Nike Chief Operating Officer Eric Sprunk and his wife, 1984 Mountlake Terrace High School graduate Blair (Benshoof) Sprunk, have donated $50,000 to a new scholarship fund set to distribute $1,000 scholarships to Mountlake Terrace High School seniors beginning next spring.
The “Hawks Helping Hawks” Scholarship is being established to honor the mother of Blair Sprunk – Carol Benshoof, and her longtime partner, Franque Remington.
“The scholarship amounts will vary depending on need, but will be at least $1,000,” said Blair Sprunk. “We will give at least one scholarship per year, but most likely more, also depending on need.”
Eligibility for the new “Hawks Helping Hawks” Scholarship is being extended to any graduating senior at the high school who plans on pursuing an education at a community college, vocational school or a four-year university.
“The scholarship also doesn’t have to go to a kid that has straight A’s and is captain of their varsity sport,” Blair Sprunk said. “There are plenty of kids that are working part-time or caring for siblings and don’t have time to participate in extra-curricular activities. We want to make sure those kids are also considered.”
The impetus that started discussions about the new scholarship was the Sprunk’s attendance at a gathering of the Class of 1984 earlier this year. “I recently attended my 30-year reunion and had a great time reconnecting with some of my lifelong friends,” Blair Sprunk said.
“I have always donated to Julie Miller’s alumnae scholarship fund to help student athletes at MTHS,” Blair Sprunk said. “This past year she also raised funds to honor Maggie King, who was also a family friend. After reading about that fundraiser, I began to think about honoring my mom and Franque now rather than waiting until they’ve passed.”
Maggie King taught physical education and coached a variety of girls sports teams at Mountlake Terrace High School from 1961 until her retirement in 1985; she died at the age of 84 in January 2014.
Benshoof and Remington will be directly involved in administrating the scholarship fund that is being established in their honor. “I wanted them to be able to share in the fun of giving,” Blair Sprunk said. “Carol and Franque have been involved in developing the scholarship criteria and they will be involved in the selection process.”
Students wishing to be considered for 2015 “Hawks Helping Hawks” Scholarship awards must get their applications and accompanying letters of reference in to the MTHS career and counseling office by April 1, 2015. Additional information about the scholarship and its application form can be found at https://moodle.edmonds.wednet.edu/scholarships/docs/HawksHelpingHawksScholarshipInfo_Application__2015.pdf.
Though living in Portland now, Blair Sprunk said she has “fond memories” of attending Mountlake Terrace High School in the early 1980’s and is pleased to be able to help establish the new scholarship. “My husband, Eric, and I are fortunate to be able to give this meaningful gift and we hope that we can make a difference in some young kids’ lives in my hometown,” Blair Sprunk added.
Nike Inc., headquartered in Portland, collected $27.8 billion in revenues for fiscal year 2014 and is the world’s most valuable sports brand according to Forbes Magazine; Eric Sprunk joined Nike in 1993 and has been the corporation’s Chief Operating Officer since July 1, 2013.
By Doug Petrowski