I had the occasion recently to stroll into Lima Senior High for an event. I noticed the senior athlete photo on the wall of multi-sport star Morgan Twining. It simply (to me) did not look like Morgan – who quite simply looks more like her younger sister Tatum, another future great student-athlete.
Morgan is this year’s recipient of a $500 scholarship, one of the big nuggets attached to the Smith Foundation scholarship events which closed out April 14 in a Scholarship Shootout at 20th Century Lanes.
Robert Smith, the leader of the foundation, shared the following when we chatted after the event. “We felt that the recipient had to be more about bowling therefore the emphasis on the essay as well as the community service of the individuals that we select.”
They hit it on the head with Morgan. The picture that hangs at Lima Senior High catches a sport highlight. It would have taken a mural to highlight her academics especially what she has been involved in throughout our community.
“We have a great career tech program at Lima Senior. It gives us a lot of opportunities to be involved in our community. We have the chance to volunteer with people that are doing great things”, said Morgan when we spoke.
So where has Morgan been involved?
I trust this is only a partial list. The March of Dimes, Red Cross blood drive at Lima Senior High, spending quality time with residents at Liberty Nursing Home, working with U.S. Postal workers in gathering food for those that in need at Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, involved with family and other Lima Senior Students in an organized drive for the Pennies for Patients initiative. Oh yeah she has also helped with mentoring young bowlers at the lanes.
While LSH provides the opportunities noted here, what is significant is that she has taken advantage of said opportunities to make a difference.
“My family was also involved in a lot of them. I learned from them that it is important to help meet the needs of others! I feel that it is pretty cool to do things to help. It is important – ‘nice’ – to give back.”
Smith and Twining share the importance of any and all financial aid that youth can receive.
“Like many I am still paying off my student loans and I can only imagine what is still coming with my own children. I trust that other families are sharing those same concerns. We hope that what we are doing through the foundation will be able to make some impact upon the debt for the students. Every little bit will help,” shared Smith.
Twining could be looking at financial issues as well. “I want to study medicine and I want to be a general surgeon.”
She handled the tease of wanting to operate on generals well, “It is something that has always clicked for me when people ask what I want to do. I have already been accepted to begin college at Ohio State in Columbus.”
She is currently working at Mercy/Health-St Ritas as a PTA, remaining hopeful that there will be a rotation through the surgical unit. She is a special young lady - Come on St Ritas lets make it happen.
She will work this summer and not participate in sports for the first time in a while. Her future career dreams are that important to her. Let’s hope that she does well during convocation ceremonies when she sees how many of the 22 scholarships that she has applied for come calling.
She is a great representative of one of my favorite bowling families. She teased that she and Tatum look a lot alike and thanked mom and dad Greg and Jenna as well as grandparents Karl and Deb for supplying the bowling and desire to make an impact helping others gene into the family tree.
Congrats Morgan, the more we spoke the more it became clear that one of my favorite bowlers is also one of my favorite young people.
SMART money can make a lot of things possible for the youth that roll in our area. Generally this money has been generated for scholarship tournaments organized by quality individuals such as Smith, Jared Moeder and Greg Coulles as well as Rick Hartings and the crew of the WOHSBC.
Jim Riepenhoff is attempting to start a scholarship league this summer at 20th Century beginning in mid-May. Please contact 20th for more details at 419-222-1876.
Smith would love to see it all happen. “We really have the opportunity through league play of the youth to help families begin to deter some of the cost of the college experience.”
I am sure in some cases it could cause a logistical nightmare for some leagues. The lanes however have great logistical experts known as proprietors who may be able to make it happen.
The SMART accounts are managed by the USBC and there have been issues when youth earn scholarship monies through essays and do not roll into USBC sanctioned leagues. This of course would be handled by assuring that all leagues are sanctioned or that you have to be a sanctioned bowler to participate in said leagues.
Smith and a core of others feel that the time has come for us all to up our efforts to support youth. Morgan and the Twinings will benefit this year. Who will benefit in the future