Applications open for Lions Club scholarships

Published 4:25 pm Thursday, February 28, 2019

EDWARDSBURG — A quarter century since his death, the spirit of one of Edwardsburg’s most active public servants continues to live on.

The Edwardsburg Lions Club is currently accepting submissions for its annual trio of scholarships, open to Edwardsburg High School seniors who plan to attend college after graduating this spring. Each scholarship is worth $500 and is made in honor of the late Herbert L. Stiffler, a longtime member of the Edwardsburg Lions Club.

Edwardsburg High School seniors may pick up a scholarship application form from the school’s front office. The form, along with an essay and a letter of recommendation, must be turned by Monday, April 15. 

A panel of Lions Club members will evaluate the applications and select the top three students to receive the $500 scholarships. The winners will be presented with the award during the 2019 senior honors night, which takes place from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 31, at the Edwardsburg High School Performing Arts Center.

“We keep [the winners] a secret until the presentation at the awards banquet,” said Tanda Stiffler, who will present the awards alongside her husband, Dave, Herbert Stiffler’s son. “We don’t tell other members of the Lions. It’s just between us until we present the students with the awards.”

The couple has been involved in the Edwardsburg Lions scholarship program ever since joining the organization 10 years ago, though the club has been honoring Herbert’s legacy since his death in 1993. Herbert — who knew many in Edwardsburg through his job with the GTE Corporation — was very active in the community, and ran the Lions’ Christmas tree fundraiser for years, Tanda said.

When she and Dave came aboard on the Edwardsburg Lions club, the two decide to honor Herbert by adding another $500 scholarship to the two members were already awarding students in their former compatriot’s honor. The couple continues to support the third scholarship to this day, which they fund out of pocket. The Lions club provides the additional $1,000 through tree sales, pancake breakfasts and other fundraisers throughout the year.

The scholarship is not the only way the Stifflers continue to honor Herbert’s legacy, though. The couple is active in the Lions organization at the local, district and state levels, and are especially passionate about youth outreach as advisors of Edwardsburg High School’s Leo Club, a version of the Lions Club for teenagers.

“We like to see [children] succeed and do well in school and in the community,” Tanda said. “We really like to get involved with the kids.”

True to Herbert’s name, the couple said the panel of scholarship judges will give special attention toward seniors who are passionate about community service, be it through extracurricular clubs or volunteering at their church.

“We’re looking for kids who follow what we [in Lions] do — serve,” Tanda said.

Students or parents interested in learning more about the Lions scholarship may call the Edwardsburg High School front office at (269) 663-1044.