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Big turnout for Lisa Husung Scholarship benefit

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Janet Husung greets people at a scholarship benefit today in honor of her daughter Lisa. The community contributed 120 baskets of gifts that were auctioned off to raise money for a scholarship that will be given out annually at the Medina, Albion and Roy-Hart school districts.

MEDINA – A big crowd from Medina, Albion and the Roy-Hart communities turned out today for a benefit to establish a memorial scholarship for Lisa Husung.

Lisa’s family and friends worked to raise $12,000 for the scholarship, with $200 awarded annually to a graduating senior at Medina, Albion and Roy-Hart school districts. Lisa’s mother Janet believes they met their goal.

Lisa, 23, was close to earning a master’s degree at the University of Buffalo to become certified to teach reading and English as a Second Language. Her life was cut short on Jan. 2 when she died from complications from Lupus.

Lisa’s parents, Janet and Carl, thanked the community for the turnout and support for the scholarship.

“It’s phenomenal to see everyone having a good time, celebrating her life,” said Mr. Husung, a high school reading teacher at Roy-Hart. Growing up, Lisa helped her father with the AYSO soccer program both in Medina and Roy-Hart.

Lisa Husung’s brother Greg, center, joins a group on the dance floor at Medina Theatre.

Businesses and other community members donated 120 baskets that were raffled off at Medina Theatre, which was also available rent-free for the benefit. Mrs. Husung is a kindergarten teacher at Albion. Fellow teacher Patrick Holman performed a magic show and another teacher Jeff Radder volunteered to be the DJ for the benefit.

Another family friend, Dave Viterna, rocked on the stage. About 200 T-shirts were sold that said “Love for Lisa.” The shirts were designed by Lisa’s sister Sharon. The shirts were the color purple for Lupus and included the symbol for Lupus, a butterfly.

“She was so sweet and very loving,” said JoAnn Gerbig of Cazenovia. She made a 160-mile trip to be at the benefit with her husband Ben. Mrs. Gerbig was Lisa’s babysitter about two decades ago.

“When we heard about this event there was no question we’d be here,” Mrs. Gerbig said at the Medina Theatre, where more than 300 people gathered to dance, bid on baskets and celebrate Lisa’s life.

Lisa attended school at Albion until the fourth grade. She graduated eighth in her class at Medina in 2008. She was an honor student despite early struggles learning to read.

The scholarship at Albion and Medina will go to a graduating senior who needed academic intervention services, or who is an ESL speaker or a refugee. In Roy-Hart the scholarship will go to a student pursuing the teaching profession.

Albion teacher Jeff Radder volunteered as DJ at the benefit today. He had Lisa as a student in 1999-2000, his first year as a fourth-grade teacher in Albion.