through this scholarship, it is the desire of Gary’s family to continue to invest in young people’s lives. This year’s recipients are CALEIGH BARTH & RYLIE GLASS
GEORGE HAINES SCHOLARSHIP (In the amount of $3000)
This scholarship was established in 1994. Mr. Haines retired from Armstrong Machine Company in Three Rivers after 25 years of loyal service. He was very interested in assisting students pursuing a career in an occupational field. All students pursuing a career related to their Career and Technical Education program were eligible for this scholarship. This year’s recipients are EMILY AVERY, ABIGAIL GRIFFIOEN, AND ANNA IVES
LUCILE SHAFER HARING AND SHEILA J. HARING SCHOLARSHIP (in the amount of $4000)
Sheila Joy Haring was born June 1, 1936 in Three Rivers, the daughter of Ophir L. and Margaret Lucile (Shafer) Haring. Sheila graduated from Three Rivers High School in 1954, from Stephens College in 1956, and from Ohio University in 1958. Thereafter, she joined Amoco Corporation (formerly Standard Oil of Indiana) in Chicago, Ill. She worked for Amoco in Chicago and New York City for 33 years, retiring in 1991.
Miss Haring had been a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Three Rivers-Centreville for more than 50 years and served it as an Elder, a Trustee, and as Archivist. She had formerly been a Trustee on the Three Rivers Public Library Board, as well as a board member of the Edward Lowe Foundation. Sheila had also served her community as a volunteer in the Library’s Michigan Room and with the Three Rivers Health Auxiliary. This year’s recipient ABIGAIL GRIFFIOEN
EDWARD T. “COACH” JOHNSON & PATRICIA JOHNSON SCHOLARSHIP (in the amount of $500)
Born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan, Ed Johnson built upon his own athletic success in high school and college to become an outstanding educator and coach. Throughout his illustrious career, which spanned three decades, he coached basketball, golf, track and football. He served as the Athletic Director for ten years and assistant junior high school principal for nine years. In memory of Coach Johnson, his family has established this scholarship with the purpose of providing a $500.00 award to one Three Rivers High School graduate who played basketball. This year’s recipient is CALEIGH BARTH
ELIZABETH “BETTY” LAMBERTSON SCHOLARSHIP (2 in the amount of $4000)
Elizabeth “Betty” Lambertson was born November 18, 1917 in Three Rivers, Michigan to Adam and Margaret Armstrong. Betty attended schools in Three Rivers, The Southern Seminary in Virginia, and she graduated from the University of Michigan. Betty was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and the Elks Club. She also volunteered for many years at the Three Rivers Area Hospital in the snack shop. This scholarship is possible as a result of both Betty’s modest lifestyle and her philanthropic gift. This year’s recipients are MEGAN JACKSON & SOPHIA BELL
ADAM LEARN #27 MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP (in the amount of $500)
At the age of 14, Adam passed away unexpectedly in a tragic diving accident while swimming with friends. This scholarship was established to honor the life that he lived. Eligible recipients have demonstrated similar active lifestyles through sports and recreational activities and the character qualities that would make Adam proud to have them as a scholarship recipient. Tonight, we will award 2 scholarships. This year’s scholarship recipients are LYDIA JEPSEN & PARKER GARWICK
DENNIS W. LOCKWOOD – GARY WARNER SCHOLARSHIP (2 in the amount of $1,000)
Dr. Jack H. Lockwood and his wife Donna J. Bradford Lockwood, former Three Rivers area businesspeople, established this scholarship to honor the memory of their son Dennis, and their nephew Gary. Students furthering their education in the field of business, accounting, nursing, or industrial arts were considered for this award. This year’s recipients are RILEY GLASS & EMILY AVERY.
