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ARA Foundation Awards $41,000 Scholarships To 24 Students For 2009/2010 Academic Year

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

MOLINE, IL — After receiving a record 86 applications, the ARA Foundation Scholarship Committee selected 24 students for $41,000 in scholarships for the upcoming academic year. All the recipients are planning future careers in the equipment rental industry. The scholarships, ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 each, are being awarded to students attending technical/vocational schools, community colleges, undergraduate colleges and graduate schools.

The Foundation board of trustees and scholarship committee awarded several additional undergraduate and graduate scholarships this year, since the quality of applicants was high and additional funds were available from the 2008 and 2009 auctions benefiting the Foundation during The Rental Show.

Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, leadership, rental industry involvement, written essays on rental-related questions and references. Applicants must be associated with the rental industry as an owner, manager or employee of a rental operation or manufacturer/supplier of rental equipment, or their family members.

Ryan Ponikvar of Sun Rental Center, Mentor, Ohio, was selected for the ARA Insurance Services Scholarship of $3,000, the top scholarship award. He will be a junior at the University of Cincinnati and is pursuing a degree in finance. His grandfather, Larry Felice, and great-uncle, Tom Felice, own Sun Rental Center.

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

  • Kendra Aker, Creative Tent International, Weed, Calif.
  • Shawn Blaisdell, Bunce Rental, Tacoma, Wash. His father, Michael Blaisdell, is general manager.
  • Stefanie Blaisdell Bunce Rental/American Party Place, Tacoma, Wash. Her father, Michael Blaisdell, is general manager of Bunce Rental.
  • Nicholas Dagenais, Taylor Rental Center, Wallingford, Conn., owned by his father, Russell Dagenais, and aunt, Victoria Dagenais.
  • Leroy (Lee) Dixon III, Party Plus, Baltimore, owned by his father, Leroy Dixon Jr.
  • Brittany Fike, Let’s Entertain, Warrensville Heights, Ohio, owned by her mother, Karen Fike.
  • Charles Jones, Rent All Center, Alexandria, Va., owned by his father, Doug Jones.
  • Trevor Matthew, Taylor Rental Center, Petoskey, Mich., owned by his grandparents, Jake and Diana Bishop.
  • Shannon Penfound, Par-Tee Rentals, Petrolia, Ontario, Canada, owned by her parents, Mark and Brenda Penfound.
  • Jennifer Thomas, Magic Special Events, Richmond, Va., owned by her father, Woody Thomas.
  • Shane Valliere, Taylor Rental Center, Petoskey, Mich., owned by his grandparents, Jake and Diana Bishop.


Recipients of Foundation undergraduate scholarships of $1,500 each are:

  • Steven Lantz, Double D Rentals, Norco, Calif., owned by his grandfather, Dave Dahl, and his great-uncle, Fred Dahl.
  • Brandt Yount, A-1 Equipment Rental, Morristown, Tenn., owned by his father, Eddie Yount.

Recipients of the Foundation’s graduate scholarships of $2,000 each are:

  • Christopher Burson, Rental World of St. Cloud, St. Cloud, Fla., owned by his father, Wendell Burson. He is pursuing an MBA at the University of Central Florida.
  • Chris Sater, A & A Tent Productions, Shreveport, La. His father, Harold Sater, is managing director of Taylor Rentals/A&A Tents. He is attending Centenary College, pursuing an MBA.
  • Jay Spencer, RSC Equipment Rental, Houston. He is attending the University of Houston – Clear Lake, pursuing an MBA.

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

  • Amanda Beebe, Rental Express, Indian River, Mich.
  • Erick Helfmann, A-1 Lansing Rent All, Lansing, Mich., owned by his father, Gary Helfmann.
  • Tom Hessel, Lee’s Ace Hardware, Van Wert, Ohio.
  • Matthew Jones, Jones Equipment Rental, Fort Gratiot, Mich., owned by his father, Michael Jones.
  • Spenser Joy, Volvo Rents, Springfield, Mo., owned by his aunt and uncle, Jackie and DuWayne Eoff.
  • Bryan Licata, Four Seasons Power Equipment, East Meadow, N.Y., owned by his father, Joseph Licata.
  • David Stadelman, Bandon Rental & Equipment Repair, Bandon, Ore.

The ARA Foundation also administers four additional scholarships for affiliated rental organizations. Those recipients are:
$500 ARA Region Two/Ron Marshall Scholarship

  • Leroy (Lee) Dixon III, who also received a Foundation undergraduate scholarship.

$1,000 ARA Region 10/Dorothy Wellnitz Scholarship

  • Shannon Penfound, Par-Tee Rentals, Petrolia, Ontario, Canada, who also received a Foundation undergraduate scholarship.

$750 ARA of Ohio Scholarships

  • Jeremy Emig, Cincy Tool Rental, Cincinnati.
  • Brittany Fike, Let’s Entertain, Warrensville Heights, Ohio, who also received an ARA Foundation scholarship.
  • Michael Leppo, Leppo Rents, Tallmadge, Ohio, owned by his father, Glenn Leppo.
  • Jennifer Maslyn, A-1 Amusement & Party Rental, Cincinnati, owned by her father, Don Maslyn.
  • Ryan Ponikvar, Sun Rental Center, Mentor, Ohio, also the recipient of the ARA Insurance Services Scholarship.
  • Richard (Kevin) Saunders, Sully’s Rent-All, Akron, Ohio, owned by his father, Rick Saunders.

$1,000 Texas Rental Association Scholarships

  • Paige Cole, Texas Rental, Hico, Texas, owned by her father, Lee Cole.
  • Collin Dannemiller, Taylor Rental Center, Plano, Texas, owned by his uncle, Mark Mancill.
  • Preston Harris, Rental Stop, Grand Prairie, Texas.
  • Heather Harvey, H & V Equipment Services, Corpus Christi, Texas, owned by her parents, Randa and Bruce Harvey.
  • Kyle Landua, U-Rent-It Sales and Service, Terrell, Texas, owned by his grandfather, David Landua.

Applications for the 2010/2011 ARA Foundation will be available this fall at www.ARAfoundation.com.

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