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Pa. foundation awards $50K in scholarships to first responders

Paramedic Weena Doyle of Narberth Ambulance was one of three recipients of a $5,000 memorial scholarship

By Richard Ilgenfritz
Main Line Times & Suburban

LOWER MERION, Pa. — The Main Line Chamber Foundation awarded $50,000 in scholarships to 32 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians during its annual Celebration of Hometown Heroes at the Lower Merion Township Building in Ardmore.

Scholarship recipients came from firehouses and ambulance services from Chester, Montgomery and Delaware counties, and were selected for their exemplary service to the community.

With these latest awards, The Main Line Chamber Foundation has awarded nearly $700,000 in scholarships to local volunteer emergency responders, the vast majority of whom attend local colleges and universities. The Celebration of Hometown Heroes was created to draw attention to and show appreciation for the volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians who selflessly serve the Main Line and surrounding areas.

The event marked the third presentation of the WSFS Cares Foundation Leaders of Tomorrow Award, which recognizes an individual who exhibits leadership qualities within the volunteer firefighter/EMT community. The recipient of this $5,000 scholarship was Lindsay Baker from the Llanerch Fire Company.

A tradition that began in 2011 was continued as three Thomas J. Hays Memorial Scholarships were presented in honor of a young firefighter with the Merion Fire Company who died in the hours following going out on a call. The three $5,000 memorial scholarships were awarded to Weena Doyle from Narberth Ambulance, Matthew Hand from the Brookline Fire Company, and Preston Tyrrell from the Newtown Square Fire Company.

“We are so thankful for our volunteer emergency responders, who are often the first to arrive during a crisis,” said Maureen McAleer, chair of The Main Line Chamber Foundation Board of Directors. “Everyone at the Main Line Chamber Foundation is honored to celebrate their service and distribute scholarship awards that will enable these deserving recipients to pursue their academic goals.”

The 2024 scholarship recipients, listed alphabetically by last name, are:

Lindsay Baker, Llanerch Fire Company, Havertown
Matthew Becket, Bryn Mawr Fire Company, Bryn Mawr
Sean Boyer, Brookline Fire Company, Havertown
Elizabeth Brown, Radnor Fire Company, Wayne
Margaret Mary Cooper, Upper Darby Fire Company, Upper Darby
Brooke Cutler, Berwyn Fire Company, Berwyn
Katie Denney, Aston Township Fire Department, Aston
Levi Dentel , Paoli Fire Company , Paoli
Matthew Gabriel Dobbins, Broomall Fire Company, Broomall
Weena Doyle, Narberth Ambulance, Ardmore
Matthew Hand, Brookline Fire Company, Havertown
Sophia Hartley, Good Will Fire Company, West Chester
James Philip Heller, Gladwyne Fire Company, Gladwyne
Madison Jones, West Whiteland Fire Company, Exton
Chandeep Kaur, Llanerch Fire Company, Havertown
Kenneth M. Keagy, Merion Fire Company of Ardmore, Ardmore
Michaela Kent, Bon Air Fire Company, Havertown
Olivia Klara, Good Will Fire Company, West Chester
Megan Kozar, Narberth Ambulance, Ardmore
Tiffany Lan, Narberth Ambulance, Ardmore
Jordan Lichy , Berwyn Fire Company , Berwyn
David Marein-Efron , Narberth Ambulance, Ardmore
Ryan Marsh, Merion Fire Company of Ardmore, Ardmore
Alexis M. McElhone, Bon Air Fire Company, Havertown
Kevin Mitchell, Jr., Bon Air Fire Company, Havertown
Jack Francis Nudy , Berwyn Fire Company , Berwyn
Andrew Payne, Manoa Fire Company, Havertown
Marcie Romberger , Berwyn Fire Company , Berwyn
Ethan Tartaglio, Berwyn Fire Company, Berwyn
Preston A. Tyrrell, Newtown Square Fire Company, Newtown Square
Luke Willette, Narberth Ambulance, Ardmore
Noelle Zeller, Narberth Ambulance, Ardmore

A majority of the scholarships are presented by members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, who are themselves volunteers. Foundation Board members represent a variety of businesses that are members of The Main Line Chamber of Commerce, which houses and staffs the Foundation.

“The Hometown Heroes event shines a light on the contributions of all our volunteer emergency responders. Through these scholarships, the business community and residents come together to honor and thank men and women who show up to help their fellow human beings in times of need,” said Bernard Dagenais, president and CEO, of The Main Line Chamber of Commerce. “We are proud to support these dedicated individuals.”

The primary source of scholarship funds is the Annual Main Line Run /Walk, a 5-kilometer run and a popular 1.5-mile walk, which opens up the event to non-runners and family participation. The course passes through the streets of Wayne. Lancaster Avenue and neighborhood streets are temporarily closed for safety.

The 2024 Main Line Run /Walk, presented by the Haverford Trust Company, will be held on Sunday, September 8. Registration for the event is open at Sponsorships for the Run/Walk and donations to The Main Line Chamber Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, are welcome and are now being accepted. Visit for more information.

(c)2024 Main Line Times & Suburban, Ardmore, Pa.
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