The Danny Craige Foundation presented three scholarships at the recent St. Martin of Tours graduation awards ceremony.
Craige was a St. Martin’s graduate who died of esophageal cancer in 2006 at age 56. He coached sports for more than 40 years, directing football teams at Frankford Boys Club and basketball teams at St. Martin’s and St. Bede the Venerable. He also was a basketball scout for Germantown Academy.
After his death, the St. Bede CYO and his family created a foundation in his memory.
The foundation’s mission is to help area youths to continue their educations, thereby enabling them to foster Craige’s legacy of family, caring, the importance of being involved and giving back to the community and the establishment of lifelong friendships along the way.
Scholarships are presented to students at St. Martin and St. Bede, in Holland, Bucks County.
Students write essays and fill out applications that include personal and teacher references.
The winners are those who most closely embody the characteristics that Craige showed throughout his life. The board of directors looks for young people with a family first attitude, academic achievement and civic and athletic involvement.
This year’s winners at St. Martin’s were graduating eighth-graders Tre Smith, Brendan Graham and Ludmeya Renois.
“The St. Martin’s people are so appreciative of the help,” said Chalie Craige, Danny’s younger brother.
The graduation Mass took place on the morning of June 15 and was celebrated by Monsignor Edward Deliman, the St. Martin’s pastor who has since been assigned to Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Bensalem, and the Revs. Christopher Cooke, James Catagnus and John Harkins.
Cooke is a vicar at St. Martin’s. Catagnus and Harkins are assigned to St. Ambrose, with Catagnus as the pastor. St. Ambrose School closed in 2006, and the students were sent to St. Martin’s.
In all, 61 boys and girls graduated. The awards ceremony was held in the evening.
Smith, Graham and Renois won the Presidential Award for Educational Excellence and were among 10 students earning a total of $111,600 in scholarships.
Smith will attend Roman Catholic High School.
Graham also won a scholarship sponsored by the Father Judge Alumni Association.
Renois earned a Connelly Foundation grant and the Little Flower St. Therese Scholarship.
The St. Bede winners were Marah Hayes, Ryan Neher, Makenzie Leh and James Kent. All will attend Archbishop Wood.
The foundation also made a donation to La Salle Academy, a private elementary school near Second and Jefferson streets.
Since the foundation began, more than $130,000 in scholarship money has been donated. Money is raised at a golf outing and a beef and beer.
“It’s a labor of love,” Chalie Craige said. ••
Donations can be sent to the Danny Craige Foundation, 66 Green Drive, Churchville, PA 18966.