Historic Fincastle Inc. (HFI) has announced the 2017 HFI Elizabeth and Israel Christian Scholarship winners and the Pat Simmons/Sally Eads Volunteer Scholarship winners.

This is the 19th year HFI has awarded this scholarship in honor of Elizabeth and Israel Christian, who were early founders of the Town of Fincastle.

The Christians donated land for the original county courthouse, where the courthouse still stands 245 years later. The Israel Christian home on Back Street is thought to be the oldest house in Fincastle.

Nate Brinkley

Also, HFI awarded the Pat Simmons/Sally Eads Volunteer Scholarship for the second year. This scholarship rewards students who have gone above and beyond in their volunteer work for others in honor of the countless hours that Pat Simmons and Sally Eads dedicated to others.

Nate Brinkley and Mary-Hannah Jackson wrote essays about Colonel William Preston’s historical importance to Botetourt County as recipients of the Elizabeth and Israel Christian Scholarship winners.

Mary-Hannah Jackson

Jackson, from Lord Botetourt High School, wrote, “Colonel William Preston was a key figure in the development of Botetourt County as well as in regard to the American Revolution. Through his role in signing the Fincastle Resolutions, surveying and developing land in various territories mainly in Botetourt County, and playing the pivotal role of peacekeeper during times of strife and war, Colonel Preston proved himself to be a man of great character, honor, and importance who’s [sic] story I believe deserved to be preserved and appreciated in our society today.”

Brinkley, from James River High School, wrote: “The early history of the United States and the life of Colonel William Preston are interwoven at many levels. His contributions to the history of Botetourt County helped establish early prominence for Botetourt and helped develop Fincastle as a town of importance. One of the most outstanding accomplishments that is discussed at the Historic Smithfield Plantation Museum is the fact that Colonel Preston saved the life of George Washington during an Indian raid during the French & Indian War. Without George Washington, the history of the entire United States could be vastly different.”

Riley Marshall

Mackenzie Oesterreich and Riley Marshall wrote essays about how to get young people more involved in volunteer activities as recipients of the Pat Simmons/Sally Eads Volunteer Scholarships.

Marshall, from James River High School, noted in his essay that the first step is to communicate the positive effect that volunteer work can have on people in need and showcase to young people stories of impact.

Marshall has volunteered at Mill Creel Baptist Church, Rescue Mission, Ward Haven Camp, Camp Eagle, Mill Creek Summer Backpack Ministry, fishing rodeo and Inner City Sports Camp.

Mackenzie Oesterreich

Oesterreich wrote in her essay that she feels that it has personally given her the opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives and everyone should be able to experience that selfless joy.

She has volunteered at Taubman Art Museum, Rescue Million, Greenfield School Carnival, SPCA, Memory Project, School Spirit Mural, YMCA Fall Carnival, Key Club and Cedars Camps.

The HFI board of directors congratulated these winners and thanked the scholarship committee chaired by Susan Critzer and its members for their dedication in making the best selections for these scholarships from many fine applicants.

Scholarship funds are made possible by donations of HFI members and friends and fundraising events such as the HFI Holiday Home Tour and Marketplace.