Rex Riley Scholarship winners from 1999 2.4

Written by David Green.

The second Wednesday of February is almost like a local holiday in Morenci. That’s the day of soup and pie is served by Kiwanis Club members as the group raises money for the Rex Riley-Kiwanis Scholarship fund.

This year’s event is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Morenci Eagles. The sale of meal tickets, advertising in a support book and raffle tickets for hand-crafted wooden furniture keep the scholarship strong.

Dozens of students have benefitted from the scholarship and each year the Observer provides an update on winners from 10 years ago.

In 1999, three scholarships were given.

• Joanie (Vanlerberg) Peck—Joanie used her scholarship money to help pay for her education at Central Michigan University where she earned a teaching degree.

She first taught in Flint, but after a year she returned home and is now in her third year as a middle school mathematics teacher with the Hillsdale school district.

She also helps out in the after-school math lab and tutoring program, schedules some private tutoring on her own.

Joanie is on schedule to earn a master’s degree in middle level education from Siena Heights.

She married Jason Peck and the couple lives in Waldron.

Her former classmates might hear from her soon since she’s helping to plan the class’s 10-year reunion.

• Melissa (Gallatin) Timar—Melissa earned a dual major in biology and environmental science from Adrian College.

She had an interest in marine biology—she was once the subject of an Observer feature that told of her research project with turtles—but pursuing that goal eventually lost some appeal.

Studies of ocean life would obviously require leaving the her home area and Melissa decided she wasn’t ready to leave family and friends behind.

She stayed in the science field, but traded turtles for chemicals. Actually, it’s not a good time to ask about her career. After three years as a laboratory worker at Silbond, she was laid off last month due to downsizing at the facility.

Melissa is married to classmate Travis Timar.

• Megan (Keller) McVay—Megan remembers using her Rex Riley money to purchase some of the expensive textbooks when she attended Adrian College to earn a degree in psychology, with a minor in human services.

For five years she worked at The Manor, a residential treatment facility for youths located in Jonesville. Before leaving the facility last fall, she was classified as a therapist for individual counseling.

Last September she started work with the Michigan Child Protective Services in Branch County. She welcomes the shorter commute starting soon when she begins serving in Hillsdale County.

She intends to earn a master’s degree in social work in the future.

She married another Morenci graduate, Jeff McVay, and they enjoy living near the wildlife preserve east of Canandaigua.

  • 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.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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