Every Gift Creates A Story: Frewsburg Scholarship Fund Continues To Inspire

Mary Lou Edwards, former Frewsburg school teacher whose battle with cancer ended April 7, 2008. Following her death, the family established a scholarship fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation named the Mrs. Mary Lou Edwards Children’s Scholarship Fund. Submitted photo

Editor’s Note: The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation is commemorating its 40th anniversary this year. Throughout the year, the foundation is highlighting 40 stories that are indicative of the impact foundation-funded programs and initiatives have had on the community. This week’s story was inspired by gifts to The Mrs. Mary Lou Edwards Children’s Scholarship Fund.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of Mary Lou Edwards, a Frewsburg Central School English teacher, whose battle with cancer ended on April 7, 2008.

Following her death, her family established a scholarship fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to assist graduating Frewsburg Central School seniors who display traits embodied by Edwards, such as leadership, community service and working well with others.

Named the Mrs. Mary Lou Edwards Children’s Scholarship Fund, this scholarship has been awarded each year since Edwards’ passing, ensuring her memory remains a part of the Frewsburg community.

In fact, many of Edwards’ former students continue to share memories and anecdotes on a Facebook tribute page, titled Mrs. Edwards Children. According to the page’s description, “It is impossible to put into words what this woman has meant to those who knew her. She was a leader, a friend, a phenomenal teacher and an inspiration to us all.”

One of Edwards’ students, Sean Lander, often reflects on what she wrote in his senior yearbook. “Sean, there are certain students who come through the portals of FCS who teach me. U2 have a lot to learn, as you well know. Friends are a wonderful people to have. Thank you for being mine,” she wrote.

Current Frewsburg High School teacher, and varsity football coach, Terry Gray was a student of Edwards in the 1980s. He fondly remembers Edwards as having, “never cut him any slack as a student or teacher.” One of his favorite pieces of advice Edwards gave him when he returned to Frewsburg as a faculty member was, “Come in like a lion, and stay that way!”

Although Edwards has passed, the lessons and values she instilled in her children at Frewsburg Central School will continue shaping the lives of everyone who passes through the halls at the school.

For 40 years, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has worked together with its inspiring donors, selfless volunteers and grateful community organizations to share their stories for enriching the quality of life for all who live here.

A gift to the Foundation adds another chapter in our community’s unending story. Learn more at crcfonline.org.

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