Each year, the Benton Scholarship Foundation is pleased to present the following permanent scholarships in honor of the following generous donors. Below are the permanent scholarships awarded in 2016.
DEB ALLMAN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship was first awarded in 2000. Deb Allman was an elementary teacher at Benton Community from 1995-1999. She was the wife of Steve Allman and mother of Katie and Joel Allman. Deb passed away in 1999 after a courageous battle with breast cancer. A dedicated teacher, she made learning fun for her students. Deb was an inspiration to us all and will live on in our hearts.
ATKINS LUMBER COMPANY SCHOLARSHIP - The Tom Lange family, owners of Atkins Lumber, reached permanent status in 2004. Their hope is to assist students in furthering their education.
ATKINS TELEPHONE COMPANY SCHOLARSHIP - The Atkins Telephone Company awarded their first permanent scholarship in 1999. They continue to be a supporter of the BSF.
CHRISTINE BALLARD MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship was created in 2015 in memory of Christine Ballard, who passed away March 21, 2015, from injuries suffered in an automobile accident. Christine, a 2012 graduate of Benton Community, was active in 4-H and FFA. She enjoyed helping others through her work as a CNA.
ROY BECKER, SR./ BECKER TILING SCHOLARSHIP - Established in 2010 by the Roy Becker Sr. Family and Becker Tiling.
BENTON COMMUNITY FINE ARTS SCHOLARSHIP - Awarded for the first time in 2014, this scholarship was established to recognize a student involved in Benton Community's excellent fine arts program. The recipient of this scholarship is active in one or more of the following school sponsored activities: band, choir, speech and theater.
BENTON MUTUAL INSURANCE SCHOLARSHIP - Achieved permanent status in 2005. Benton Mutual Insurance Association's goal is to help provide students with the opportunity to further their education in their chosen field. Benton Mutual Insurance Association congratulates all the students who earned scholarships today, and wishes them the best of luck in all of their continued educational efforts.
JESSE AND THERESA BRIES SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship was established in 2015. Jesse and Theresa Bries have been residents of Newhall since 2005. They understand both the value and cost of higher education. With this scholarship they hope to support Benton Community and encourage others to take the path of life-long learning.
TIM CASEY SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship achieved permanent status in 2012. Mr. Casey began teaching in the Benton Community School District in 1989 and currently teaches at the Norway Elementary. With this scholarship, he continues to contribute to the future success of our students. "Education has given me the means to reach my dream (educating and, hopefully, having a lifelong influence on my students); and I am hoping this scholarship helps in a very small way to assist another in pursuing his/her dream."
LILLIAN CHRISTIANSON STONER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - Lillian Christianson Stoner graduated from Norway High School in 1901. She taught in the high school before leaving Norway in 1908. Her father was thought to have built the first grain elevator in Norway and also built one in Watkins. Lillian and her husband lived in Albany, New York, where Mr. Stoner taught ornithology and Lillian assisted him in his work.
BC CLASS OF 1980 - The class of 1980 is honored to award this scholarship in memory of our classmate Joan England Feller, who died in 2016 chasing one of her many dreams. Joan was a soft-spoken woman, who participated in athletics, fine arts and student council. She was an active member of her church, where she loved to sing and play the piano. Her first dream was to go to college and become a teacher, which she achieved; graduating from the University of Iowa obtaining her BA in education, and MA in special education. She taught 23 years in schools throughout Iowa. In her classroom, she had a poster that read, "Believe in Yourself!" And with those words, we pass on to you, the challenge that Joan would have said, "Believe in yourself." Dream big and continue to remember the Bobcat Spirit, which will always be part of you the rest of your life.
BC CLASS OF 2016 - This scholarship was established in 2015-16 with the generous donations raised from the class' post prom fundraising efforts.
COLEMAN/THOMPSON FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship was established in 2010. David Thompson graduated from Benton Community in 1975 and farms in the Van Horne area. Theresa (Coleman) Thompson taught at Benton Community Middle School for 31 years. David and Theresa are the parents of Ben (2011) and Beth (2013) Thompson.
L.H. "SHORTY" and EARLENE CLAUSEN SCHOLARSHIP - Shorty placed a high value on education and would be proud to know his wife, Earlene, established a scholarship in his name. He was a member of the first school board of the Benton Community School District. His five children, Tom (1967), Jane (1970), Meg (1977), Cara (1980) and Beth (1986) are graduates of Benton Community.
