The New Melle Fire Rescue firefighters have a private account, the Firefighters Fund, which is funded from time to time with donations from the public or from small fundraisers of their own. This account is in no way funded from any tax dollars.
The New Melle Fire Rescue volunteer and paid firefighters decided for the twelfth year in a row that they wished to offer a scholarship opportunity from their Firefighters Fund, which could be applied for by any resident within the geographic district covered by NMFPD. The opportunity was open to anyone, regardless of age, who was applying for any higher education program. While this scholarship could be applied to a full-time college education program, it could just as well be applied to a technical school curriculum or an EMT course, etc.
In addition, the full-time paid firefighters of New Melle FPD decided to chip in and offer an additional donation from their own separate fund, again a private account that is in no way funded from tax dollars. They were motivated to do this based on the significant public response to the program in previous years, and their additional donation enabled the department to match last year’s scholarship total of $1,000. This year, the $1,000 will again be offered as two (2) $500 scholarships, benefiting two (2) recipients.
This year, an ambulance department-based committee reviewed the eligible applications received. The review process this year was a significant challenge, as always. The applicants had outstanding records of academic achievement, along with profiles of numerous extracurricular and volunteer activities. Many accomplished all that while working part time as well. But after deliberation, the committee determined that the recipients of the two $500 scholarships offered this year are Darby Joerling who lives on Highway F in Defiance, and Louis Wildschuetz who lives on Windflower Lane in Foristell.
Darby Joerling plans to enroll in the physical therapy program at Missouri State University in Springfield, with the goal of becoming a pediatric physical therapist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. She will graduate from Francis Howell High where she has been an All Conference athlete in softball and track, and been distinguished with honors such as 2015 Track and Field Performance of the Year, Golden Helmet Award, and serving as team captain in softball. Darby has been part of organizations such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), NHS, HOSA, and Flagship, and was also elected 2015 New Melle Festival Queen. While working various part time jobs in the area, she still found time to actively volunteer in church vacation bible schools, high school concessions and softball camps, and Friends of Kids with Cancer. She views one of her greatest and most satisfying accomplishments as having put on the Kickin’ It For Cancer Kickball Tournament to raise money and awareness in the community in honor of her brother and for childhood cancer.
Louis Wildschuetz has always been interested in how things get put together. He will be enrolling at Missouri Science and Technology in Rolla in the field of engineering, and with some time spent there, will elect which specific engineering program he wishes to pursue. Louis will be a Francis Howell grad who has maintained a 3.85 accumulative GPA over his four years there. He has also received the Golden Helmet Award, and been an active member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and National Honor Society (NHS). In addition to working on the family farm, he has also worked several other part time jobs, and currently has his own small business of creating and marketing string art on boards, which combines his interests of construction and art.
We have some talented, hard-working people in our community, and Darby Joerling and Louis Wildschuetz are surely two of them. The New Melle Fire Rescue firefighters congratulate Darby and Louis on their commendable successes to date, and wish them all the best in future collegiate work. They also wish to thank all of the other scholarship applicants for their submissions, and wish them the best in their future endeavors as well.