Permanent Funds

Non-Memorial Scholarships
Permanent funds can be established in the name of living individuals, graduating classes, clubs, civic organizations, or businesses.
Memorial Scholarships
Similarly, permanent funds can be created to perpetuate someone’s memory by providing an annual scholarship to be awarded to an Ellington student in the name of the deceased. If family or friends wish to establisha scholarship at the time of bereavement, it is not necessary to contact ECSA immediately. At the request of the next of kin, an obituary may include a request that donations be directed to ECSA, and the formal agreement to start the memorial fund, as well as the decision about the type of memorial, can be made at a later time. ECSA will send an acknowledgment of each gift to the family of the person being memorialized.
The Concept of a Permanent Fund
The endowment program works on a simple concept: the original money gift is invested in an interest bearing, dividend producing or capital appreciation form of investment. Each year the proceeds generated by the investment are awarded as a scholarship. The original amount or “principal” remains invested to generate more interest, dividends, or capital appreciation. A fund becomes permanent at $2,500. However, a principal of $2,500 will not earn enough income in a year’s time to create one average award. The earnings will be supplemented by ECSA general funds; however ECSA encourages all sponsors to keep their respective accounts growing.
Establishing a Permanent Fund
To start a permanent fund, contact the ECSA through its web site at or by mail at P.O. Box 54, Ellington, CT 06029. Once an agreement has been reached with the ECSA to work toward a permanent fund, and an accumulating fund has been established, contributions to the fund can begin. These donations can also be augmented by fundraising activities of the sponsoring group.
Accumulating Funds
Arrangements may be made with ECSA to start an accumulating fund. To achieve accumulating status, $250 must be accrued within six months following the receipt of an agreement form. Thereafter, a minimum of $250 must be received each year so that all funds become permanent within a ten year period. During the period that the fund is growing to  permanent status, it will be listed as an “accumulating fund,” and no awards will be given. Some accumulating funds reach permanency quickly, others take several years, and some require the full ten years.
Continued Fund Growth
A fund grows when additional money is contributed directly to the principal. Any individual or group may donate to any established fund. Some sponsors conduct private money raising activities. In many cases, donors give contributions to the fund as gifts in someone’s name to honor special occasions in their lives. Others simply contribute regularly to the accumulating or growing principal. Often, during ECSA’s annual fund-raising effort, donors direct that their contribution be added to a specific permanent fund.

Scholarships are awarded annually from the following established permanent funds:

  • 2nd Lt. Matthew James Zielinski Memorial
    Matthew was a graduate of the EHS class of 1983. To say that Matthew was involved in many activities while a student at EHS would not do justice to the work ethic and commitment he brought to his school and community. He played clarinet in the band, was captain of the basketball, soccer and track teams and a member of the drama club, was senior class president and a member of the National Honor Society. Matthew was also an altar server at St. Luke’s for ten years, a tutor for grammar school students and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Upon his graduation from Ellington High School, Matthew received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in May of 1987. Less than a year later, Matthew died in a traffic accident while stationed in El Paso, Texas. Matt’s memory continues to make an impact on his family and friends. In April 2010, his friends many of whom still serve in the military, arranged to have a memorial plaza dedicated in his name at a new brigade complex at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. On one side of the memorial monument the words “Hope, Promise and Potential” are carved. One the other, beneath Matt’s picture, is the phrase ”Believe in Yourself – Believe in Others”. Matthew’s family and friends established this permanent fund to honor his outstanding scholarship, citizenship and exemplary character.
  • 2nd Lt .Matthew Giuliano Memorial
    Matthew Giuliano was a 1996 graduate of Ellington High School. In his four years at EHS, Matt shone brighter than most students and left a lasting impression on both peers and staff. “Goog” as he was more commonly called, dedicated his time to his studies, to sports and theater. With great humor, intelligence, and kindness, Matt excelled academically, eventually being inducted into the National Honor Society. He also became a leader within the high school sporting community on both the cross country and track and field teams. However, he shone most brightly as an actor and crew chair during his four years of involvement with the Opening Knight Players. Due to his dedication to the theater, he was inducted into Troupe 5226 of the International Thespian Society. One of his final stage appearances occurred in the play It’s a Wonderful Life which explores the positive effect that one man’s life can have on the community around him. In the few years that Matt lived, he indeed had a wonderful life. Thus, this permanent scholarship fund was established to honor other students who, like Matt, have a joy in life, commitment to studies, and interest in the performing arts.