RAY & GERTRUDE DETLEFSEN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - Ray & Gertrude Detlefsen owned and operated Ray's Foodland in Norway from 1938 until 1989. They supported several community activities in Norway including the annual Halloween contest. They took a great interest in the many students they employed at the store and always encouraged good work ethics.
RON & SALLY DONALD SCHOLARSHIP - Ron Donald retired in 1999 after teaching for 33 years. He taught 27 of those years at Benton Community. He stated, "I give to the Benton Foundation because when I was a senior, one of my teachers gave me $100 for college. That made a tremendous impact on my life and hopefully I can now help others with their education."
DUANE & PAMELA ENGLAND SCHOLARSHIP - Established in 2016. Duane and Pam's goal is to assist students in furthering their education.
THE FINAL SEASON SCHOLARSHIP - Established in 2007 from funds generated from making of the movie, The Final Season, based on Norway School District's last baseball season.
GAHRING MACHINE SCHOLARSHIP - This company, located in Keystone, was one of the first to endow a scholarship with the BSF reflecting their concern for the students of Benton Community pursuing higher education.
JACK HANNEN SCHOLARSHIP FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE STUDIES - A consistent donor to the BSF, this scholarship reached permanent status in 2013. BSF is Jack's chosen charity for his annual giving via his employer's, Microsoft Corporation, fundraising drive. "It's my honor to give back to the high school I'm proud to say I attended."
HAROLD HARTKEMEYER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - First awarded in 2014. Harold lived and farmed in or near Benton County his entire life. His children are Benton Community graduates; Keith (1973), Kevin (1975) and Kelsey (1980). Upon Harold's death in 2013, a scholarship was started in his name with memorial money and family donations. Kelsey states that Harold "had a quiet way about him and when he did speak, you listened." Keith adds "and he had a way of teaching about life with his own example."
CHAD HENNINGS SCHOLARSHIP - Chad Hennings graduated from Benton Community High School in 1984. He is a 1988 graduate of the US Air Force Academy and served 45 missions flying in support of Operation Provide Comfort in Iraq. He played nine seasons for the Dallas Cowboys as a starting defensive lineman and participated on three Super Bowl Championship Teams. Since his retirement from the NFL, Chad has found success as an author, investor, management consultant and motivational speaker. This scholarship was established in 2006.
HOFER FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP - This award was established in 2011. The Hofers live on a farm north of Amana. Their two children graduated from Norway High School and received scholarships to help with their post-secondary education. They wish to give back in the same way to graduating seniors in our community. "Let education be your key to unlock many of life's greatest dreams!"
HUMPHREY BOYS SCHOLARSHIP - Established in 2009.
"IT'S A GREAT DAY TO BE A BOBCAT" SCHOLARSHIP - Established in 2014 by Howard and Elaine Conrad. Celebrating all that is good about being a Bobcat, persistence, hard work, optimism and spirit.
KEITH & WENDY JUNGE SCHOLARSHIP - Established in 2016, the Junges believe in Benton Community School District and appreciate the education their three children received at Benton. "We feel strongly that extra-curricular activities offered at Benton help in developing a well-rounded student. We are proud to have grandchildren attending Benton."
RAEGAN JUNGE SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship was established in 2012 by the Raegan Junge Family. In 2011, Raegan, a 6-year-old from Keystone, waged a campaign to raise money for victims of a tornado that hit Joplin, MO. Her efforts were named Viewers Favorite in The Weather Channel's Epic Christmas contest. Raegan's prize was a $5,000 donation from The Weather Channel to a tax exempt, non-profit organization of her choice - the Benton Scholarship Foundation. This scholarship was established by Raegan and her parents, Jerry, a BC graduate, and Crystal, so they can give back to the community who has supported Raegan and her efforts in helping others.
LOUIS AND JOANNE KAISER SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship was established in 2010. Louis and his late wife, Joanne, raised their children on a farm by Keystone. All six grew up and graduated from Benton Community High School. Eleven of their fifteen grandchildren have graduated from Benton Community High School. They also currently have 11 great-grandchildren attending Benton Community School District. Louis and Joanne wanted to give back for the fine education their family has received over the years at Benton Community Schools.
