WEST ORANGE, NJ — For the sixth year in a row, the West Orange Scholarship Fund presented graduating West Orange High School seniors with the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship, a scholarship established by Lisa and Donald Shauger in 2014. The scholarship, which is awarded each year at Senior Awards Night, was founded in memory of Groves, a former West Orange police officer and friend of the Shaugers; Groves died in 2013 from cancer. The scholarship recognizes students with a passion for community service and an interest in law.
During this year’s Senior Awards Night virtual ceremony on June 3, the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship was awarded to 14 scholarship recipients: Mariela Alvarez, Victoria Benaroya, Kailey Charles, Destiny Chatman, Olivia Davino, Natchenly Fleurisma, Lillian Itty, Bryanna Jackson-Dickens, Carolina La Torre, Julian Lee, Naomi Moss, Kyle Neverson, Sophia Scholz and Salome Valencia.
“We were thrilled that West Orange High School and the West Orange Scholarship Fund were able to make the best of the situation during the pandemic and put together something special for this year’s senior class,” Lisa Shauger, president and CEO of The Shauger Group, said about the virtual awards ceremony. “It was a wonderful ceremony to honor the seniors’ accomplishments — one that will make this year’s graduation and awards season special for this year’s seniors, despite the fact they were not able to enjoy the evening in person.”
In his address to the senior class during the virtual ceremony, West Orange High School Principal Hayden Moore commended West Orange students for their achievements this year, especially in the face of the unique challenges posed by COVID-19.
“We’ve never had a senior awards night quite like this before — and may never again — but we refuse to let this event go by without acknowledging your dedication, study, focus and accomplishments,” Moore said. “Nothing can eradicate your efforts, diminish your importance, or strip this moment from you.”
With COVID-19 restrictions easing up, West Orange High School currently plans to hold an in-person graduation with a “modified on-site ceremony” on July 8; the high school also held a drive-by celebration and virtual graduation ceremony on June 23.
This year’s group of Groves Memorial Scholarship recipients was the largest in a single year to date to receive this honor. Including this year’s class of Groves Memorial Scholars, a total of 49 students have been awarded the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship since the scholarship was founded in 2014.
Each year, the WOSF committee considers applicants for the Groves Memorial Scholarship based on the students’ academic records, financial need and extracurricular involvement. Because of Groves’ lifelong commitment to community service and volunteerism, special consideration is given to students who share his passion for philanthropy.
More than 120 total awards were given out at Senior Awards Night; of those, more than 45 awards were presented by the WOSF. The WOSF awarded $75,800 in sum at Senior Awards Night 2020 to 73 different seniors. A few of the Groves Memorial Scholarship recipients were also awarded additional scholarships.
In a message to Donald and Lisa Shauger, WOSF treasurer Jim Quinn said that the WOSF was honored by the Shaugers’ continued support of the fund.
“Our Awards Committee worked very closely with the WOHS administration in an attempt to make this year’s Senior Awards Night special for our graduating seniors considering the coronavirus restrictions in place,” Quinn said. “We will be forever thankful for (the Shaugers’) support in helping us make college just a little more affordable for our graduating seniors.”
The Shauger family and TSG raised more than $15,000 to benefit the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship this past year, most of which was raised in December when the Shaugers and TSG teamed up with the WOSF and West Orange Education Foundation to host the second Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser Raffle. In past years, TSG has also partnered with the WOSF and WOEF to hold other fundraiser raffles and dinners to support the scholarship.
To support the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship this coming year, Donald and Lisa Shauger have pledged a $10,000 donation. The donation will be in memory of all West Orange residents who have died from COVID-19, as well as in honor of the Class of 2020.
“It is a meaningful tribute to Timmy that a scholarship fund in his name is helping the West Orange community and providing great opportunities to local students,” said Donald Shauger, executive vice president of TSG. “He was a pillar of the local community — he made a difference in any way he could, from mentoring local youths to volunteering with Special Olympics. He would be proud of the scholarship’s success and the impact it has made. It is such a privilege and honor for Lisa and me to keep Timmy’s memory alive and, at the same time, to help seniors further their education.”
Donations benefiting the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship can be made at any time. Donations can be made via check, payable to the West Orange Scholarship Fund, noting “Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship” in the memo, and mailed to West Orange Scholarship Fund, c/o Jim Quinn, 23 Witte Place, West Orange, NJ 07052. Donations to the WOSF are also accepted online via PayPal, through the WOSF page at www.woboe.org/scholarshipfund.
The above text was provided by Alexandra Gakos.