  • American Legion – Hatheway-Miller Post #62
    In 1919 the population of Ellington was approximately 2100, and the American Legion was born. As World War I veterans returned to Ellington, they established a Legion post and named it in honor of two residents, John E. Hatheway and William Miller, who had been killed in action in 1918. The Ellington Post received its charter on November 6, 1919. By 1927 Ellington’s population had grown to 2200, and the Post had 24 members actively involved in town affairs. Since the Rockville Fire Department had recently sent notice that due to population growth they could no longer provide service to Ellington, the Hatheway-Miller Post 62 decided to form a Fire Department. Since that time, fifteen additional men from Ellington have lost their lives in war, and veterans of American Legion Post 62, though no longer in charge of the fire Department, continue to honor them. Each year the Post organizes the annual Memorial Day Parade, places flags on veterans’ graves, conducts Veterans’ Day observances and other patriotic programs, and supports student activities in the schools. The Post also supports American Legion Baseball and provides to high school juniors the opportunity to attend Boys’ State. Additionally, the Post assists veterans and their spouses with medical expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and even food and clothing, in conjunction with the Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines Fund. After 96 years, Hatheway-Miller Post 62 continues to serve Ellington, and in the spirit of recognizing the importance of service to our country, has established this scholarship.
  • Anita Benson Memorial
    Anita Benson, a beautiful wife and friend, loved the rural atmosphere of Ellington where she lived for forty-five years. As the mother of four, she also came to have great respect for the town’s school system, so it is fitting that a scholarship in her name be given to an Ellington graduate. Anita died in 2005 after a ten-year battle with cancer, and her family, who miss her very much, honor her life and keep her memory alive with this award.
  • Timothy Banning Memorial
    Tim was a long-standing member of ECSA in the 1990s, acting primarily as publicity chairman. Father of twin girls who graduated in 2001 from Ellington High School, Tim died in December of 2000 from Lou Gehrig’s disease. A proud dad and a loving husband, Tim’s courage in battling his illness was an inspiration to those who knew and cared for him. This scholarship was created by family and friends to honor his spirit.
  • Katherine M. Benson Memorial
    Katherine, a graduate of the EHS Class of 1976, was killed in a car accident in 1987. Her parents wanted to remember her spirit and her loving and generous nature by establishing this permanent fund and awarding a scholarship in her honor.
  • Bert I. Bertelsen Memorial
    Mr. Bertelsen, an active member of the Ellington community, was a World War II Navy veteran who served in the South Pacific. Mr. Bertelsen attended Columbia University, M.I.T. and the University of Hartford. He was co-founder of Cub Scout Pack 96 and served as its first Cub Master. He served Ellington on the Zoning Board of Appeals and was a member of the Ellington Historical Society and an active member of the Ellington Congregational Church where he served as a Sunday school teacher. To honor Mr. Bertelsen this scholarship is awarded to an honor roll student who has demonstrated service to others.
  • Jean A. Betz Memorial
    Jean A. Betz (Jenny to her friends), was pretty, smart and great fun. Raised without her mother who died when Jean was just six, she did not have the opportunity to attend college. She and her husband Victor were married after his return from serving in Europe during World War II. After searching to find a rural community with excellent schools where they could raise their family, in 1953 they settled in Ellington, a town they came to love. Jean was involved in the PTA, Brownies, Cub Scouts and many community and church related activities. As Jean and Victor’s four children, Nancy, John, Matthew and Barbara (all EHS graduates) grew, the family appreciated more and more the quality and care provided by Ellington’s excellent teachers and schools. When Jean died suddenly in 1997, knowing of her love for the young people of Ellington, Victor established a permanent scholarship fund to be awarded in her memory to a deserving student.