LELAND & YVONNE KUCH FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP - Established in 2013, the Kuch family created this scholarship in memory of Leland, who passed away in 2012. Leland, a graduate of Van Horne High School, and Yvonne (Hennings), a graduate of Keystone High School, raised their family on a farm near Keystone and were very active in Benton Community Schools. Leland served on the Benton Community Board of Education, was a 4-H leader and a longtime official of girls' and boys' basketball. Yvonne was a teacher in the Benton Community District for many years.
KENNETH & ETTA LEE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - This award was established in 2006.
MANSFIELD CHARITABLE FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP - The Mansfield Charitable Trust has generously donated to the BSF each year since 2001.
DEBBIE MANTERNACH MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship was created in 2011 by an anonymous donor, and friends and family of Debbie continue to contribute. Debbie passed away in 2010 from injuries suffered in a car accident. She was a freshman at Benton Community and was active in jazz band and marching band, cheerleading, soccer, and the Benton Blazers dance team. As an organ donor, Debbie gave the gift of life to many others, and this scholarship will continue her giving to others in her honor.
DORIS & TERRY MARKWITZ SCHOLARSHIP - This award was established in 2007. Terry and Doris would like to congratulate all the graduates for their academic achievement. They encourage the seniors to look fondly back on your years at Benton and also look forward with hope as you enter the next steps of your educational journey.
MASONIC LODGE SCHOLARSHIP - The dispensation for the organization of the Blairstown Masonic Lodge was granted by the Grand Lodge of Iowa on August 25, 1866. The Charter was granted June 5, 1867. On June 4, 1998, Lincoln Lodge consolidated with Vinton Lodge No. 62. In May of 1998, Lincoln Lodge gave $50,000 to the BSF. Prior to that time, Lincoln Lodge had presented scholarships to Benton Community Schools each year.
McKECHNIE FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP - Established in 2015 by the family of William and Betty McKechnie. William was a graduate of Atkins High School and Betty a graduate of Norway High School. They farmed in the Atkins/Norway area and their five children, David, Janice, Douglas, Sheri and Lori, are Benton Community graduates along with two grandchildren. We ask the recipient aspire to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., "Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education."
RICK & CINDY NOLAN SCHOLARSHIP - Rick Nolan is a 1975 graduate of Benton Community. He married Cindy in 1976 and they have made rural Van Horne their home. They raised three children in the Benton Community School District. Cindy has worked in the health field. Rick farms and their two sons are now farming with him. They have one daughter who has worked with at-risk children.
ALBERTA OWENS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - Alberta was very fond of Benton County. After graduating from Iowa State University, she lived here all of her life. She was always ready to help a cause in Benton County, especially if it benefited young people. Therefore, donating to the BSF was very important to her.
MELISSA PALMERSHEIM MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship is in memory of Benton Community student, Melissa Palmersheim. Melissa passed away in 2000, her junior year of high school, from injuries sustained in a car accident on her way to work one evening after school. Melissa was a dedicated student and a member of National Honor Society. After high school, she planned to attend college with aspirations of becoming a physician's assistant. Her parents have established this scholarship with the hope that it will help another Benton Community student achieve their college goals.
LILLIAN PINGEL MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - 2013 was the first year for this scholarship. Lillian grew up on a farm near Keystone and graduated from Keystone High School in 1945. She is remembered for her willingness to care for others when she was needed.
RUDOLPH PINGEL MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - 2005 marked the first year for this scholarship. Rudy, as he preferred to be called, was a lifelong resident of rural Keystone who passed away in 2003. He served his country in the Army from 1942-1946, after which he farmed until he was 70 years old. Rudy liked to spend his time dancing, buying clothes, and going to different nursing homes to talk with others. His generosity was widespread. His estate gave to over a dozen entities and 18 of his heirs.
IRENE POHLMAN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - Irene passed away in 2007. She worked in the Keystone school as a head cook for 25 years. With only an 8th grade education, she always regretted her lack of schooling, but was so proud of the 13 college degrees that her children and grandchildren earned. So to honor her and her regard for higher education, the family dedicates this scholarship in her name.
PRUSHA FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP - Jo and Todd Prusha believe education creates opportunities that are unlimited. As graduates of Benton Community, they appreciate the investment that the school district made to them and now to their children's lives. Todd and Jo are grateful for BSF's partnership with Benton Community's payroll deduction, for their opportunity to provide this scholarship for other graduates of BC.
