Upon Jason's death March 23rd, 2003 we established the "Jason Plite Memorial Fund" ( a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization) in hopes of being able to give a gift to the Swimming and Art Departments (two of Jason's passions) of the Grand Ledge High School where he attended and graduated from in 1999. The Fund did so incredibly well we felt it was imperative that we incorporate the Fund,  appoint a Board of Directors, and establish it as a charitable/non-profit organization and continue to raise funds so that we can give out Grants and Scholarships to students in the Grand Ledge Community pursuing further education in Art and Swimming! We will continue to raise funds by holding an annual Fund Raising Dinner Event each April.

2018 Dinner Event!


The 15th annual Jason Plite Memorial Fund Dinner put a spotlight on the fund’s 2018 scholarship winners Ryan Koschay, Janna Vukovich and Emily Glasgow as this year’s recipients. This year marks the first time The Jason Plite Memorial Fund awarded one recipient both a Swim and Art Scholarship. The memorial dinner April 13, 2018 was an evening of celebration, full of lasting memories.

Jason Plite, a Pararescueman in the U.S. Air Force, had an abundance of talent and special qualities. The “PJ” promise to the world is “That Others May Live”. Jason lost his life while on a mission to rescue two Afghani children, just after completing a mission that saved three severely injured Afghanistan Nationals.

Ryan Koschay was awarded a $2,000 Artistic Scholarship. Ryan is a multi faceted individual. He not only creates pieces of art using computerized 3D programs (has won many awards and used it to create his final project to earn his Eagle Scout) he is an accomplished musician in the Grand Ledge High School Wind Symphony and Marching Band and is involved theatrically as the Head Sound Technician. Ryan will be attending MSU to dual major in Mechanical Engineering and Music. His personal goal is to march with a world class Drum Corp before turning 21.

Janna Vukovich was awarded a $3,000 Artistic Scholarship. Janna states, “I am an Artist” and dreams of making a difference in the world through her art and be known for being inspiring. Her mediums range from sketching, painting, ceramics, jewelry making and clothing designs. Janna is very active in the community and is a Peer Assistant Leader at GLHS. Janna has been accepted to the School of Music, Theater and Dance at U of M, and the Theater School at MSU. Whichever path Janna chooses, she will no doubt achieve success.

Emily applied for, and was awarded; our first ever combined swim and artistic scholarship totaling $5,000. Emily states she has always been fascinated by the water, she would swim in her grandmother’s pool until her fingers pruned. When she was nine, she competitively swam with the Grand Ledge Swim Club, and then on to GLHS swim team. Emily has had a life long love of art, especially 3D modeling and animation. She also enjoys creating with colored pencils and paint. Her pieces also include wire sculptures, screen-printing, clay modeling and Photoshop. With each new project she learns something new about herself, art on any platform allows her to express her thoughts in ways nothing else can. Emily has been accepted to the Savannah College of Art and Design where she will major in Animation and minor in Illustration. Her dream is to work for an animation company such as Dreamworks.

We were honored to have Mathews Pierson as our keynote speaker – Mat, originally from Eagle, MI, graduated from Grand Ledge in 1999. Among other activities, he was a four-year letterman in swimming. It was as a swimmer that he and Jason became friends. Like many of our scholarship recipients, he earned accolades as a swimmer including Co-Most Valuable Swimmer with Jason his senior year. After graduation, Mat went on to Lehigh University, graduating with High Honors.


The MSU Air Force ROTC “Silver Eagles” attended representing the U.S. Air Force, along with posting and retiring the Colors. As always, we are grateful for the continued support of our attendees, the Opera House, A Catered Affaire’, A Complete Rental, Gladstone Printing and the many local and surrounding businesses and artists that donate items for the silent auction. It is through these combined efforts that Jason’s legacy continues on. Over the past 15 years we have awarded over $113,500 in scholarships to 43 Grand Ledge High School senior artists and swimmers, an accomplishment we are tremendously proud of!

With heartfelt thanks - The Jason Plite Memorial Fund Board of Directors.


SAVE THE DATE - FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2019!
 


2018 Scholarship Recipient’s
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Janna Vukovich - Emily Glasgow - Ryan Koschay


MSU AIR FORCE “SILVER EAGLES” DRILL TEAM
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Cadet Lydia Whipple, Cadet Tyler Rhoades, Cadet Yavy Sanches & Cadet Ryan Hermes



OPERA HOUSE


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AUCTION ITEMS
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Keynote Speaker - Mathews E. Pierson
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Mat, originally from Eagle, MI, graduated from Grand Ledge in 1999. Among other activities, he was a four-year letterman in swimming. It was as a swimmer that he and Jason became friends. Like many of our scholarship recipients, he earned accolades as a swimmer including Co-Most Valuable Swimmer with Jason his senior year. After graduation, Mat went on to Lehigh University, graduating with High Honors.

After college Mat moved to Washington, DC and began a career in political campaigns including four presidential campaigns, three national conventions, and a Prime Minister’s campaign in Albania.

Mat earned his MBA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Global OneMBA Program. Mat now works for VEDA Data Solutions, an Artificial Intelligence startup focused on healthcare.
Mat now lives with his wife, Eugenia, and daughters, Frances and Celeste, in Chevy Chase, Maryland


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DINNER GUESTS

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REMEMBERING JASON

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JASON PLITE MEMORIAL FUND BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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Amanda McDonald, Colleen Austin, Alyssa Peterson, Shaynah Cooley, Dawn Peterson,
Sara Clark-Pierson & Mary Gwardzinski

JASON’S FAMILY
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Alyssa, Shaynah, Dawn & Charlie

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Pararescue family!
Josh Johnston, Luke Naughton, Ryan Beckmann & Sean Cunningham



Thank you for your continued support and very generous donations. The support from our Community and throughout the USA has been overwhelming. This is such a special way to keep Jason's Memory alive, and to turn a tragedy into something good.  Your support and kindness is truly appreciated!

Send a tax deductible contribution to:
Jason Plite Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 81064 Lansing, MI 48908




For additional information, send an e-mail to following address:
info@jasonplitememorial.com