Although she relocated to South Carolina in 2010, Linda Lee Viney Sharpe never forgot her connection to Chautauqua County. Prior to her passing in November, she established the Bemus Point Volunteer Fire Department Endowed Scholarship to provide financial support to members, children and grandchildren of members of, the fire department to further their education at a college, university, or vocational school.
Former residents of Bemus Point, the Sharpe family knew first-hand about the unselfish community volunteers who dedicate their lives to helping others. An accidental fire in their living room brought members of the fire department to their home. The interior received substantial damage, however, the quick response time of the volunteers ended up saving their home.
Seven years later, the Sharpes relied on the fire department again when their two dogs, following the scent of a swan, ventured onto Chautauqua Lake and fell through the ice. The dogs, struggling to stay afloat and subject to hypothermia were rescued by the volunteers who used row boats and ladders to bring the dogs back to safety.
Following that incident, Sharpe became an ardent advocate for the fire department. She chaired multiple fundraisers and events whose proceeds benefited their mission.
In addition to her work for the fire department, Sharpe was extremely active in her local community. She participated in many charitable organizations, including Creche, Habitat for Humanity, Chautauqua County Humane Society and St. Susan Center.
Her son, Jamie, recalls that giving back was an essential part of who his mother was and he is grateful she instilled those same values in her family.
Students interested in applying for this scholarship may do so online at crcfonline.org, March 1. All applications must be completed by June 1 to be considered for an award during the 2017-2018 academic year. For questions, contact Lisa Lynde at 716-661-3390.