Elissa Lippen/Matthew Helm Memorial Scholarship

The Elissa Lippen / Matthew Helm Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established as a component charitable fund of the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan.  The Elissa Lippen / Matthew Helm Memorial Scholarship Fund is available to graduating seniors at Fallsburg Central High School who demonstrate good character and service to school and/or community, have maintained an 80+ average, and plan to major in Art or Psychology.  An application and essay are required.  Two scholarships in the amount of $500 each are offered to students graduating in June 2013.  The fund has provided over $6,000 in scholarships to Fallsburg Central High School seniors over the last six years.  Applications are due by February 28, 2013 in the Guidance Office of Fallsburg Central High School.

Originally created in 1995, the scholarship was created as a legacy to honor and celebrate the lives of two close friends who lost their life together in a fire in 1995.  Elissa Lippen and Matthew Helm were childhood sweethearts who graduated from Fallsburg Central High School in June 1991.  Elissa graduated from Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts, and later LIM College in Manhattan.

Both lived in New York City after college.  Elissa was employed by Henri Bendel, an upscale women’s specialty store in Manhattan; she dreamed of owning her own boutique one day.  Matthew Helm was from Woodridge.  He was a student at Pace University and worked as a counselor at Cumberland House.  He was an accomplished guitarist and performed in various clubs.  Elissa and Matthew sadly lost their lives as a result of a fire that ravaged Elissa’s Upper West Side apartment on March 18, 1995.

“We are very excited to now be teaming up with the Community Foundation,” said Elissa’s father, Steven Lippen.  “With the help of the Community Foundation, we will be able to award more scholarships in honor of our daughter and her friend Matthew,” Jessica Lippen, Elissa’s mother added, “and their names will live on forever.”

The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, a 501(c)(3) public charity, was created to help individuals, organizations, and businesses establish charitable endowment funds to benefit their community.  Over 145 charitable funds are administered by the Community Foundation.  To create your own charitable endowment, to make a contribution to this scholarship fund, or to add to an existing named endowment fund, please contact the Community Foundation, Karen VanHouten Minogue, at (845) 769-9393, e-mail to karen@cfoc-ny.org, or visit www.cfoc-ny.org.