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      Tornado victims memorialized through Owens scholarship

      Damage from a tornado that hit Lake Township in June of 2010. / File photo

      It's hard to believe a year has passed since storms and tornadoes devastated northwest Ohio, but for family and friends of Ryan, Mary and Hayden Walters, they'll never forget. On Saturday, the Walters were honored with a $7,100 scholarship endowment fund established at Owens Community College.

      "On behalf of my family (Walters, Arquette, Gerwin, DeFriece and Sigler families), I would like to thank the community for their sponsorship and support of the first-ever Walters Family 5K Run," said Robin Arquette, sister of Ryan Walters. "The contributions from this event will provide students who are attending Owens Community College with scholarships."

      The initial contribution to the new Ryan, Mary and Hayden Walters Scholarship Endowment Fund came from the inaugural Walters Family 5K Run to honor the seven victims of the June 5, 2010 tornado. More than 300 individuals participated in the first-ever event, which took place on June 4 in Millbury.

      Proceeds generated from the scholarship fund will be used to assist future Owens students with aspirations of careers in early childhood education, information systems, computer programming and computer systems. The new Ryan, Mary and Hayden Walters Scholarship will be awarded annually.

      "Owens Community College is proud to honor Ryan, Mary and Hayden Walters through the creation of this scholarship program, which will assist students in pursuing their educational and career aspirations for many years to come," said Ann Savage, Owens Executive Director of College Development and the Owens Foundation. "Ryan graduated from Owens Community College and he and his wife, Mary, and their son, Hayden, are a part of the alumni family. The creation of this endowed scholarship fund will serve as a lifetime tribute to their educational values, lives and memory."

      Selection criteria for the new scholarship initiative will be based upon recipients being enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours at Owens per semester and achieving a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Additionally, preference will be given to a student who is majoring in early childhood education, information systems, computer programming and computer systems.

      For more information regarding the Ryan, Mary and Hayden Walters Scholarship Endowment Fund or to contribute, please contact Ann Savage at ann_savage@owens.edu.

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