(KMTR) -- Honoring fallen Eugene Police Officer Chris Kilcullen one year after his death, family, friends and community members stepped forward Saturday to continue the officer's legacy of giving.
The first two recipients of the Officer Chris Kilcullen Memorial Scholarship Fund were awarded Saturday, April 21, 2012, in a private ceremony.
“If we could support others who have the same servant's heart, then his light will shine through them, supporting other mini-Chrises in their quest to help the people in this area,” said Kristie Kilcullen, Chris Kilcullen’s wife.
Those who knew Chris focused their efforts Saturday into giving back to the community that’s given so much to them.
Two Eugene-Springfield area students - Kristen DeHaven and Anne Mansfield - were chosen as the inaugural Kilcullen Scholars. DeHaven is a junior at Northwest Christian University, studying Elementary Education and English while working toward an ESOL certificate.
DeHaven also volunteers at Nearby Nature, a non-profit education organization, teaching kids about the environment.
Mansfield is a senior at the University of Oregon, about to head into grad school for Education. She started a major high school fundraising effort for cancer research through Relay for Life, raising thousands of dollars for the effort.
Both students have aspirations to work with disadvantaged kids and inspire them to do more.
"It's about volunteering and doing something to make the community a better place and I think that's an amazing quality to look for in kids nowadays,” said Mansfield.
"Schools are always struggling and I hope to just be a great light for them and make this work for schools and be able to help out,” said DeHaven.
Officer Kilcullen’s wife Kristie said the scholarship is about helping others continue Chris' legacy of community service.
“Please don't feel like you have to fill the shoes of a local hero. Make your own path,” she said. “Use your strengths to make this community better. You are being recognized, supported and rewarded for your giving hearts; we appreciate all that you have done in your young lives and we thank you in advance for your dedication to us in the future.”
The scholarship is now endowed through the Oregon Community Foundation and will continue to be awarded each year depending on need and the number of recipients chosen.
Both scholars will take part in future memorial events and hopefully community service projects as well to honor Officer Kilcullen.
In May 2012, Officer Kilcullen's name will be added to state and national law enforcement memorials in Salem, Oregon, and Washington, D.C.