RABE HARDWARE SCHOLARSHIP - Established in 2016. Rabe Hardware has been a family owned and operated company located in Blairstown since it was founded in 1979.
JERRY RABE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - First awarded in 2015 in memory of Jerry Rabe. Jerry was a lifelong resident of Blairstown and graduate of Benton Community's class of 1976. His sons, Ben, Mark and Daniel, graduated from Benton Community and each received a BSF scholarship. His wife, Diane, states that she and Jerry believe all students pursuing a higher education deserve scholarship opportunities like those provided through the Benton Scholarship Foundation.
RAUSCH FINANCIAL SERVICES SCHOLARSHIP - Established in 2006, Al and Mary Rausch believe strongly in the importance of students continuing their education. "As parents of Benton alumni, we appreciated what the Benton Scholarship Foundation provided for our children and what they do for all the students at Benton Community."
JOHN REINHARDT MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship was established in 2013 by the family of John Reinhardt. John attended Blairstown School through the 11th grade and graduated in 1966 with the first consolidated class of Benton Community Schools. His wife, Ann, and daughter, Tricia, a 1987 graduate of Benton Community, established this scholarship to honor his commitment to Benton Community.
HAROLD RITSCHER/MARY ADAMS FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship was started in 2010 to honor Harold's 70th birthday and Mary's 60th birthday. Harold's three children, Wayne (1980), Alan (1982) and Marie (1989) are Benton Community graduates.
H. O. SCHLOEMAN MEMORIAL & RUTH SCHLOEMAN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship was first awarded in 2004. Henry Schloeman (1892 - 1983) and Ruth Jones Schloeman (1891-1987) were active in the Norway community and Benton County for more than 60 years. Henry was a director of Benton County Savings Bank for over 50 years. He also served on the board of Lenox Mutual Insurance Company and was president of South Slope Telephone Company when it went into service in 1958. Ruth came to Norway as a high school teacher after attending the University of Iowa. She was very artistic and was also very active in the community. Their motto was, "Service is the rent we pay for the space we occupy."
LINNIE SCHLOEMAN/YOUNG CORN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - Establish-ed in 2006. Linnie E. Schloeman was the first woman Superintendent of schools in Benton County. Grant Wood's famous "Young Corn" painting was painted as a memorial to Linnie E. Schloeman. Linnie was a junior high math teacher at Wilson Junior High in Cedar Rapids. Her students and a few teachers collected around $200 and asked Grant Wood to paint a tribute "Young Corn" at the time of her death in 1930. The site of the painting is in Iowa County north of High Amana across from the Lenex Cemetery where she is buried. The Schloemans, long-time residents of Norway and dedicated servants to Benton County, have continued to give back to the people of this area.
BRUCE SCHULTE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship was first awarded in 2004. It was established by Bruce's family after he was killed in a farm accident in 2002. Bruce was a graduate of LaSalle High School and farmed in the Norway area all his life. He loved to work with young people, especially helping with FFA and 4-H projects.
JASON SEBOLDT MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - 2005 was the first year for this scholarship. Jason was a 1988 graduate of Benton Community and a member of the Benton Community Athletics Hall of Fame. Jason passed away September 4, 2002. His friends: Matt Miner, Chad Wauters, Todd Becker, and John McGivern started an annual golf outing in October of 2004 at Tara Hills Country Club to raise money for a scholarship to be awarded in his memory. Jason's family and friends would like to congratulate you for showing excellence in achieving this award. "God bless you in all your future endeavors. Life is awaiting you to achieve the best that you can be and we hope that this will help."
MAJOR KIMBERLY SEMELROTH-SPECK MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship is given in memory of Benton Community 1991 graduate Kim Semelroth, who passed away in February, 2014, after a courageous battle with breast cancer. She was a dedicated student, athlete and a member of National Honor Society. She was constantly furthering her education, received numerous master's degrees and in 2012 earned her PhD in clinical psychology. Her mother and brothers, with the help of family and friends, established this scholarship to honor Kim's love of knowledge and education and to help another Benton Community graduate achieve their dreams.
SINDT IMPLEMENT Incorporated SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship was first awarded in 2004. The three children of Darold and Paulette Sindt were among the first to benefit from the Benton Community merger. The Sindt family has a long history of supporting higher education.
