Students to benefit from Oxford Lone Ranger Scholarship
A permanent Oxford Lone Ranger Scholarship is now established at Oxford High School thanks to a $50,000 donation from the Elaine and Leo Stern Foundation.
The scholarship is for any Oxford High School graduating senior who is a resident of Oxford Area Community Schools District and is enrolling in an accredited public college, university, vocational or trade school. The recipient will be selected based on actions and activities which embody the values of the historic Lone Ranger character, as outlined by the Lone Ranger Creed.
The scholarship was established in 2018 by the Lone Ranger Posse, a local group who celebrates the legacy of Brace Beemer played the Lone Ranger on the original WXYZ radio show from 1941-54. For many years Beemer was a fixture in Oxford and lived on a ranch on W. Drahner until his death in 1965.
Under the leadership of Rod Charles, the Posse ran the Lone Ranger Parade and Festival in Oxford until 2018.
The scholarship’s new funding is thanks to Megan Borland, a paralegal at the Southfield law firm Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss, which provides estate services for the $14 million Stern Foundation. Borland and her husband had visited Oxford for the Oxford Lone Ranger Festival. And, it so happens she also helps identify organizations and causes which would have been of interest to Elaine Stern, who died in Sept. 2016, at the age of 96.
According to her obituary, “Elaine was a character voice on the Lone Ranger Radio Show in the early 1950’s and played most of the female characters.”
Said Borland, “It really was Elaine’s life legacy that we were trying to continue after her passing.”
The foundation had previously donated to the parade, but since the event has discontinued, the Stern Foundation decided to contribute to the Lone Ranger Scholarship, keeping it alive.
Charles said it is “pretty cool that they would do this” since the Posse has limited resources, especially now that they have stopped running the event. The original $500 scholarship was funded from extra money raised by the festival. It wasn’t much, but it’s what they could afford.
The $50,000 endowment is managed by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, which distributes a number of regionally-based scholarships. As seed money, the $50,000 is expected to generate $2,000 in annual interest, which could support two permanent $1,000 scholarships.
Locally, thousands of dollars in scholarships go unclaimed every year because no one applies for them. Kendrea Senfeld, a counselor at Oxford High School, says that might be because seniors have “senioritis” or they are so involved in their studies that they don’t think to apply, but she always encourages students to do so. Nationally, millions go unclaimed every year.
The application form is quite simple. Besides basic student information, it asks what college the student plans to attend, whether they have been accepted and what their planned course of study is. In a paragraph, the applicant should state in their own words how they have “demonstrated values consistent with the Lone Ranger’s Creed.”
The creed, written by the radio show’s writer Fran Striker, is as follows:
· I believe that to have a friend, a man must be one.
· That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
· That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.
· In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.
· That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
· That “this government, of the people, by the people, and for the people,” shall live always.
· That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
· That sooner or later . . . somewhere . . . somehow . . . we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.
· That all things change, but the truth and the truth alone lives on forever.
· I believe in my creator, my country, my fellow man.
Application forms can be obtained at the Oxford High School counseling office or on the local scholarship page of the school’s website. Applications should also include a list of extra-curricular activities and a statement of the student’s goals and intentions.
Giddy-up, applications and supporting materials must be submitted to the OHS counseling office no later than March 15.