Award created in memory of Mikey Ziegler
By David Yarger
Sunday morning, several winners gathered at the Sanborn Fire Co. park grounds for a special presentation. Ten awardees were given the “Heart of a Falcon” scholarship in memory of Michael Ziegler.
Ziegler tragically passed away in early 2018. He was a student and three-sport athlete at Niagara-Wheatfield High School, playing football, wrestling and lacrosse.
Presenting the awards to the winners was Ziegler’s mother, Krista, and father, Mark.
“The scholarship was created to help Niagara-Wheatfield athletes,” Krista said. “It represents sportsmanship, dedication and leadership. Those are all qualities that you have all displayed. As we read through several of your applications and your college essays, we realized how much Mike had an affect on you. He touched the hearts of many of us and he really did make an impact on the community. Teammates turned to friendships, friendships turned into brotherhoods and sisterhoods. That is something you will all have forever. Cherish your memories and all the wisdom your coaches have given you. Take that into the world as you pursue this new chapter.”
In the inaugural year of the scholarship, two winners were presented scholarships. This year, because 2019 was Michael’s graduating class, the Ziegler’s decided to hand out more awards.
Eight awardees were granted $500 scholarships, while two were handed the grand prize of $1,000 scholarships.
The eight $500 winners included Sydney Crangle, St. Bonaventure University; Nicole Guldin, University at Buffalo; Le’Gary Jackson, University of Detroit Mercy; Lenea Roma, Buffalo State; Jenna Sonnenberg, University at Buffalo; Noah Bennett, University at Buffalo; Chris Cacciatore, University of Tampa; and Cam Miller, Niagara University.
The two $1,000 winners were Maddie Evarts, SUNY Brockport; and Thomas Peltier, Canisius College.
Krista said, “It was our honor to give you these scholarships today. As you all set out in this new chapter of your life, go into the world and be the best you you can be. Remember what those four years at Niagara-Wheatfield High School gave you – your friendships, your memories, everything you’ve taken from there. Always remember, wherever this world takes you, once a Falcon, always a Falcon.”
Pictured was the present winners, flanked by Krista Ziegler (left) and Mark Ziegler (right). (Photos by David Yarger)