Making The “Case” For Saugatuck El

Last night, Staples Tuition Grants handed out $304,000 in scholarships to 113 high school seniors, and graduates already in college.

The event marked 75 years of STG financial help. It’s always uplifting and warm — a celebration of promise, purpose and community.

As usual, the Staples library was packed with recipients, donors, and proud family members and teachers.

But this time, there were younger faces.

The first-ever Saugatuck Elementary School Community Award was given. It’s a project of the school’s Caring Council — 4th and 5th graders who volunteer for philanthropic causes — and they were there to see “their” honoree.

They and their classmates walked a combined 2,501 miles this year, in a fundraising effort. They mapped their miles “across the USA,” with “stops” at universities attended by their teachers.

Caring Council members who attended last night’s ceremony were thrilled to meet awardee Case Videler. An SES graduate himself — now headed to the University of Delaware — he embodies the Caring Council mission.

Case Videler, and members of the Saugatuck Elementary School Caring Council.

Saugatuck El and Staples Tuition Grants share even more ties than Case, though.

This year’s 13th annual walk-a-thon kicked off with a speech by DARE officer Ned Batlin — a former STG recipient.

And a powerful video celebrating the organization’s 75th anniversary was created by Westport’s own Doug Tirola — a former SES parent.

It was a night that the 113 scholarship recipients will always remember.

And one that some future grads — members of Staples High’s classes of 2025 and 2026 — won’t forget either.

(For more on Staples Tuition Grants, click here.)

7 responses to “Making The “Case” For Saugatuck El

  1. Dan-
    Last night was the first time I attended a Staples Grant ceremony. You did a fantastic job. It was so impressive – $304K for 113 awards and $5 MILLION over 75 years. As St. Francis said “in giving, we receive”. Watching this video choked me up. To see the generosity of the donors and the gratitude of the recipients speaks volumes to what makes Westport a great place to live.
    Thank you.

  2. Great piece Dan and a fantastic video by Doug Tirola. Lots of old friends in that clip…

  3. Joanne Heller

    Thank you Dan for highlighting Staples Tuition Grants. It was so wonderful seeing all the recipients last night receive their awards. Knowing the money that is given will help ease the burden of college, or trade school, tuition just a bit for these students is so gratifying. I encourage everyone to click on the link to learn more about this amazing organization. And while you are there consider making a donation. It’s going to take another $300,000 next June to help the next group of Staples HS graduates.

  4. Nancy Powers Conklin

    Back in the spring of 1969, I was awarded a Staples Tuition Grant. I attended Southern CT State College, (the name of the school in 1969) for one semester and left to get married. Because the award was designated to be used in the second semester, I was unable to use it. But, I was very thankful to have been recognized and I am sure it went to someone who could use it.

  5. Proceeds from our annnual plant sale were used to make a nice donation to the Staples Tuition Grants – Westport Garden Club was happy to be part of this !

  6. Thank you Saugatuck School and Staples Tuition Grants for helping not only Case but many other students make college a little more affordable. What a great community!