Jeremiah MacKay Memorial Scholarship Announced
by Skye K. Richendrfer, May 3, 2013
It is an all too sad and familiar story; a deranged killer in a single moment performs some heinous act, leaving behind devastated family, friends and loved ones. By all accounts, San Bernardino County Sheriff Deputy Jeremiah MacKay was a cop’s cop – someone who loved his work, and was committed to his family and community. In February of 2013, Jeremiah was killed in a gun battle with former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner. You can read accounts of all of this here.
Ironically had this tragedy befallen some other law enforcement officer, Jeremiah may well have played his beloved pipes at the memorial service. As it was, thousands gathered for what was, by all accounts, an extremely emotional service, highlighted by the presence of scores of pipers.
Upon learning of Jeremiah’s senseless death, one of our friends and CelticArtsWinterSchool students, Ms. Billie Narver was compelled to do something associated with piping to honor Jeremiah. She contacted us and asked what would be involved to create a new scholarship fund to make it possible for “seasoned” pipers who might not otherwise be able to attend, to come to our Seabeck, WA Winter School. The matter was taken up in March by our Board, who decided to establish the Jeremiah MacKay Memorial Scholarship Fund. After a few discussions and e-mails, Billie quickly decided to fund an annual scholarship, kicking things off with a donation of $1000 for a full tuition and room and board scholarship for the February 2014 Winter School. A few others of us have also made small donations to this new fund, the idea being to build a scholarship fund to continue in Jeremiah’s honor in perpetuity.
In discussions with Billie and our Board, the determination was made to award the inaugural Jeremiah MacKay Memorial Winter School Scholarship to someone actively involved in public safety. It seemed to all of us, that awarding the first scholarship to New York City Firefighter and piper James Lee was especially appropriate. James participated in WinterSchool a few years ago; however in the past couple, with a growing young family and demands of the job, has found it impossible to attend. When informed that he was going to be awarded this new scholarship, he replied that he was “just so honored and blown away” to receive this opportunity.
We are pleased to offer this scholarship vehicle to honor Jeremiah MacKay, a true American hero.
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to the Celtic Arts Foundation Jeremiah MacKay Memorial Scholarship Fund, please enter the amount below and click the “Donate Now” button to complete by providing your credit card information.
Donations may also be sent to:
Celtic Arts Foundation
ATTN; Jeremiah MacKay Memorial Scholarship
PO Box 1342
Mount Vernon, WA 98273