A Central Lake native, Cleo Purdy's passion for children and young families lives on because of her generous heart and thoughtful planning. Supporting programming for preschool, playgroups, and family engagement, her gift will continue to impact generations of families.
Gifts great and small make a meaningful difference in the communities we treasure. By aligning our gifts with what means the most to us, we can create a lasting and personal impression.
What impression will you make? Let's give it forward, together.
The John Rowland Gehring Science Scholarship Endowment supports scholarship awards for Benzie Central High School graduating seniors that plan to pursue a degree in the science field.
John graduated from Benzonia High School in 1960 and attended Michigan State University, obtaining a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Limnology. John first taught biology at Durand Area High School from 1967-1973. From 1973 to 2005, John taught biology at Benzie Central High School, including teaching Advanced Placement Biology for 22 years. John and his students in the Benzie Central Aquatic Biology Seminar performed water quality studies of Crystal Lake, issuing reports in 1987 and 1989. After training at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York and raising funds locally, John ran recombinant DNA laboratory workshops at the high school on the weekends for many years. Students from all over the state participated. In 1999, he received the Siemens Award for Excellence in Advanced Placement Science Teaching from the College Board and the Siemens Corporation. As a College Board consultant, John trained hundreds of AP teachers at summer institutes at Purdue University and Ferris State University among others, continuing this work until the present. John enjoyed fishing, gardening, hunting, and the beauty of Crystal Lake and Benzie County.