BEN & NINA SMITH MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - 2005 was the first year for this scholarship. Nina graduated from Vinton High School in 1928. Ben and Nina were married in 1935 and lived on a farm outside of Van Horne. Ben passed away in 1990 and Nina stayed on the farm until 1993 when she moved to Vinton. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Vinton and a longtime member of the Historical Society and the Izaak Walton League. Nina passed away in March of 2005.
SOUTH SLOPE COOPERATIVE COMMUNICATIONS SCHOLARSHIP - Achieved permanent scholarship status in 2011. South Slope is proud to support the local schools: academically, athletically, and in the arts. "Higher education is imperative in today's work environment and we congratulate all students who choose to further their education!"
DUSTIN M. STODDARD MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - 2006 was the first year for this scholarship. It was established by the Jim and Cindy Stoddard family in memory of their nephew and cousin Dustin, who died in a boating accident on July 17, 2005. Dustin was a 1998 Benton Community graduate who was involved in football and baseball. Dustin's future goal was to one day own and operate his own transmission and auto repair shop. "Life is not measured by length, but by depth."
STAFF PAYROLL DEDUCTION SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship was established in recognition of the many Benton Community School District employees who utilize the payroll deduction plan offered to support BSF.
BRUCE TOWE MEMORIAL FFA SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship was established in 2013 by the family of R. Bruce Towe. Bruce graduated from Norway High School and farmed in the area all his life. He enjoyed driving a school bus for Norway and Benton Community for over 50 years. Bruce was an avid supporter of 4-H and the school's Future Farmers of America chapter. Bruce's family established this scholarship to honor his commitment to agriculture and students involved in this organization.
MR. & MRS. OTIS TUTTLE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - Otis Tuttle graduated from Norway High School in 1907. He attended Coe College, then transferred and graduated from Iowa State University. He served as an officer with the Army in WWI, then farmed near Norway for 57 years. In May 1921, he married May Collins, a home economics teacher in Norway. Otis was very dedicated to the community, contributing generously to the Norway Public Library and other community projects. He loved baseball. His one regret was that he and May were unable to have children of their own, so he became interested in helping other children. He often said, "I try to keep abreast of the young folks and their activities for that is the way to stay in touch with the community." Otis died at the age of 103.
ROYAL & HAZEL TUTTLE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - The original Tuttle Scholarship was established by Royal & Hazel Tuttle in memory of their son, William, who died in a farm accident in 1951. Royal graduated from Norway High School in 1910 and attended Coe College. He married Hazel Gilchrist in 1924 and they settled on the family farm near Norway. He and Hazel had five children. Royal was a WWI veteran and a member of the Last Man's Club. He organized the Florence Hawkeyes 4-H Club and was active with the club for 40 years. He was active in the community and loved baseball. Royal touched the lives of many young people in Norway and always had a positive attitude. He died at the age of 93.
VAN HORNE COOPERATIVE TELEPHONE SCHOLARSHIP - Van Horne Cooperative Telephone Co. is proud to have reached permanent status in 2006. We are glad to be a part of the Benton Scholarship Fund to encourage students to further their education.
DR. DONALD & VERNA WAGNER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - This scholarship was created in 2009. Dr. Wagner was a veterinarian for many years in the town of Atkins where he and his wife, Verna, raised nine children, Mary, Ann, John, Mike, Carol, Laura, Donna, David, and Julie. All of their children graduated from Benton Community, which provided them with a solid foundation in academics, fine arts, civic activities, and sports. This preparation helped all of the Wagner children pursue higher education and careers to lead successful lives. The scholarship is given to help students with their financial needs as they begin their college careers.
DAVID WEICHMAN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - David was an attorney and longtime resident of Newhall. He was a pilot in the United States Air Force during World War II. Before his death in 2000, David requested that a scholarship be set up to help area youth further their education.
The following banks have reached permanent scholarship status and continue to make contributions to the foundation. (The year following the name indicates the first year's contribution.)
Atkins Savings Bank, 1990
Bank Iowa, 1995
Benton County State Bank, 1990
Chelsea Savings Bank, Van Horne, 1995
Hills Bank and Trust Company, 2016
Keystone Savings Bank, 1990
Palo Savings Bank, 1995
Watkins Savings Bank, 1995