Below are the scholarship funds held at the Coopersville Area Community Foundation and the list of 2023 scholarship recipients. Click on any of the names to learn the story behind that particular scholarship fund. Click on the box below for the scholarship recipient list. 

Chris Bradley Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund

Established in 1999 by the American Speed Association Women’s Auxiliary in loving memory of Christopher Bradley who died tragically at a young age.

This scholarship is designed to provide qualifying graduating seniors of Coopersville High School with a one-time award for the purpose of post-secondary education.

Jack and Libby Bush Scholarship Fund

Jack and Elizabeth (Libby) Bush were long time residents of Coopersville, who loved the community and chose to raise their family of five children there. They were loving, devoted parents who worked hard to give their children a set of good values, including the importance of a good education. Each of their children graduated from Coopersville High School and then furthered their educations. Jack and Libby were quietly proud that all five completed their degrees and went on to successful careers in a variety of fields.

This scholarship fund was started by the Bush family in 2005, following the death of Libby. With Jack’s death coming at the end of 2012, their family hopes that this will be a lasting memorial to two wonderful people. Jack and Libby understood that educated citizens are needed to build strong communities, and they wanted to help other young people to realize their dreams for a good education.

Ronald C. Bush Memorial Scholarship Fund

Established by his wife, Karen Bush, with donations from friends and family, this fund will offer a scholarship to a graduate of Coopersville High School where Ron was a member of the basketball and football team and National Honor Society. After graduating from Grand Valley State University, Ron was the State Farm Agent in Coopersville until 1994 when multiple sclerosis forced his retirement. He and his wife Karen lived in Grand Haven, but a piece of his heart remained in Coopersville. Ron instilled in his four children the importance of a close-knit family, Christian faith, education, and the enjoyment of sports. 

In memory of Ron, this fund was established for his extended family in Coopersville.

David and Mary Jo Busman Family Scholarship Fund

This fund was established in 2014 as a lasting tribute to Mary Jo, who passed away in 2005. David, Mary Jo and their children, Jonathon, Jennifer and Jessica all graduated from Coopersville High School. The Busman children furthered their education and earned their college degree(s).

Recognizing the value of higher education, the Busman family has established this scholarship to benefit a graduating Coopersville High School senior who has demonstrated academic excellence, who has been involved in extracurricular activities and/or has participated in sports at the varsity level. Additional consideration will be given to a student who has demonstrated a strong work ethic outside of school by securing part time employment or by participating in voluntary community service.

The 2022 recipient for this scholarship is Timothy Allen.

Staci Cheadle Memorial Scholarship Fund

Staci Cheadle was a young woman who  grew up in Nunica and attended Coopersville High School. She was a very active member of the Church of the Savior and dreamed of working in the field of X-Ray Technology after completing college. She was constantly giving to others and that same care and concern caused her to have a love for animals, especially horses. She worked on a horse farm and was very active in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Club and the Equestrian Team. The summer before her senior year at Coopersville High School, she was tragically killed in an accident while watering her horse. 

This fund was started as a result of an outpouring of community and family love for Staci. Over the years, this permanent Legacy to her life will offer scholarship help to many young people from the Coopersville area.

Coopersville Endowed Scholarship Fund

This scholarship fund was begun in 2000 and was formerly a student loan program. It now offers scholarship opportunities to students who wish to continue their education beyond high school.

David Day Eppelheimer Scholarship Fund

The David Day Eppelheimer Scholarship fund was started after his death in 2017. Mr. Applesauce, as some kindergarten students called him, learned life lessons from his use of song, music, puppets, animals, guest speakers, and family members. His passion for education will be supported in the next generation choosing to be educators themselves.

S. J. Hecksel Memorial Scholarship Fund

This scholarship fund was established by Sherman and Ruth Hecksel in 2000 in memory of their only child, S.J. who died in a tragic accident at the age of 23. A graduate of Coopersville High School, S.J. attended Grand Rapids Community College. S.J. had a great enthusiasm for life and desire to meet others. His natural curiosity was reflected in his interest in travel, and his good nature and kindness helped bring people together.

This scholarship will be offered to students from Coopersville High School who plan to attend a program of higher education. The scholarship will be awarded to students who possess a minimum 2.0 GPA, demonstrate a concern for others and possess a strong faith and values.

Randal & Marilyn Mergener Scholarship Fund

Randal and Marilyn Mergener Scholarship Fund was created to honor Marilyn, an elementary teacher in the Grand Haven area for 37 years. She loved all her students and shared her passion of reading with them. The family started the scholarship fund to help students who worked hard to follow their dreams in continuing their education.

Nelson Family Scholarship Fund

The Nelson siblings were born and raised in Coopersville. They know the meaning of hard work and they also know the burden of poverty. Raymond and Barbara Nelson, David and RuthAnn Nelson and Linda (Nelson) and James Brigham started this scholarship fund to help send a Coopersville High School student to college. All of the Nelson children have worked hard and have had success in their lives. However, formal education was not something they were privileged enough to have.

This scholarship will help a Coopersville student realize the gift of higher education.

David A. Reeves Scholarship Fund

David Reeves was a Coopersville community leader, business owner and entrepreneur. When David passed away
in 2015, his family started the David A. Reeves Scholarship Fund. This Scholarship Fund will forever support a graduating senior from Coopersville High School who is pursuing post-secondary studies in manufacturing or engineering.

We are grateful for the generosity of Sharon Reeves and her family for supporting this scholarship that will serve as one of Dave’s many legacies in Coopersville. Scholarship funds are a meaningful way to remember a loved one and support our future by educating our youth.

Del Shannon Memorial Scholarship Fund

Del Shannon grew up in Coopersville and became famous in the Music Industry. Shirley Westover, Del Shannon’s wife of 30 years, opened this fund. Charles (Del Shannon) Westover, a 1953 graduate of Coopersville High School got started in music at the age of 14 when he discovered the guitar. He continued to develop his innovative skills with the guitar, which eventually became legendary in the music industry. Chuck Westover began writing songs and by 1961 had become the international rock star, Del Shannon. He contributed significantly to the careers of Bob Seger, Brian Hyland, Gayle McCormick, and Tom Petty.  Del Shannon continued to write, produce and perform music until his death in 1990. 

By starting this fund, the family hopes the memory of Del Shannon will continue each year with the awarding of a music scholarship to a student from Coopersville High School.

Arlyn J. Walt Memorial Scholarship Fund

This memorial scholarship was started by Kathy Walt and family. Arlyn was a prominent farmer who loved his land, family, and community. By starting this scholarship, Mrs. Walt hopes Arlyn’s memory and passion will live on through others.

This scholarship will aid a high school graduate or returning adult student, from the greater Coopersville Area, to pursue studies in agriculture.

Daryn Reneé Worpel Scholarship Fund

Daryn was a 5th grade student at Coopersville East Elementary School when she was taken from her family and put into the arms of Jesus. Daryn loved everything! She especially loved the Lord, her family and her friends. She was adventurous and was especially talented in art and music. She was bright and truly loved to read. She also had a
passion for animals. There was an outpouring of love and generosity from her family and friends in the Coopersville community after her untimely death.

This scholarship fund was created in memory of Daryn and was made possible by the generosity of the Coopersville community. It will begin awarding scholarships in the year 2015 – the year Daryn would have graduated from high school.

This scholarship will help many students pursue a college education and it will forever honor an awesome girl who was taken from us far too early.