SIDNEY — The Sidney-Shelby County YMCA has announced the recipients of the two scholarships awarded this year.
Angela Brunner, daughter of John Brunner and Julie DeDomenic of Sidney, was recognized as the winner of the 2020 Jim Lantz Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is a one-time $1,000 award. Brunner graduated from Lehman High School, and plans to attend Indiana University to study Marketing and Business.
Nathan Johnson, son of Brian and Tammi Johnson of Sidney, was recognized as the winner of the 2020 Lee E. Schauer Memorial Scholarship, the largest non-governmental scholarship in Shelby County. The scholarship is a $12,000 award, payable over four years. Johnson graduated from Sidney High School, and plans to attend the University of Toledo, where he will study Psychology with a focus in Neuropsychology.
The Scholarship Selection Committees found both Brunner and Johnson to be the two best representatives of everything these awards stand for and for the lives they honor. They also felt that both individuals exemplified the values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility which are part of the Character Development program the YMCA incorporates into everything it offers.
Due to current COVID-19 guidelines by the Ohio Department of Health, the presentation and reception typically held before the Y’s Board of Director’s meeting was not able to be conducted. Instead, a more intimate presentation made up of a few family members, staff and Board members was held for each scholarship winner and was recorded so that those presentations and remarks could be shared at a future Board meeting.
“The field of candidates gets better every year, as evident by this year’s group of outstanding young people with impressive resumes of accomplishments, academics and service to their community, including the volunteer work they do for the Y,” said Ed Thomas, CEO of the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA. “We believe that both Angela and Nathan will be a credit to the memory of Jim Lantz and Lee E. Schauer.”
Both students have been involved in a wide variety of volunteer activities in Shelby County. Brunner volunteered through Lehman High School at the Princess Ball, events at Dorothy Love, the Recycling Center and the Ohio Energy Project. Johnson volunteered in the Kinetics Department at the Y, helping younger gymnasts and acrobats. He also volunteered for the Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation (SCARF) as a junior board member, and as stage manager for numerous musicals at Sidney High School.
Brunner has been involved at the Y for over 10 years, participating in swim lessons, soccer, and summer camp – even participating one year as a junior summer camp counselor. She participated in local fast pitch softball leagues and played varsity tennis and softball all four years at Lehman Catholic High School, winning numerous awards in each.
Johnson has been involved at the Y for over 16 years participating in boys gymnastics classes, tumbling classes, swim lessons, and art class. He was a part of the Y’s National Acrobatic Team for nine years. Johnson was a four-year varsity swim team member for Sidney High School, and also participated in the SHS musicals, Symphonic Band and Marching Band throughout his entire high school career. His senior year he was the field commander for the marching band, and used his acrobatic skills to do an impressive backflip off the podium at the end of the band’s “Greatest Showman” performance.
The Lantz scholarship was established in 2011 in memory of Jim Lantz, who lost his life in a car accident in high school. Jim’s family established the scholarship with the hope of preserving Jim’s memory and being able to positively impact the lives of youth in our community.
“This was a very tragic experience for our family, and we miss Jim every day,” said Kim Curlis, sister of Jim Lantz, who served on the scholarship selection committee, along with their mother, Debby Smith, both of Sidney. “We want to turn something sad into something positive, where we can make a difference in someone’s life, and we believe Brunner is an excellent candidate for the scholarship.”
The Schauer scholarship was established in 1990 in memory of Lee E. Schauer, who lost his life in a tragic accident the summer before his senior year. Initially a one-time award of $1,000, the scholarship has increased to $12,000 as a result of a large endowment made to the YMCA by Lee’s parents, Ron and Marlys Schauer. Their desire was to use this scholarship to honor and perpetuate Lee’s memory in Sidney as well as to make a “significant difference” in the life of a graduating high school senior who is college-bound. The selection committee, comprised of Christa Morris, John Grazioso and Jeff Van Treese believe that Johnson will be a credit to the memory of Lee Schauer.