Zao Island Hosts Benefit for Matthew Lee Erickson Foundation

Zao Island Hosts Benefit for Matthew Lee Erickson Foundation
By: Erin Evers Last Updated: July 27, 2014

Red bandannas were well represented at Zao Island for a fundraiser that benefited the Matthew Lee Erickson Scholarship Fund on Saturday night. Not only did the event remember the life of an amazing individual, but also helped benefit the future graduates of Valparaiso High School through a scholarship. The night provided a chance to play some mini-golf, hang out with friends, support a great cause and remember a special person.

The scholarship fund is offered to a qualifying senior at VHS each year. With the help of generous donations and the hard work of family and friends, the scholarship continues to help aid in the futures of students looking to advance their education. Erickson was a 2011 graduate of VHS who tragically died that year.

Among those working hard to bring this event and cause to the public was Harry Peterson, the event coordinator. Peterson was a good friend of Matt’s and works closely with the Erickson family to help raise funds for the scholarship.

“Matt is remembered as a kind person, who was friends with many. Matt’s memory lives on through stories shared between those who knew him and through the support of the Matthew Lee Erickson Scholarship Fund,” Peterson said.

The event featured a mini-golf tournament that consisted of teams of four players for the best combined score. Prizes were handed out to the first place teams and food and all other Zao Island facilities were open to enjoy.

Cheryl Erickson, Matt’s mom, has been presenting the award every year to one or, in some cases, two students who she believes are good representations of Matt as a caring person.

“Harry met us when we were presenting the award this year. He brought up the idea up of having the event. So, he approached us about doing it, and he has been very organized about planning it. It became just spreading the word by mouth and getting it out there for kids to apply and come to the event,” she said.

Saturday provided the means for family, friends, and loved ones of the Erickson’s to come out to Zao and have a fun night that benefited a great cause. With the help of scholarships like these, school is made more affordable to students, while also remembering a great individual.