Butts Memorial Fund in Medina seeks donations for scholarships, site upkeep

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 7 April 2021 at 8:23 am

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Members of the John E. Butts Memorial Fund pose around the monument in Butts Park paying tribute to the Medina native who was killed in World War II. From left are Jim Freas, Peter Huth, Dave Barhite, Dave Kusmierczak and Steve Johnson. The fund awards a $500 scholarship in Butts’ name to a senior at Medina High School each year.

MEDINA – The John E. Butts Memorial Fund is seeking donations to support the organization and its efforts to award scholarships to graduating Medina seniors.

The fund in honor of the Medina native who was killed during World War II was started in 1981 by a group of Medina citizens who wanted to build a memorial to Butts. After a monument honoring the soldier was built in Butts Park, there was money left over and a scholarship was started.

John Butts was awarded the Medal of Honor for acts of valor in the Normandy invasion in June 1944.

John Edward Butts was a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Army and a rifle platoon leader who received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions above and beyond the call of duty during the Normandy Campaign in World War II. Butts was one of five brothers who served in the war and the only one to be killed in action. He was born Aug. 4, 1922 in Medina and died in action June 23, 1944.

The fund, which also maintains the monument in Butts Park, awards a $500 scholarship each year to a senior at Medina High School. The organization relies on donations from the community to keep the fund going, said Dave Kusmierczak, secretary-treasurer of the John E. Butts Memorial Fund.

Other members of the organization which manages the fund are Peter Huth, president; Dave Barhite, vice president; and Steve Johnson, Jim Freas, Dave Morien and John Pera, board members. Jacquelyn Organisciak from Key Bank oversees the finances.

Kusmierczak said Huth goes to the school every year with applications for students to fill out, indicating life and career goals, their school activities, student income, a summary of the college they’d like to attend and what they want to study.

The scholarship isn’t awarded until the student enters college. In the event a scholarship isn’t awarded, leftover money is used for flowers around the monument in Butts Park.

Anyone wishing to make a donation in honor of Butts can send a check to the John E. Butts Memorial Fund in care of David Kusmierczak, 413 East Oak Orchard St., Medina, 14103.