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How did Stephen’s Fund begin?
The Stephen Chandler Ericson Scholarship Fund was founded in 1984 in memory of my beloved brother Stephen who entered Heaven on September 19, 1984 at 6:03pm. It was a Friday and a soccer game day and Stephen was running to score a goal when lightning came from the heavens. The lightning was so different because the lightning and thunder came at the same time – it was so solitary! Stephen was surrounded by the lightning and God’s love and we were blessed to have him with us for five days before God called him Home.
Stephen’s accident received national media attention and people from all over began to reach out to my family expressing condolences and inquiries about donations in his honor and memory. Our mother and father, Laura Chandler Ericson and Joseph H. Ericson, Jr., decided to establish the Stephen Chandler Ericson Scholarship Fund to be awarded, annually, to a senior in the West Chester area. The first scholarship was awarded in May of 1985 and continues to this day.
We created the Stephen Chandler Ericson Foundation in December 2010 and are working on a capital campaign to create a perpetual fund by the year 2015 – the 30th anniversary of Stephen’s Scholarship!
CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL OF STEPHEN'S PHOTOS! Digital photos courtesy of Robin Conlon, owner of Fast Frame Expert Picture Framing in West Chester, PA.
Robin donated a beautiful frame that has the memorial letter to Stephen from my mother, Laura Chandler Ericson. Fast Frame is an outstanding establishment and does a terrific job in every area of the framing process. The donation was a perfect addition to the Stephen Chandler Ericson Foundation and we thank Robin and the Frast Frame family for their kindness and generosity.
What is the goal of Stephen’s Fund?
Stephen enjoyed eight years at the West Chester Christian School (WCCS) and his plan was to continue his education with a college degree. The goal of Stephen’s fund is to help a student, each year, with their first year of college or trade school. We believe that education is a fundamental part in building a solid foundation for a young person’s future and to honor Stephen’s memory with a donation is a wonderful beginning.
What was Stephen like?
Before Stephen arrived… we were three … after Stephen, we were a family. Stephen was a gentle, kind and wise soul. He had a great capacity for love and understanding that did not match his youthful years. To demonstrate his character I want to share the story of Stephen’s last pair of shoes. Mother took Stephen to Exton Mall to buy shoes for the school year. As they were leaving the mall a young girl was entering with her mother , at the same door, and the young girl was extremely disfigured and had several, severe physical challenges. When Stephen and my mother reached the outside of the mall Stephen turned to my mother and said “Mom, did you see how beautiful her smile was…I hope people notice her beautiful smile!” This is my brother Stephen.
How is a student selected to receive Stephen’s Fund and when and where are they honored?
Each year, all teaching staff that works with the senior class is asked to present nominations for Stephen’s scholarship. The criteria includes Christian character, academic performance, athletic and music ability, a good sense of humor, school spirit and acceptance at a college or trade school. The student is honored at their graduation ceremony, usually held in May. The funds are sent to the graduate’s college or trade school before August 31st as enrollment for the graduate is finalized.
Who has received Stephen’s Scholarship?
Click on the highlighted names for their individual photo and testimonial!
1985 Lee Johnson, Jr / West Chester Christian
1986 Melissa Jenkins / West Chester Christian
1987 Charles White, Jr / West Chester Christian
1988 Jenine Faith / West Chester Christian
1989 Jennifer Berardi / West Chester Christian
1990 Maxine Osborn / West Chester Christian
1991 David Coover, Jr / West Chester Christian
1992 Ruthann Smith / West Chester Christian
1992 Edward Wendorf / West Chester Christian
1993 Christopher Jenkins / West Chester Christian
1994 Kara Ann Marinelli / West Chester Christian
1994 Matthias Murphy / West Chester Christian
1995 Rebecca Albright Weaver / West Chester Christian - Grove City College
1996 Micah Murphy / West Chester Christian
1997 Brian Lunger / West Chester Christian
1998 Steve Roderer / West Chester Christian
1999 Leon Yates / West Chester Christian
2000 David Barfield / West Chester Christian - University of South Florida
2001 Mike Sheldon / West Chester Christian
2002 Shannon Peters / West Chester Christian - Bob Jones University
2003 Jeanne Celia Hester / West Chester Christian - Immaculata University
2004 Amanda Fisher / West Chester Christian
2005 Niki Railing / West Chester Christian
2005 Kevin Sturgis West Chester Christian - Delaware County Community College
2006 Tim Boston /West Chester Christian - Northland International University
2006 Ben Hicks / West Chester Christian - Bob Jones University
2007 Nathan Perrie / West Chester Christian - Clearwater Christian College
2008 Heather Ollis / West Chester Christian - Northland International University
2009 Stephen Fisher / West Chester Christian - Bob Jones University
2010 Brittany Sadik / West Chester Christian - Clearwater Christian College
2011 Olivia Grothaus / West Chester Christian - Maranatha Baptist Bible College
2012 Heather Sadik / West Chester Christian - Bob Jones University
2012 Caitlyn Stratman / Henderson High School - Duquesne University
The Lincoln Building
How do I donate to Stephen’s Fund?
To make a donation right now, Click Here to donate by credit card!
Or Donate by Check to:
The Stephen Chandler Ericson Foundation
c/o The Chester County Community Foundation
28 West Market Street
West Chester, PA 19382
Attention: Beth Harper Briglia / Vice President, Donor Services
Make check payable to:
The Stephen Chandler Ericson Foundation
Include letter / instructions for the donation:
1. Indicate who the donation is from including name and mailing address.
2. Amount of the donation.
3. Indicate if the donation is in honor or memory of someone and include:
a. Name of person being honored or remembered
b. Name of family member of honored person and mailing address
When you donate what documentation will you receive in return?
1. If you donate on-line via credit card a "thank you" will pop up at the end of your transaction thanking you for your generosity.
2. If you donate via traditional mail through the postal service you will receive a letter via traditional mail, within an estimated 4 weeks, thanking you for your generosity.
Why donate to Stephen’s Fund?
Donations are a great way of giving back! You can honor and remember a loved one’s passing, celebrate a life event or give in lieu of traditional gift giving for birthdays or holidays!
How can you spread the word about The Stephen Chandler Ericson Foundation?
Please put a link on your website to the ESMS/Community Service Page. Tell your friends, family and colleagues about this awesome cause! Have them give us a call at 610-505-3503!
All you need to do is copy and paste this link to your website!! http://www.ericsonsms.com/communityservice.html