  • Clennon & Austin Griffin Memorial
    The Griffins, father and son, were dedicated citizens who supported Ellington in numerous ways. Austin Griffin was a Deacon at the Ellington Congregational Church, a member of the Ellington Ambulance Corps and a town constable. Clennon was a member of the Board of Education, president of ECSA, a justice of the peace and president of the Ellington Historical Society. This scholarship in their memory is awarded to a student who demonstrates strong citizenship, high moral character and involvement in community service.
  • John Doffek Memorial
    John Doffek, a Business Education teacher at Ellington High School for 34 years, retired in 1997. During his tenure at EHS, he displayed the qualities and passion that exemplify a dedicated educator. For those many years, his love of, and devotion to, his students was steadfast. His dedication to the EHS community included being a two-time Senior Class advisor, serving as Chair of the Business Department, and establishing the school store. Teaching was in John’s blood, and he was well aware of the impact a teacher could have on the life of a student. When John died in 2006, family, friends and faculty created a scholarship in his name to be awarded to a graduating senior planning to pursue a career in Education.
  • John Doffek Memorial Technical
    In addition to being a Business Education teacher, John Doffek also had a great appreciation of, and fondness for, those students who demonstrated technical or trade abilities. He understood that some students built careers based not on college degrees, but on other interests. John encouraged such students to further develop these interests by pursuing trade certifications or licenses, and he was pleased to patronize their businesses. In this spirit, his wife and family established the John J. Doffek Technical Scholarship to be awarded to a graduating senior who intends to achieve certification/license in a technical career.
  • Ellington Business Association
    Recognizing the importance of education in contributing to a positive and productive workforce, the Ellington Business community has shown its support of the students of Ellington providing this scholarship to support a graduate who plans who plans on a career in the business world.
  • Ellington Memorials
    Ellington Memorials, a cemetery monument company servicing the needs of those in the local community, was founded in 1995 following the death of Jenna Lea Binkowski, the daughter of Robert and Janet Kupferschmid Binkowski. Jenna Lea only lived a brief seventy-six days despite the unrelenting efforts of the many medical personnel dedicated to her recovery. Had Jenna Lea lived she would have been an Ellington High School 2013 graduate. In memory of Jenna Lea Binkowski, this scholarship’s purpose is to provide financial assistance to individuals pursuing a career in medicine, including physical and occupational therapy, medical technologies or health disciplines.
  • Ellington Volunteer Fire Department
    Members of the Ellington Volunteer Fire Department, which has long served Ellington, are men and women who give their time and talent to keep Ellington residents safe. To promote service to the community, the EVFD has established a permanent fund to award a scholarship to a student who will pursue a career in fire science or emergency medical service or who is a relative of an EVFD member.
  • Ellington Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary
    Established in January of 1997, The Ellington Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary was first a group of fire department relatives supporting both the firefighters and the wider community. The Auxiliary holds fund-raising activities which allow it to sponsor many community events such as the Winterfest, the EHS Safe Graduation party as well as support the Human Services Department and this permanent fund scholarship. As its members are all volunteers, the EVFD Auxiliary awards its scholarship to a young man or woman with strong community involvement who has demonstrated exceptional service and commitment to the town.
  • First Niagra Bank
    Funded through First Niagara bank, this scholarship is awarded to support a student pursuing a business degree.
  • Friends of Ellington Music
    Ellington Friends of Music formed in 2009 to support and enhance music in our schools and community by advocating for expanded music opportunities for students in grades K-12. Volunteer members are proud to have solidified this commitment through the establishment of the EFOM Scholarship which is awarded to a graduating senior who plans to study music in college. This student must have demonstrated passion for music through involvement and/or leadership in school or community musical ensembles.
  • Friends of William McMillen
    Bill McMillen, a loving family man and civic-minded citizen of Ellington, served as a selectman during the 1980s and was also a co-owner of WordCom, an Ellington direct mail company. He was active in youth sports and other areas of community service and was also an avid tennis player. Bill died an untimely death, but his family and friends wanted his spirit to live on by helping the students of Ellington. To honor his memory, this permanent fund was established by members of the two tennis leagues that now carry his name.
