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 over-achiever 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, vault 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 loving memory of Erin. These scholarships will be awarded each year to deserving high school seniors. The recipients need not be the best at what they do, but they do need to exert exceptional effort in all areas of their lives.   It is our hope that by awarding these scholarships each year in Erin's name, her memory, her dedication, her hard work ethic, and her burning competitive spirit will live through other aspiring young talents. Erin felt that by giving her 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 these scholarships will continue to take forward her ideals, aspirations and dreams. By allowing other students each year some help to further their education, that young people 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 Scholarships take a little bit of Erin with them.   This past March marked the 21st anniversary of Erin Elizabeth Olmsted's death...a beautiful girl who was killed in a drunken driving crash.  Through the past 21 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 educating the public in regards to the consequences of 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 community she loved so much.  As a result, the Erin E. Olmsted Memorial Scholarships were founded. These scholarships have been awarded at Carl Sandburg High School over the past 21 years and at Plainfield East High School, where Erin's sister Kate is the Associate Principal, over the past 9 years. During this time, $141,000 has been awarded to 67 scholarship recipients. 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 over the past 4 years presented the Erin Olmsted Memorial Gymnastics Invitational and Donation Drive. These 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 11 years, $122,000 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 these scholarships, 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

2018

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial

Sarah Domenick

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

Emerson Stefan & Xander Furmanek


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

2018

Erin E. Olmsted Memorial

Nichele Lodree

Gavin Withaeger


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