KEN McENROE SCHOLARSHIP (in the amount of $1,000)
This scholarship was established to honor Ken McEnroe and his many contributions to our community. Ken was a 1977 graduate of Three Rivers High School. He coached children and youth in rocket football, soccer, indoor soccer, basketball and baseball. This scholarship will honor two scholar athletes for their athletic achievement in the Three Rivers area who are pursuing higher education. This year’s recipients are CALEIGH BARTH & CONNOR QUAKE
JOHN T. NYKUN SCHOLARSHIP (2 in the amount of $500)
John T. Nykun was born in Hacktown, New Jersey, and graduated from Seton Hall University with a degree in business. John moved to the Three Rivers area with Continental Can Company, where he worked for more than forty years. He also served as Fabius Township Clerk for more than twenty years. This scholarship is awarded to a student entering the fields of government or business. This year’s recipients are TAYLOR WORKMAN & LYDIA JEPSEN.
CARLTON AND RUTH POE SCHOLARSHIP (in the amount of $3000)
This scholarship was established to honor Carleton and Ruth Poe, lifetime residents of the Three Rivers area until 1971. They were both graduates of Three Rivers High School. Carleton worked many years with Michigan Gas and Electric, and Ruth was a school teacher in several of the one room schools that dotted the Three Rivers area in the late forties and early fifties. She later taught in the Three Rivers School District. They resided for many years around the Long Lake and Poe’s Corner area and were loyal and active members of the First Baptist Church of Newberg. They both strongly believed in the Love of God and education. This year’s recipient is ABIGAIL GRIFFIOEN.
GLENN RIFENBERG COMMUNITY SCHOLARSHIP (in the amount of $4,000)
Glenn Rifenberg graduated from Three Rivers High School in 1929 and founded Glenn Rifenberg & Associates Insurance Agency in 1930. This scholarship is a result of Glenn’s lifelong commitment to business and education and is awarded to students entering the field of business or education. This year’s recipient is SOPHIA BELL.
DONALD SCHIMNOSKI SCHOLARSHIP (in the amount of $500)
Known in the Three Rivers community as “Dr. Don,” this scholarship was established to honor Dr. Don and encourage students to pursue a career in the medical field. Dr. Don spent 58 years serving Three Rivers area families with his family practice, fulfilling his calling in life to help others through his compassion, humility, and kindness. This year’s recipient is MACY IVINS
CLASS OF ’69 WILDCAT SPIRIT LEGACY AWARD
The Class of ‘69 wants to be sure that as many seniors as possible have the finances to chase their dreams, and with this scholarship, trust they will be doing their part to assure this. Best Wishes to every senior in their quest for the Best in Life. This year’s recipient is ABIGAIL GRIFFIOEN.
EDNA L. WHEELER NURSING SCHOLARSHIP (in the amount of $500)
Edna L. Wheeler, of Fabius Township, had a passion for giving. Her interests included the Three Rivers Hospital, Immaculate Conception Church in Three Rivers, the Salvation Army, and Shriners Hospital. One of Edna’s last wishes were to establish an endowed scholarship fund to assist graduates from Three Rivers High School in their pursuit to further their education in the field of nursing. Her generosity is not only a gift back to the community, but also a gift that will continue in perpetuity, touching the lives of many. This year’s recipient is RYLIE GLASS.
DAVID T. STUCK FOUNDERS SCHOLARSHIP (in the amount of $10,000)
After enlisting and serving his country in World War II, Dave Stuck returned to the area and pursued his college education at Western Michigan University. After graduation he married his college sweetheart and co-founded Fibre Converters in 1949. His life was defined by the Rotary Motto of “Service Above Self”, always putting the needs of others before his own. In 1974 he was one of five community leaders that founded what is today the Three Rivers Area Community Foundation and served as president for many years. His community involvement also included the Jaycees, Rotary, Community Chest (today United Way), Three Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce, Three Rivers Health, and co-founder of the Lights of Love. This scholarship was created to honor the spirit of those trail blazers that left a legacy of service and personal sacrifice to make Three Rivers a better place to call home. This year’s recipient is LYDIA JEPSEN.