Motorcycle Club Donates to Memorial Scholarship at Penn College
A local women's motorcycle club, under the leadership of a Pennsylvania College of Technology nursing student, has contributed to a growing scholarship fund that memorializes a nursing student who died of cancer earlier this year.
Feminengines, a group that was established in 2003 to raise funds for Susan G. Komen for the Cure and other cancer-related causes, recently donated $500 to the Danielle M. Young Memorial Scholarship.
Young died June 24 at the age of 27. After her death, Young's family asked that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Penn College to establish the scholarship fund.
Leslie Dawn Barger, of Montgomery, a nursing student at Penn College and president of Feminengines, heard Young's story from one of her instructors and knew instantly she wanted to help keep her memory alive, not only through supporting the scholarship fund, but also by adding her to the group of "lost ones" Feminengines remembers each fall during a covered-bridge ride. The ride began in memory of Barger's godmother, a member of the Pennsylvania Covered Bridge Society, who died of ovarian cancer.
"People tend to forget as time goes on, and I didn't want (her parents) thinking that their daughter was forgotten," Barger said. "I wanted them to know their daughter is going to be thought about by a large group of people. I, as a nursing student, will make sure her memory stays very alive."
Barger said Feminengines was formed after local women who had been participating each year in the Mid-Atlantic Women's Motorcycle Rally, which benefits Komen for the Cure, decided to form their own club to raise funds for the rally.
"Breast cancer has hit home for us," Barger said, as have other forms of cancer. Of the club's 14 members, she said four are breast-cancer survivors, and one underwent a double mastectomy this month. Members have lost loved ones to various forms of cancer, including breast cancer.
"We feel like breast cancer is one of the closest cancers to getting a cure right now," Barger said. "That's why we push so hard. "¦ We feel if they are able to get a grip on breast cancer, they'll be able to get a grip on other cancers as well."
The group holds two annual fundraisers and distributes the funds to two causes each year. One is always Komen for the Cure, and the other is an organization or family the group hears about.
The Danielle M. Young Memorial Scholarship will generate an annual award of $500 to a student enrolled full time in Penn College's associate- or bachelor-degree nursing majors. The first award from the scholarship will be made to a student for the Spring 2008 semester.
"I'm a nursing student having to rely on financial aid and working just part time," Barger said. "It's tough to pull off, especially at the age of 42. We wanted to make sure someone else would have the ability to use it (to continue their education). We're hoping it helps them out as much as such funds help me. The scholarships are so important."
Gifts to the Danielle M. Young Memorial Scholarship can be made by mail to the Penn College Institutional Advancement Office, One College Avenue, Williamsport, PA 17701-5799; or online.