Wednesday marks the eighth anniversary of the deadliest wildfire in Arizona history. The Yarnell Hill Fire took the lives of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.
Three of those firefighters were Marine Corps veterans — Jesse Steed, Travis Turbyfill and William Warneke. Their sacrifice is being honored this week with the announcement that scholarships in their name have been funded through the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
Preference for each of the three $5,000 scholarships will be given to the children of Marines or Navy Corpsmen from Yavapai County. The Granite Mountain crew, the first certified municipal hotshot team in the nation, was based in Yavapai County.
Those interested in applying for one of the scholarships can do so at mcsf.org by adding “Granite Mountain Hotshots” to the application form.
“We’re deeply grateful to our Arizona community who helped fund these scholarships in the name of the Marine Hotshot firefighters Jesse Steed, Travis Turbyfill and William Warneke,” said Victoria Bellomo-Rosacci, chair of the Arizona committee of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. “Those three men gave their lives protecting the land they love, and we must always remember their sacrifice and the legacy they left behind.”
The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children. Since 1962, it has been providing access to affordable education for the children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen attending post-high school, undergraduate, and career technical education programs. To learn more, visit: mcsf.org
“The Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew Learning and Tribute Center Board truly appreciates the work of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation to develop and provide these scholarships in honor of the three Granite Mountain Hotshots who also served in the Marines,” said Mardi Read, a member of the Learning and Tribute Center board. “May we always remember these brave men.”
The nonprofit center is based in Prescott. Its mission is to honor the Granite Mountain Hotshots by telling their story, displaying and housing artifacts/memorabilia, and educating visitors about wildland fire, firefighting, and prevention. To learn more, visit gmihc19.org
Bellomo-Rosacci said the Foundation’s plan is to annually fund the Marine Hotshot scholarships so that the legacies of Steed, Turbyfill and Warneke will continue to live on through the education of the children of Marines.
The Foundation invites community members to donate to the Granite Mountain Hotshots Honorary Scholarship Fund. Any amount is welcome, and one hundred percent of all funds contributed will be devoted to the Granite Mountain Hotshots Honorary Scholarship Fund.
To make your donation click on the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Arizona Campaign landing page. — mcsf.org/arizonacampaign
Please select “Contribute” and enter the amount you want to donate. In the designation drop down menu select “Granite Mountain Hotshots Honorary Scholarship Fund” and complete your billing and payment information and submit.
With the creation of the Granite Mountain Hotshots Honorary Scholarship, the Foundation continues to grow its presence in Arizona. For the 2020-2021 academic year, the Scholarship Foundation’s Arizona Campaign helped provide more than 101 scholarships to Arizona’s finest. Nationally, since 1962, the Foundation has awarded more than 47,000 scholarships worth nearly $145 million.
Victoria Bellomo-Rosacci, Arizona Committee Chair, 602-909-5989
Mike Phillips, Arizona Committee Communication, 480-220-4008