Memorial Scholarship

Erin lived, what most would consider, a short life. Even though she was only with us 17 1/2 years, she touched the hearts of many individuals. Erin was an overachiever and a very determined young lady.  Erin attended Carl Sandburg High School during the years 1993-1997. She participated and was a four-year Varsity letter winner in gymnastics and was the team captain during the 1996-1997 seasons. She helped lead the team to a 3rd place state finish in 1994 and a 4th place state finish in 1997. She qualified individually for the state meet in the uneven parallel bars in 1994; bars, valet and team in 1995; and vault, floor exercise and team in 1997. She received Gymnastics High School All-American in 1995 and 1996.  Erin coached and taught gymnastics to young children at Tumbling On, U.S.A., in Orland Park. Erin also achieved a 3.6 GPA and attained Honor Roll status while attending Carl Sandburg High School. More importantly, she was a loving daughter, sister, and friend to many. Erin was a wonderful person. Her unexpected, sudden death devastated, not only her family, but the community in which she lived. She has been missed each and every day.  The Erin E. Olmsted Memorial Scholarship was established in 1997 in love memory of Erin. It will be awarded each year to a graduating female student athlete. The recipient need not be the best at what she does, but she does need to exert exceptional effort in all areas of her life.   It is our hope that by awarding this scholarship each year in Erin's name, her memory, her dedication, her hard work ethic, and her burning competitive spirit will live through another aspiring young talent. Erin felt that by giving your all each and every day, that the sky was the limit...that one could overachieve and be a true champion...make a real difference.  We feel that Erin really did make a difference in many people's lives and that this scholarship will continue to take forward her ideals, aspirations and dreams. By allowing another woman each year some help to further her education, that woman can go out into the world and make a difference.  Erin was very excited about going off to Augustana College. It is our hope that the recipients of the Erin E. Olmsted Memorial Scholarship take a little bit of Erin with them.   This past March marked the 19th anniversary of Erin Elizabeth Olmsted's death...a beautiful girl who was killed in a drunken driving crash.  Through the past 19 years, the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM), a non-profit organization based in Illinois, has been helping the Olmsted family with constant emotional and legal support, as well as education regarding the consequences off driving while intoxicated.  Erin's sister, Kate, has been working alongside AAIM by speaking on Victim Impact Panels at high schools, universities, and court houses. Because AAIM is a non-profit organization, their various support programs are sponsored completely by donations.   From the beginning, our family wanted to do something to honor Erin. We wanted her memory to live on in the communitshe loThe Erin E. Olmsted Memorial Scholarship Fund is a 501(c)(3) ed so much. As a resulte, the Erin E. Olmsted memorial Schoaarship was founded. Scholarships have been awarded at Carl Sandburg High School over the past 19 years and at Plainfield East High School, where Erin's sister Kate is the Humanities Charir, over the past 7 years. During this time, $113,000 has been awarded to 57 schoalarship receipients. Between 1998 and 2006, funds were raised via gifts from family, friends, business associates, and the Orland Park community. Between 2006 and 2014, the fund operated Erin's AAIM for Change 5k Run/Walk and last year presented the Erin Olmsted Memorial Gymnastics Invitation and Donation Drive. Theses events have been very successful and we are proud to be able to give back to multiple communities in Erin's name. In addition, over the past 9 years, $102,000 has been donated to the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists as a direct result of our fundraising efforts.  Erin was killed just short of fulfilling her dream of graduating and going to college. With this scholarship, we hope that these students will take "a little piece of Erin" with them and always remember her dedication , hard work ethic, and burning competitive spirit -- that the sky has no limit and to make a difference in the world.     **The Erin E. Olmsted Memorial Scholarship Fund is a 501(c)(3) public charity and participation and donations are tax deductible.

Carl Sandburg High School Recipients

2017

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial

Maeve Hennessy

Erin E. Olmsted "Open" Memorial Scholarship for Men & Women

Nicholas Jackson & Stephanie Garoufalis

2016

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial

Maya Burnett

Erin E. Olmsted "Open" Memorial Scholarship for Men & Women

Mara O'Connor & Kevin Casey

2015

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial  

Anna Girlich

Erin E. Olmsted "Open" Memorial Scholarship for Men & Women  

Alexander Sandoval & Megan Mech

2014

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial  

Jacquelyn Schirmacher 

Erin E. Olmsted "Open" Memorial Scholarship for Men & Women  

Dan Trentacoste & Amber Boyce

2013

Erin E. Olmsted "Open" Memorial Scholarship for Men & Women  

Karissa Wappel & Conor Gallimore

2012

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial  

Erin Whiteford

Erin E. Olmsted "Open" Memorial Scholarship for Men & Women  

Tar Capouch & Brian Smith

2011

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial  

Rebecca Schieber, Cara Porchaska & Leah Garoufalis 

Erin E. Olmsted "Open" Memorial Scholarship for Men & Women  

Kelly Sheridan & Kevin Tolley

2010

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial  

Lauren Siefferman, Brianna Gerhard & Ashley Pistello

Erin E. Olmsted "Open" Memorial Scholarship for Men & Women  

Donald Borschel & Alicia Davis

2009

Krystyn Misheck, Danielle Mergenthaler & Erin Czuprynski

2008

Kelly Kuchta & Sarah Coglianese

2007

Lauren Billo

2006

Sarah Klaczynski

2005

Kathryn Partyka

2004

Amanda Schilling

2003

April Hunt & Gina Florence

2002

Kristin Bergquist

2001

Katie Breen & Erin Cunningham

2000

Maureen Wagner & Meghan Watson

1999

Megan Pine & Kelly Hannigan Higgs

1998

Stacy Miller & Erin Dolan

Plainfield East High School Recipients

2017

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial

Emma Vasques

Hannah Kucera

2016

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial

Marissa LaPorte & Bridgdette Francis

2015

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial

Lily Binkus & Colleen Arquines

2014  

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial  

Nick Novak & Katrina Spontak

2013 

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial  

Charles Espedido & Annalise Molek

2012  

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial  

Marissa Villrrubia & Jacki Scieszka

2011  

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial  

Eric A. Wilson, Nicholas Martinez & Wiley Arnish