2017/Inaugural Recipient: Aiden Kidd Diefenbach

DAVID WAS A STUDENT AT RIVER VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL. AFTER A LONG BATTLE WITH CANCER, HE PASSED AWAY IN FEBRUARY AT THE AGE OF 17.

DAVID ABSOLUTELY LOVED ANYTHING RELATED TO THE ARTS. TELEVISION, MOVIES, THE STAGE, VISUAL ARTS, AND MOST OF ALL, THE ART OF CARING FOR HIS FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS. WHEN HIS TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS WAS ANNOUNCED, AND PEOPLE ASKED HOW THEY COULD HELP, WE WORKED VERY HARD IN THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS TO ESTABLISH A SCHOLARSHIP USING THE REMAINING FUNDRAISING DOLLARS SENT TO HIS GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN. THIS WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT THE ASSISTANCE OF THE BERRIEN COMMUNITY FOUNDATION.

IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH, THE DAVID A. HICKS SCHOLARSHIP FOR THE ARTS WAS ESTABLISHED TO AWARD A BERRIEN COUNTY SENIOR A GIFT OF $1000 TOWARD THEIR TUITION AND QUALIFIED EXPENSES, SO THAT THEY MAY PURSUE THEIR PASSION FOR THE ARTS. I, ALONG WITH THE COMMITTEE AT THE FOUNDATION, WERE ELATED TO RECEIVE 7 HIGHLY QUALIFIED APPLICANTS.

WE ARE EXCITED TO SHARE WITH YOU OUR INAUGURAL CHOICE FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP. THIS YOUNG MAN IS EXTREMELY ACTIVE IN THE PERFORMING AND VISUAL ARTS. HE HAS SPENT THE MAJORITY OF HIS YEARS ON STAGE. HIS ESSAY EXUDED A PASSION FOR HIS CRAFT THAT INSPIRED NOT ONLY ME, BUT THE MEMBERS OF OUR BERRIEN COMMUNITY FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE TASKED WITH THE DIFFICULT CHOICE OF CHOOSING A WINNER.

ON BEHALF OF MY FAMILY, OUR DONORS, AND THE BERRIEN COMMUNITY FOUNDATION, I AM PLEASED TO PRESENT THE FIRST DAVID A. HICKS SCHOLARSHIP FOR THE ARTS TO AIDEN DIEFENBACH OF BARODA!

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