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Laird Rambasek Family Scholarship Fund

Rik Laird and Patti Rambasek have always valued education and given their time and talents to community service: Rik, through his work with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, and Patti, through her talent as an audio-visual producer and development officer for the National Aviary.  When Rik graduated from Ludington High School, he received scholarships in music and engineering to further his education at the University of Michigan and Michigan Technology University, respectively.  Knowing the impact those scholarships had on his ability to continue his education, Rik and Patti are leaving an estate gift that will establish the Laird Rambasek Family Scholarship Fund to do the same for others in our community, continuing their legacy of giving.

Rik was a hospital administrator and met Patti while working at the University Hospitals of Cleveland, where she was producing a fundraising film to benefit the hospital.  They currently live in Pittsburgh, where Rik, before retirement, was a vice president at Blue Cross and Patti was the director of development at the National Aviary.  They decided their estate plan should focus on providing support for individuals who otherwise would not have an opportunity for higher education.

As a result, the Laird Rambasek Family Scholarship Fund will create two annual scholarships.  One will benefit a graduating senior from a Mason County School District or West Shore Community College student pursuing a degree in nursing, with the hope that recipients will work in Mason County upon receiving a degree.  The second scholarship will support formerly incarcerated teens or adults pursuing a certificate or degree to enhance their future.  They decided on the second scholarship while visiting the African American Museum on a recent trip to Washington, D.C., after discussing with their museum tour guide how they could significantly impact those in need.  The guide shared personal experiences on building a life after incarceration and how support for continuing education would help turn lives around.  We are thankful for Rik and Patti’s love of our community and the estate gift that will support the students of Mason County long into the future.

Each year the Community Foundation for Mason County awards over $289,000 in scholarships. We are so appreciative of donors like Rik and Patti that choose to cultivate educational growth for students in our area. If you are interested in learning more about building your legacy of impact in our community, we’d love to talk to you!  Please get in touch with Andrea Large at or 231.845.0326.