  • Judy Gan Memorial Scholarship
    Judy Gan, a long-time Ellington resident, was a school librarian, a writer, a classic car enthusiast, a self-proclaimed “flower child,” and a loving wife and mother. A woman who faced life with a sparkle, she reached out to help others despite her own often debilitating illnesses. A pillar of strength to her family and many friends, she was known and loved for her empathy and unique sense of humor, her advocacy, and a desire to make a difference. Judy loved music of the 60’s, especially the Beatles, and as they wrote in their song, “Hey, Jude,” she could always “take a sad song and make it better”. Her husband Michael and her children, Jonathan and Maggie, established this scholarship so that Judy’s love of children would live on and her love of life would continue to inspire. The scholarship is awarded to students who wish to pursue degrees in Library Science, Literature or Music. Although academic achievement is important, other factors such as perseverance, marked improvement and overcoming adversity carry equal weight.
  • Gordon C. Getchell Memorial
    Mr. Getchell, the first principal of Ellington High School, was devoted to education and known to both staff and students as an advisor, educator and friend. This scholarship is awarded to an academically successful student who displays honesty and sincerity.
  • Hunter Giroux Memorial
    Hunter Giroux devoted many years coaching youth sports in Ellington and served on the Ellington Parks and Recreation Board. Hunter felt strongly that the lessons learned while playing sports helped student athletes excel in all aspects of life. His three sons, Cody, Brady and Trevor all participated in Ellington High School varsity sports; each on a team that won a state championship title. Although Hunter’s life ended unexpectedly at age 54, his legacy lives on. His goal was to help Ellington athletes reach their full potential. Thanks to family, friends and colleagues two scholarships will assist athletes pursuing a college degree. Each year scholarships will be awarded to two Ellington High School student athletes who grew up playing Ellington youth sports and continued to participate in athletics throughout high school.
  • Dr. Eileen Kouba
    Dr. Eileen Kouba is well respected for her many years of service and dedication to education. She served as a classroom teacher, curriculum coordinator, and then as principal of Ellington High School. Devoted to students, staff and teachers, Dr. Kouba consistently demonstrated professionalism, unparalleled hard work and high standards tempered with compassion. She fostered an inspiring environment in which to learn, teach, and grow. Upon her retirement in 2005, this scholarship was established in her honor and is awarded to a senior of academic talent who has demonstrated a commendable work ethic.
  • The Magdefrau Family Scholarship
    Stuart Magdefrau was a lifelong Ellington resident and an active member of the community. He coached youth sports, including soccer and baseball, and served on a number of local committees. He was Treasurer of both the Vernon Historical Society and the Strong Family Farm. In 2011, Stu was instrumental in raising over $50,000 of initial funding to build the Senior Center in Ellington. He also had extensive knowledge of local history and collected antiques that were of significance to Ellington. A graduate of Ellington High School and UCONN, Stu took great pride in the success of his children. His sons, Chris and Neal, both majored in engineering, and his daughter Allison is an elementary teacher in Ellington. In Stu’s memory, each year a scholarship will be awarded to an Ellington High School student who intends to major in a STEM or business-related field (including math or science education) and is an active volunteer in Ellington.
  • P of H Ellington Grange #46
    When the Ellington Grange ended its existence as a formal group in 2002, Grange members decided to create a permanent fund to encourage future students of the town and to recognize the long history of the Grange and its influence as both a social network and a support team for the early agricultural community of Ellington. The Ellington Grange scholarship is awarded to students seeking higher education in an agricultural field.
  • Dr. Richard Packman
    Dr. Richard Packman served as Ellington’s Superintendent of Schools from 1995 to 2006. Proud and supportive of all Ellington students, Dr. Packman was passionate about teaching and education and believed strongly in the district’s motto, “Where Children Come First.” This scholarship was established upon Dr. Packman’s retirement to honor his continuing commitment and dedication to the students of Ellington. The scholarship is awarded to a student interested in a career in education and, if possible, planning to attend a Connecticut state college or university.
