Rex Riley Scholarship winners from 2013

Written by David Green.

Four Rex Riley Scholarships were awarded to Morenci seniors in 2003. Following is a brief look at their lives since leaving high school.

CORI BRENNAN—Cori earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Lourdes College in Sylvania, Ohio, but she stated working part-time at the Toledo Zoo long before she finished college. She had a goal of becoming a zookeeper and she wanted to "get her foot in the door" for a future job possibility.

"In early 2008, I became a part-time temporary zookeeper in the education collection, caring for the program animals that go out to schools and perform in shows at the zoo," Cori said.

A year later she was hired as the full-time programmatic zookeeper in the education department.

She's married to Morenci graduate John MacGregor and their first child, Evelyn, was born last February.

"I feel that I have been very successful in meeting my goals so far and I am doing what I love and have wanted to do since I was in seventh grade."

BRADLEY MORAN—Brad used his Rex Riley scholarship to attend Siena Heights University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He's had a job with the Sun Pharmaceuticals office in Bryan, Ohio, for four years where he's classified as a Biologist II.

"I am a quality control microbiologist," he said. "I test drug products for the presence if microorganisms and then identify what I find. I am currently the supervisor in training of the department."

Brad and his wife, Jessica (Weatherford), live in Morenci with their four-year-old son, Blake.

For Brad and Jessica, winter is the long wait until the Detroit Tigers are back in action.

RYAN McDOWELL—Ryan headed for Central Michigan University for an eclectic college career that included courses ranging from journalism, accounting, logistics—even some history of film.

Now he’s seeing an eclectic array of faces every day while working as a table games dealer at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant.

“The casino industry is one that has always interested me,” he said. “I've met interesting people and seen some very interesting things.”

Ryan hasn’t started his own family but he’s become an uncle three times over and soon to be four.

“In the past decade I've learned how little I knew a decade ago,” he said.

“And now I will attack the next decade with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind,” he quipped.

AUBREY STOVER—Aubrey attended Central Michigan University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training in 2008. She first worked as a trainer at Madison High School and began studying at Kent State University's Ashtabula branch to become certified as a physical therapy assistant. With that degree in hand, she was hired to work at the Gary Gray Physical Therapy office in Clinton.

She lives in Blissfield with her husband, Nathan McMunn, and continues affiliation with Thirty-One Gifts as an independent senior consultant.

She'll decide in the future whether she wants to go to graduate school to earn a doctorate in physical therapy, but for now she's content with her role as a PT assistant.

• To help furnish additional scholarships for Morenci graduates, attend the annual Kiwanis Rex Riley Soup and Pie Supper Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the Morenci Eagles.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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