Olean High students receive CRCF memorial scholarships


Six Olean High School graduates recently received Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation-managed scholarships established in memory of former local residents.

Zachary Parr and Julia Rakus received the Tyler Bihler Memorial Scholarship.

The Tyler Bihler Memorial Scholarship, $1,000, is given to one male and one female Olean High School student who have maintained a grade percentage over 80 and demonstrated good character and citizenship attending a two- or four-year college. Tyler Bihler’s family established the scholarship in Tyler’s memory.

Parr will attend Houghton College to study either elementary education or business. Rakus will study theatre at Binghamton University.

Parr also received the OHS Walter L. Reisner Unsung Lineman Scholarship.

This $500 scholarship is funded through the Walt and Ruth Reisner Fund, established as an endowment by Ruth Reisner in memory of her late husband, Walt Reisner. The award is for a graduating OHS varsity football letter winner. The scholarship is named for Walter L. Reisner, Walt’s grandfather, a standout Olean football player who went on to play at Muhlenberg College, where he was honored as a member of the all-time Muhlenberg football team.

Zackary Linderman received the JoAnn Wehmeyer English Scholarship, $1,250 this year.

The JoAnn Wehmeyer scholarship, established by a group of Olean High alumni in memory of Mrs. Wehmeyer who taught English at Olean High School for 42 years, is an award to a graduating senior recommended by the Olean English faculty who has excellent writing skills and the ability to make a difference.

Linderman will attend Alfred State College to study engineering science.

Matthew Sorokes received the Michele Krahe Peace Olean High School Scholarship.

Established in Ms. Krahe Peace’s memory by her parents, David and Irene Krahe of Olean, this $500 scholarship is given to an Olean High senior with preference for a student pursuing an accounting or business degree.

Sorokes will study business at SUNY Fredonia.

Zoya Rafi received the Anthony Iacovino American History Scholarship.

The Iacovino scholarship memorializes Mr. Iacovino, a former Olean High School educator and coach. Mr. Iacovino inspired students in and out of the classroom. He engaged students with his love for American history and shared his passion for sports, leading teams to victory on the baseball diamond and basketball court. The $1,000 scholarship is given to a student who excels in the classroom and is active in extracurricular activities. The fund was established by Mr. Iacovino’s son, James

Rafi will attend St. Bonaventure University to study finance.

Natalie Sova received the first-ever Patricia McCarthy Memorial Scholarship.

This $500 scholarship is available to Allegany-Limestone Central School and Olean High School graduating seniors accepted to either a 2- or 4-year college, in good academic standing. The preferred candidate demonstrates entrepreneurial spirit and has a strong record of service to others as well as extracurricular involvement. Michael Wittmeyer and his mother, Dr. Carol Wittmeyer, established the scholarship in memory of Michael’s nanny for 18 years, Patricia McCarthy.

Sova will attend Ohio University to study business administration.

Donations can be made to any of these scholarship funds at 301 North Union Street, Suite 203 or online at cattfoundation.org.

Established in 1994, the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email foundation@cattfoundation.org, or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).

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