Upon Jason's death March 23rd, 2003 we established the "Jason Plite Memorial Fund" ( a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization) in hopes of being able to give a gift to the Swimming and Art Departments (two of Jason's passions) of the Grand Ledge High School where he attended and graduated from in 1999. The Fund did so incredibly well we felt it was imperative that we incorporate the Fund,  appoint a Board of Directors, and establish it as a charitable/non-profit organization and continue to raise funds so that we can give out Grants and Scholarships to students in the Grand Ledge Community pursuing further education in Art and Swimming! We will continue to raise funds by holding an annual Fund Raising Dinner Event each April.

2018 Dinner Event Information!

IMG_0472 Mathews Pierson
Mathews E. Pierson


The 14th annual Jason Plite Memorial Fund Dinner was held Friday April 14 at the Grand Ledge Opera House. It was an evening of celebration, full of lasting memories. It was with great pleasure that we awarded 3 Jason Plite Memorial Fund Scholarships. The Jason Plite Memorial Fund would like to acknowledge Adam Schmidt, Nathan Buchweitz and Cecilia Rivet as this year’s recipients.

Adam Schmidt, was awarded a $2,500 Art Scholarship.

Adam says his passion for art is something that cannot be duplicated by anyone else as it has developed in such a unique way. His passion for art has been incubated primarily by his family of artists whom inspired him and pushed him further to embrace the different aspects of the artist inside him. Adam plans to attend University of Michigan pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering and a Performing Arts Degree.

Nathan Buchweitz, was awarded a $5,000 Swim Scholarship. Nathan states that through swimming at Grand Ledge he has learned many amazing things about his own character resulting in successful work toward awe-inspiring dreams.
Nathan is a multi sport athlete. Nathan earned the honor to compete as a member of the Team USA Triathlon for the amateur race this September’s ITU Standard World Championship in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Nathan plans on obtaining a mechanical engineering degree at Michigan State University, with a Masters Degree in Bioengineering to follow.

Cecilia Rivet, was awarded a $5,000 Swim Scholarship. Cecilia shared with us that for her swimming is a sport that requires not only physical but mental discipline especially when it comes to getting out of a warm bed and into a cold pool at 6am. Cecilia will begin her college career at the University of Michigan, College of Pharmacy. She is eager to set her compassion into action and to learn how she can apply medicine to lessen the pain of cancer symptoms and one day eradicate cancer.

Rebecca Schaeffer-Scott, our keynote speaker is a 2005 recipient of the Jason Plite Memorial Swim Scholarship. She swam for Grand Ledge from 2001-2005. After school she moved to Grand Rapids where she studied at Grand Valley State University. She graduated in 2009 with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. After working and gaining valuable life experiences for a few years, she had a drive to give even more to her community and the world. In 2014, Becky went back to school to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and will complete her program this coming August.

Special acknowledgements go out to; The MSU Air Force ROTC “Silver Eagles”, they were in attendance representing the U.S. Air Force, to post and retire the colors. With gratitude we recognize the Opera House, Gladstone Printing, David Chapman Agency, Delta Flowers and A Catered Affaire’ for their gracious support making our dinner a great success.

The Silent Auction, which helps support our endeavors, has grown and offered a wide range of wonderful items from local businesses; Cugino’s, English Inn, Eagle Eye, Hawk Hollow, Centennial and Timber Ridge golf courses, were some of the contributors. Local artists and former scholarship recipients also contributed beautiful pieces, handcrafted jewelry, pottery, paintings, and much more. Hand Crocheted Blankets, Baby Gift Basket, a Scentsy Gift Basket and two handcrafted metal works of art created personally by Jason’s Uncle Gregg (a Pararescue fire ring and Bar Table).

Jason, like the select few that endure, and attain the honor, of being a Pararescueman, had an abundance of talent and special qualities.  The “PJ” promise to the world “That Others May Live” says it all, as Jason lost his life while on a mission to rescue 2 Afghani children, just after completing a mission that saved 3 severely injured Afghanistan Nationals.  This is why we share his passion and honor him every year at this dinner, providing scholarships for the outstanding students listed above.

To date the Jason Plite Memorial Fund has awarded 40 scholarships totaling $103,500.

We would like to recognize and profoundly thank all the family, friends and the Grand Ledge Community whom continue to generously support the Jason Plite Memorial Fund. 

The Jason Plite Memorial Fund Board of Directors


Scholarship Recipients
Nathan Buchweitz - Cecilia Rivent - Adam Schmidt


Cadet Colonel Nathan Gaggin, Cadet 3c Winston Richards, Cadet Major Erin Kelly, Cadet Captain Haleigh Wendzel





Keynote Speaker - Rebecca Schaeffer - Scott








the board
Mary Gwardzinski, Colleen Austin, Shaynah Peterson Alyssa Peterson, Dawn Peterson,
Sara Clark-Pierson & Amanda McDonald,

Charlie, Dawn, Shaynah, Sean, Luke & Alyssa

Pararescue family!
Josh Johnston, Luke Naughton, Ryan Beckmann & Sean Cunningham

Thank you for your continued support and very generous donations. The support from our Community and throughout the USA has been overwhelming. This is such a special way to keep Jason's Memory alive, and to turn a tragedy into something good.  Your support and kindness is truly appreciated!

Send a tax deductible contribution to:
Jason Plite Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 81064 Lansing, MI 48908

For additional information, send an e-mail to following address: