When cyclists head out on Sunday, June 23 to ride a 20, 50, 100 or 200km route, they will be raising money for scholarships for local kids impacted by cancer. The Two-County Double Metric Century ride, suitable for all levels of cyclists, makes a loop back to Providence Regional Cancer System in Lacey.  The ride, in partnership with Providence and Capital Bicycling Club, benefits The Sigrid Hardy Memorial Scholarship.

Three Yelm High School students received The Sigrid Hardy Memorial Scholarship. Pictured with Derek Hardy and Amy Rowley are (from left) Principal John Johnson, Sarah Smith, Bailey Morrish and Jennifer Gruwell.

“We intended the first scholarships to be delivered to 2020 high school graduates since the ride did not take place until after graduation. But, when two local donors heard about the scholarship, they jump started our fundraising. With money sitting in a bank account, and knowing there were kids impacted by cancer who needed help paying for college, we hustled to pull the scholarship together in less than two months,” said executive director, Amy Rowley who encourages people who are unable to ride on Sunday, June 23 to make a donation online.

Six 2019 high school graduates received a total of $8,000 to help cover college related expenses. To qualify, students must be located in our community and be impacted by cancer. In some cases, a parent has died.  In other families, the parent or sibling healed.  Regardless of the family’s circumstance, we asked the students to write 500 words about how cancer has impacted their lives.

With the help of Derek Hardy, we told Sig’s story so the community could learn more about the name associated with the scholarship. A scholarship review committee scored each application and spent time one evening discussing the candidates. Donations will gladly be accepted throughout the year and applied to the following year’s scholarship budget.

“Being on the scholarship review committee really drove home the whole reason we are doing this ride,” explained Providence neurosurgeon and committee member, Dr. Barbara Lazio. “There are people right next door, in school with our kids, working alongside us in our community who are having a much different life experience because of cancer treatment and loss of family members.”

“This scholarship greatly benefits myself and my family with helping me lower the cost of the next step in my education and lowers the stress on our shoulders. This brightens our day,” said scholarship recipient Sarah Smith.

Derek Hardy and Amy Rowley pose with Black Hills High School scholarship recipient Savannah Larson.

“Reading the stories of these young people, just getting started in their adult lives, I can feel how these hardships can either cause a failure to launch or can shape their future if only they can get a little help,” continued Dr. Lazio. “I am so glad we can do a little for these students who are moving themselves forward!”

While we have decided to keep the scholarship recipient’s personal stories private, we want to share their names, future goals and a snapshot of their essay.

Shaye Anderson, Capital High School

Shaye is headed to the University of Washington, likely to study neuroscience. “If it is my vision to change the world for the better, then I believe that between my own passion to serve others and my strength and perseverance, I have the foundation needed to achieve that vision. When I combine this foundation with a college education, there will be no reason to believe that I won’t make a positive difference in the world.”

Jennifer Gruwell, Yelm High School

Jennifer will be enrolling at SPSCC to study biology.  Jennifer also works a part-time job. “Even though she is no longer here, she still lives in my heart.”

Savannah Larson, Black Hills High School

In the fall, Savannah will be attending Brigham Young University to study elementary education. “I would go to school every day like all the other kids in my class, but while other kids were planning their after school play dates, I knew I would spend my evenings in the hospital. My days largely consisted of the same thing: school, hospital, home and repeat.”

Kylin Lilly, Capital High School

Shaye Anderson (left) and Kylin Lilly graduated this month from Capital High School. They were awarded their scholarships by Derek Hardy and Amy Rowley.

Kylin will be heading to Washington State University in the fall and is considering becoming a teacher. “I’ve grown from the challenges that have been thrown at me even though they hurt like daggers in my chest.”

Bailey Morrish, Yelm High School

Pacific Lutheran University will be Bailey’s home for the next few years while she studies to become a nurse. “You never know what could happen and how fast you can lose someone, so it is important to learn to take care of yourself. You need to have responsibility because you never know when someone who you depend on will need to depend on you.”

Sarah Smith, Yelm High School

Sarah plans to attend Central Washington University in the fall to study apparels, textiles and merchandising. “Each and every single individual I’ve listed has taught me a core value of who I should be and who I strive to be every single day of my life.”

Join The Mayday Foundation, Providence and Capital Bicycling Club for the Two-County Double Metric Century ride on Sunday, June 23, 2019. The ride includes lengths for casual riders all the way to serious cyclists. The ride starts and finishes at Providence Regional Cancer System in Lacey and includes a family-friendly celebration from noon – 5:00 pm. Donations will go towards The Mayday Foundation’s scholarship program to assist college-aged students whose families have been impacted by cancer. To register, visit www.providence.org/swbikeride.

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