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ARA Foundation Awards $34,000 in College Scholarships for 2008-2009

Tue September 02, 2008 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Twenty students planning futures in the equipment rental industry were awarded a total of $34,000 in scholarships from the ARA Foundation for 2008/2009. The scholarships range from $1,000 to $3,000 each, for recipients who are attending technical/vocational schools, community colleges, undergraduate colleges and graduate schools.

The recipients were selected by the foundation’s scholarship committee. All foundation scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, leadership, rental industry involvement, written essays on rental-related questions and references. Applicants must be owners, managers or employees of equipment rental stores or their family members. Funds for the scholarships are the direct result of contributions to the ARA Foundation from all facets of the rental industry.

Leroy (Lee) Dixon III of Party Plus, Glen Burnie, Md., was selected for the ARA Foundation/ARA Insurance Services Scholarship of $3,000, the top scholarship award. He will be a junior at Clemson University and is pursuing a degree in business management and accounting. His father, Leroy Dixon Jr., owns Party Plus.

Recipients of ARA Foundation undergraduate scholarships of $2,000 each are:

• Stefanie Blaisdell, American Party Place and Bunce Rental, Tacoma, Wash., owned by John P. Greenfield and Mark Greenfield. Her father, Mike Blaisdell, is general manager of Bunce Rental.

• Coleman Hammond, Rental Solutions, Jackson, Ga., owned by his uncle, Richard Kapiloff.

• Machaela Manning, Portland Rent All, Portland, Ore., owned by her grandparents, Bill and Delores Manning.

• Jon Pederson, Highway 55 Rental, Hamel, Minn., owned by his father, Reg Pederson, and his uncle, Jeff Pederson.

• Lauren Pettinato, Can Do Special Events, Randolph, Vt., owned by her parents, John and Patricia Pettinato.

• Ryan Ponikvar, Sun Rental Center, Mentor, Ohio, owned by his grandfather, Larry Felice, and his great-uncle, Tom Felice.

• Amanda Saunders, Sully’s All Occasion, Akron, Ohio, owned by her father, Rick Saunders.

• Louise Serpa, Bel-Ayre Rentals, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, owned by her father, Carlos Serpa.

• Adam Sims, Urban Rental Co., Taylorville, III., owned by Pat Kretzer.

• Jennifer Thomas, Magic Special Events, Richmond, Va., owned by her father, Woodward Thomas.

Recipients of the foundation’s technical/vocational scholarships worth $1,000 are:

• Robert Itule, TRS Equipment Sales and Rental, Tucson, Ariz., owned by Ray Eaton.

• Matthew Jones, Jones Equipment Rental, Fort Gratiot, Mich., owned by his father, Michael Jones.

• Spenser Joy, Volvo Rents, Springfield, Mo., owned by his uncle and aunt, Duwayne and Jackie Eoff.

• Kyle Landua, U-Rent-It Sales and Service, Terrell, Texas, owned by his grandfather, David Landua.

• Trevor Matthew, Taylor Rental Center, Petoskey, Mich., owned by his grandparents, Jake and Diana Bishop.

• Christopher McQuaid, Optimum Equipment d/b/a U-Rent-It, Quincy, Mass, owned by Mike Matthies.

• Shane Valliere, Taylor Rental Center, Petoskey, Mich., owned by his grandparents, Jake and Diana Bishop.

This year, for the first time, the foundation awarded two graduate school scholarships of $2,000 each. Those recipients are:

• Jessica Farmer, Rainbow Rentals, Phoenix, owned by her grandmother, Nora Semon. She will complete a master’s degree in communications studies at Arizona State University in December.

• Jay Spencer, RSC Equipment Rentals, Freeport, Texas. He is pursing a master of business administration degree at the University of Houston.

The ARA Foundation also administers four additional scholarships for affiliated rental organizations. Those recipients are:

$500 ARA Region Two/Ron Marshall Scholarship

• Jennifer Thomas, who also received a foundation undergraduate scholarship.

$1,000 ARA Region 10/Dorothy Wellnitz Scholarship

• Louise Serpa, who also received a foundation undergraduate scholarship.

$750 ARA of Ohio Scholarships

• Brittany Fike, Let’s Entertain, Cleveland, owned by her parents, Dan and Karen Fike.

• Jennifer Maslyn, A-1 Amusement and Party Rental Center, Cincinnati, owned by her father, Don Maslyn.

• Ryan Ponikvar, who also received a foundation undergraduate scholarship.

• Amanda Saunders, who also received a foundation undergraduate scholarship.

• Kevin Saunders, Sully’s All Occasion, Akron, Ohio, owned by his father, Rick Saunders.

• Nicole Walsh, A Thru Z Tool and Party Supply Rental, Toledo, Ohio, owned by her mother, Geriann Walsh, and her uncle, Howard Hochmuth.

$1,000 Texas Rental Association Scholarships

These scholarships are being awarded for the first time.

• Collin Dannemiller, Taylor Rental Center, Piano, Texas, owned by his uncle, Mark Mancill.

• Amanda Jenkins, Dallas Party Tent and Event, Grand Prairie, Texas, owned by her father, Brian Jenkins.

• Jennifer King, King’s Party Rentals, Victoria, Texas, owned by her parents, Charley and Lynda King.

• Kyle Landua, who also received a foundation technical/vocational scholarship.

• Tasha Peavy, U-Rent-It Sales and Service, Terrell, Texas, owned by David Landua.

About the ARA Foundation

The ARA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) philanthropic organization supporting the equipment rental industry since 1976. The vision of the foundation is to make a positive difference in the rental industry by developing and implementing programs that create educational opportunities, build relationships and aid the industry.

For more information, visit

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