The Rick and Sherry Murray Medical Futures Scholarship
Rick and Sherry Murray met and were married in 1964 in Pensacola, FL, where Rick was training for a career in Naval Aviation. Over the course of his 25 years in the Navy, the Murray family traveled all over the globe. Upon his retirement, Rick and Sherry returned to Jacksonville, where they had served their first tour of duty nearly 3 decades earlier.
Rick and Sherry’s active lifestyle of tennis and traveling was curtailed in 1999 by Rick’s ALS diagnosis. After receiving the news of life expectancy of 3 years, Rick’s competitive spirit rose to the challenge and he nearly tripled that prognosis. During that time, Rick and Sherry found new ways to stay active, particularly through increased charitable work and philanthropic giving in the Jacksonville area. Together, they became tireless advocates for ALS research and awareness by participating in Walks, giving speeches to support groups, visiting with congressional representatives, publishing the motivational book - Rick’s Reflections - and helping organize the first Lou Gehrig Day for the Jacksonville Suns. In fact, Rick attended the ALS awareness event at the Suns’ ballpark in 90-degree heat, just 3 days before he died.
Following his passing, Sherry doubled her community involvement and philanthropic efforts. She became a founding volunteer of the Florida Chapter’s “Next Chapter” program, a social renewal group for those who have lost a spouse to ALS, with a special emphasis on raising awareness of the unique struggles that caregivers face during a loved one’s battle with a terminal illness. A lifelong learner and educator herself, Sherry was especially eager to assist others in achieving their dreams by expanding their educational opportunities. To this end, she established several scholarships, including the ALS Medical Futures Scholarship in 2013. Sadly, Sherry succumbed to her own battle with cancer in 2014, but not before leaving an indelible imprint on the philanthropic community of Jacksonville.
Today, Rick and Sherry’s three children and seven grandchildren keep their philanthropic spirit alive through numerous causes and scholarships. They are proud to continue this scholarship, now named The Rick and Sherry Murray Medical Futures Scholarship, which is designed to help the spouses, children, and grandchildren of those who are living with ALS or have lost their battle, and whose lives have been changed as a result of that experience - thus impacting their decisions to enter the medical field as a way of making a difference for future patients of any disease.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: JULY 12, 2019
The Rick and Sherry Murray Medical Futures Scholarship is for students who have or have had a spouse, parent, or grandparent diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and who want to pursue a degree in the medical profession as a result of their experience. Applicants must be:
- The spouse, child or grandchild of a person who has been diagnosed with ALS. (Families of every tradition will be considered).
- A legal resident of Florida.
- Currently majoring in any medically-related degree or attending any medically-related certification program.
- Any age of student may apply - scholarships are not restricted to graduating high school seniors, high school graduates or current undergraduates.
- Applicants must attend or be accepted to school full-time (as defined by the educational institution) at an accredited two-year or four-year college or university, or vocational-technical school located in the U.S.
All interested students must complete an application and mail it along with a current, complete official transcript of grades (Grade reports are not acceptable. Official transcripts must display student name, school name, degree program, grade and credit hours earned for each course, and term in which each course was taken.), a 500-word essay describing how the student’s experience with ALS has impacted him/her and his/her decision to enter the medical field, and two (2) letters of recommendation. Other requirements are listed on the application.
If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Becky Ford: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888.257.1717 ext.133
PLEASE NOTE: To be considered, ALL completed applications MUST BE MAILED to 3242 Parkside Center Circle, Tampa, FL, 33619.
The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund
In addition to the physical and emotional toll faced by people impacted by ALS, the financial strain of the disease can devastate a family’s ability to plan for future expenses. Families impacted by ALS often do not have the financial means to support the pursuit of college degrees or vocational certificates.
Recognizing this unmet need, The ALS Association and Mark Calmes, vice chair of the Association's National Board of Trustees, established The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund in honor of Mark's wife, Jane, who lost her battle with ALS in 2017.
The purpose of the scholarship fund is to provide financial assistance to students pursuing an accredited college degree or vocational certificate, and whose ability to cover the costs is severely compromised as a result of their family’s financial burden of ALS.*
To be considered for The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund, an applicant must be:
- An individual who has had their finances negatively impacted due to having a diagnosis of ALS themselves, or having a parent, guardian, or family member (living or deceased) diagnosed with ALS;
- A high school senior, high school graduate, current postsecondary undergraduate student, or currently enrolled in vocational program;
- Planning to enroll for a minimum of six credits per semester in undergraduate study at an accredited two-year or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical school for the entire upcoming academic year, in pursuit of completing a degree program;
- Able to demonstrate financial need.
The ALS Association’s goal is to fund at least 30 students per year, at $2,500 per semester or $5,000 per year.
Awards will be renewable up to three years or until a bachelor's degree is earned or graduation is achieved, whichever occurs first, based on satisfactory academic performance.
Applications Being Accepted Through May 21 for Fall 2019 Scholarship Awards
CLICK HERE to apply.
Learn More About Jane Calmes:
Jane Calmes was born in Coffeyville, Kansas, and spent her youth in Neodesha, Kansas. She attended Kansas University and later graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wichita State University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science/Dental Hygiene. Jane was an accomplished dental hygienist and loved working with the public, all the while providing a necessary service with gentle thoroughness, for which she was noted. She married Mark Calmes in 1980 and together they had four children. Jane was also an ALS hero, having fought the disease for eight years through pure grit and determination. The family formed a very successful Walk to Defeat ALS team in her honor named Jane’s Angels. The team is now in its 10th year. Jane passed away peacefully at home on August 16, 2017, in the arms of her husband and surrounded by her loving family.
A Note from Mark Calmes:
Jane was a fighter. She battled three major illnesses in a row - a silent heart attack, breast cancer, and finally, ALS. Every day she amazed me, especially with the courage she exhibited dealing with disease and the compassion she showed our family and others during her journey.
After Jane’s death, I began to think of ways to honor her and her courageous battle with disease, especially ALS. The idea of a scholarship fund resonated with me. Jane was always keen on education and the lifelong benefits it can provide. She insisted on our four kids getting a college education, and she volunteered at an after-school program with our church. So, as I thought about all of this, coupled with the fact that children of families dealing or having dealt with ALS are overlooked and are collateral damage to the disease, it made perfect sense to help these kids. This collateral damage, which can affect and negatively impact children for a lifetime, needed to be addressed.
*The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund is administered through Scholarship America.