  • William Prenetta Scholarship
    For over twenty-five years drama director and English teacher William Prenetta has worked endless hours at Ellington High School. More than a teacher, mentor, and friend, Bill is also a constant source of inspiration and a confidant who guides his students through the often-turbulent high school years. He has empowered students to find solutions and learn by doing. His legacy includes the many students who have thrived as members of the Opening Knight Players, earned college degrees in theater, and gone on to careers in drama and stagecraft. This scholarship is awarded to a student planning to pursue a performing arts degree (drama, stage writing, music, dance, technical theater) or a teaching career in theater arts.
  • Paul H. Prokop Memorial
    Mr. Prokop, a Navy veteran of World War II, enlisted at 17 years of age and earned three battle stars. Deeply devoted to Ellington, Mr. Prokop served as a Selectman, on the Zoning Board, and as a justice of the peace and was also the commander and judge advocate of the Rockville American Legion. Mr. Prokop believed strongly in the ideals of community, civic responsibility and democracy; he never missed a town meeting and considered voting a privilege. After Mr. Prokop died in 2005, Mrs. Prokop established this scholarship to help a deserving student who champions her husband’s ideals in order to make Ellington and the world a better place.
  • Susan G. Stein Memorial
    A 1985 graduate of the UConn School of Nursing, and an Ellington resident since 1990, Sue Stein was a proud mother, wonderful wife, daughter, sister and friend. She created a legacy of compassion, nursing excellence and caring. Mother of three children in the Ellington school system, Sue enjoyed her years serving her community by working as a nurse in the Ellington schools and at Rockville Hospital, where she was the proud recipient of the Florence Nightingale Award in 2008. Those who knew Sue recall her dedication to her family and profession as well as her contagious smile. Despite her years of medical treatments, Sue’s tenacious personality allowed her to be an inspiration to those around her. Sue lost her battle with cancer on March 11, 2008. Her family and friends wanted her spirit to live on by helping a deserving student fulfill his or her goals in the nursing or medical field.
  • Austin P. Tautkis Memorial Scholarship
    Austin Tautkus, a 2013 graduate of Ellington High School, was a three sport athlete and a student leader. During his senior year he captained his football and baseball teams and earned All-Conference football honors as a wide receiver. He earned the annual EHS Coaches’ Award for the two- or three-sport athlete who “set an example by his character, tenacity, determination, and leadership.” Austin shared his talents and the joy of sports with the youngsters of Ellington by coaching youth basketball, helping out at Roadrunner football practices, and umpiring Little League baseball games. Along with a love of sports and competition, Austin shared with his father a passion for car and truck restoration. Having refurbished a 1970 Chevy Blazer well enough to drive—complete with oversized American flag streaming from the bed, his next plan was to bring back to life a 1939 GMC truck. After Austin’s death, his father, family and friends spent countless hours finishing that project. “Austin’s Rat Rod” has since been to numerous car shows! He had a vibrant spirit and embraced life with enthusiasm. His smile and laughter were contagious, and he was fun, loving, kind, and generous. He loved his family’s annual camping trips; playing Wiffle ball, ping pong and mini golf; bowling with his siblings; competing in fantasy baseball and football leagues with his father, brother, uncles, and cousins; and hanging out with friends. Austin died tragically on June 18, 2014. He was 18 years old and had recently finished his freshman year at Western Connecticut State University where he was majoring in business, and played on the Colonials’ Bowl-winning football team. The generosity of Austin’s family and SO MANY friends keeps alive his memory, and we are proud to honor them and Austin with these three scholarships awarded to students who share Austin’s love of sports or vehicles.
  • Molly West Memorial
    Molly West lived by Crystal Lake where she was well known in the community as an advocate for protecting and preserving the lake area. As president of the Crystal Lake Association, Molly’s was a strong voice within the town of Ellington on issues involving the health of the lake she loved. When she died, those who knew her honored Molly’s memory with donations which the Crystal Lake Association has used to establish this scholarship in her name. Molly’s love of the lake and of preserving the environment will live on in awarding this scholarship to a student who shares a connection to Crystal Lake or who plans to further Molly’s goals through pursuing a career in environmental or related sciences.