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WOHS Senior Named 2015 Recipient of Lisa and Donald Shauger’s Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship

On May 28, 2015, West Orange High School senior, Thomas Sayers, was named the 2015 recipient of the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship at the High School’s Senior Awards Night. Graduation pictureThe Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship, part of the West Orange Scholarship Fund (WOSF), was established in July 2014 by Lisa and Donald Shauger in loving memory of their friend, West Orange police officer Timothy Groves.  Officer Groves passed away in 2013 from cancer, leaving behind a legacy of giving.

Sayers was the first student ever to be awarded the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship, which benefits students in financial need who are interested in law enforcement and/or in pursuing the academic path of Criminal Justice.  Sayers was selected for the Scholarship after submitting an impressive essay detailing his interest in the field and his experiences to date.

“I’m looking forward to finishing my college education so I can pursue a career as a police officer,” said Sayers.  “Hopefully I will have the opportunity to serve the community in which [I was] raised just like Officer Groves did.”

The WOSF annually awards various scholarships to West Orange High School graduating seniors who are in financial need and who have demonstrated notable academic achievement.  At this year’s Senior Awards Night, Sayers was also the recipient of a second scholarship, the PASSE Scholarship, which “recognizes and acknowledges those who have worked especially hard for their success.”

IMG_2724With a 3.6 Grade Point Average, Sayers has been an Honor Roll Student throughout the duration of his high school career.  A member of the High School’s Air Force Junior ROTC program, Sayers’ current rank is 2nd Lieutenant/Flight Commander. Sayers intends to continue with similar programs at Florida’s Saint Leo University, where he will be studying Criminal Justice.  Sayers also worked as a summer intern for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

Sayers, like Officer Groves, is a lifelong West Orange resident who is deeply devoted to the West Orange community and volunteers his time generously.  Sayers volunteered for the West Orange Summer Enrichment Program for three years and served as the Vice President of the High School’s Interact Club, a community service club that organizes initiatives such as Thanksgiving food drives.

During his lifetime, Officer Groves served as a mentor to West Orange children, volunteered with Special Olympics, and held the role of West Orange Police Department youth program coordinator.  Officer Groves, named the 2009 West Orange Police Officer of the Year, received countless awards for valor, community service, and citizenship before he passed away at age 48.

“Thomas Sayers seems like a wonderful young man and a phenomenal choice as the recipient of the scholarship in memory of Tim Groves,” said Lisa Shauger, President/CEO of TSG.  “Officer Groves left a huge mark on this community, and it does him justice to have his name live on, especially in the West Orange area.  Last year, the Watchung Heights police substation was renamed the Police Officer Timothy Groves Community Center and Police Substation in his memory, and it is an honor for Donald and me to do our part in carrying on his legacy through this scholarship with the West Orange Scholarship Fund.”

Officer Groves in uniformWhen the Shaugers established the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship, they donated an initial $5,000.00.  Since that time, they have made nine additional contributions to the Scholarship.  Whenever a West Orange resident with whom the Shaugers were close passes away, the Shaugers contribute additional funds to the Scholarship.

The Shaugers strongly encourage others to donate to the WOSF’s Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship as well. Continued support of the Scholarship will not only keep Officer Groves’ memory alive but will also provide much-needed financial support to local youth who are following in the footsteps of an officer who bravely served the community.

To donate to the Officer Groves Scholarship through the WOSF, please contact WOSF President, Richard Rizzolo, at rich.rizzolo@gmail.com and WOSF Treasurer, Jim Quinn, at jquinn@allenco.com.  Please make the donation check payable to the West Orange Scholarship Fund (noting Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship in memo) and mail it to Jim Quinn, 290 Araneo Drive, West Orange, NJ 07052.

Click here to read more about Officer Timothy Groves, his life, and his legacy, as well as the Shaugers’ 2014 establishment of the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship.


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