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.

2015 12th Annual Jason Plite Memorial Dinner

The 12th annual Jason Plite Memorial Fund Dinner was held Friday April 17 at the Grand Ledge Opera House. It was an evening of celebration and full of lasting memories. It was with great pleasure that we awarded 3 Jason Plite Memorial Fund Scholarships. The Jason Plite Memorial Fund would like to acknowledge Emmery Macsay, Sarah Clinkscales and Jacob Fillingham as this year’s recipients. 

Emmery Macsay, was awarded a $2500 Art Scholarship. Emmery says that art plays a huge part in his life and it is a surreal feeling to see a piece he just created with his own hands. Emmery plans to attend Michigan State University pursuing a degree in Packaging Engineering.

Sarah Clinkscales, was awarded a $2500 Swim Scholarship.  Sarah’s dreams and determination has led her to Central Michigan University where she plans to earn her degree in Journalism. Telling and reporting the news and people’s stories is her passion.

Jacob Fillingham, was awarded a $5000 Swim Scholarship.  Jacob has been swimming since grade 7 and says that chlorine is in his blood. Volunteering at the Inland Seas Education Association of Suttons Bay educating young children about the Great Lakes waters and watersheds is part of his love for water. Jacob plans to attend Eckerd University near Tampa Bay Florida where he plans to earn his degree in Marine Biology

Major Kristin Flynn, USAF, Retired graciously spoke to our guests and recipients about inspirations in her life and how getting to know Jason’s family has made a lasting impression and has created a lifelong friendship. Kristin’s message also included the value of moving past a tragedy in a positive way. Her service in the Military has spanned nearly 22 years in various leadership roles. Kristin Flynn has been recognized with many honors and exemplary accomplishments in both the military and education professions.

Special acknowledgements go out to; The MSU Air Force ROTC “Silver Eagles”, they were in attendance representing the U.S. Air Force, to post and retire the colors as well as entertain us with a precision Rifle Drill presentation.  “Take Note of Grand Ledge” Barbershop Quartet performed the National Anthem eloquently. Hats off to Colleen’s Cuisine who once again provided an exquisite meal, and A & W Restaurant for their donation of Ice Cream Sundaes and commemorative A & W Rootbeer Mugs. With gratitude we recognize the Opera House, Gladstone Printing and David Chapman Agency, for their continued support and behind the scenes donations that make our dinner a great success.

The Silent Auction, which helps support our endeavors, has grown and offered a wide range of wonderful items from local businesses. Red Robin, Carrabbas, English Inn, Log Jam, Sun Theatre, Eagle Eye, Deeleetree’s Home Market, Cakes A Bloomin, Centennial golf course, Martin Metal Works, and Painting with a Twist, were some of the contributors. Local artists and former scholarship recipients also contributed beautiful pieces, handcrafted jewelry, pottery, photography, paintings, books and much more.

Jason, like the select few that endure, and attain the honor, of being a Pararescueman, had an abundance of talent and special qualities.  The “PJ” promise to the world “That Others May Live” says it all, as Jason lost his life while on a mission to rescue 2 Afghani children, just after completing a mission that saved 3 severely injured Afghanistan Nationals.  This is why we share his passion and honor him every year at this dinner, providing scholarships for the outstanding students listed above.

To date the Jason Plite Memorial Fund has awarded 33 scholarships totaling $80,500.

We would like to recognize all the family, friends and the Grand Ledge Community whom
continue to generously support the Jason Plite Memorial Fund. 

The Jason Plite Memorial Fund Board of Directors


Major Kristin Flynn USAF - Retired

Major Kristin Flynn, USAF, Retired most recently served in the Air Force Reserves as an Admissions Liaison Officer for the United States Air Force Academy. Her service in the military spanned nearly 22 years in various leadership roles including Security Forces Squadron Commander and Inspector General at the 110th Airlift Wing, Battle Creek. Her retirement was effective in January 2014.

She earned her Bachelors in Secondary Education and Masters in Educational Leadership, both from Western Michigan University, and an Instructional Technology Certification from Michigan State University. She has previously served in the education profession as a high school English teacher, coach, middle school assistant principal, elementary principal, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, high school principal, and curriculum director.

An esteemed leader, Kristin Flynn has been recognized with many honors and exemplary accomplishments in both the military and education professions, including a Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association Practicing Principal of the Year Nomination, Keynote Speaker for Memorial Day Ceremonies; Keynote Speaker for Veterans Day Ceremonies; Company Grade Officer of the Year, and Association of the United States Army Leadership Award.

Kristin is married to Doug Flynn for the last 17 years and they are blessed with three children, Brady; age 14, Carson; age 12, Mariah; age 10.

2015 Dinner Event - Grand Ledge Opera House


emmery 1
Artist - Emmery Macsay

2015 scholars 2
Swimmers - Jacob Fillingham (Dawn Peterson) & Sarah Clinkscales







Major Kristin Flynn - USAF Retired
Keynote Speaker






Doris Thompson - Grand Ledge High School Art Teacher


the board
Mary Gwardzinski, Colleen Austin, Shaynah Peterson Alyssa Peterson, Dawn Peterson,
Sara Clark-Pierson, Pam George & Amanda McDonald,


Shaynah, Dawn, & Charles & Alyssa Peterson

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

APRIL 15, 2016

For additional information, send an e-mail to following address: