Powder River Energy Foundation provides preschool tuition assistance in memory of Shayna Ritthaler
August 3, 2023
The Powder River Energy Foundation awarded preschool tuition scholarships totaling $3450 to students at six preschools in Crook and Weston counties. This is the fourth allotment in a sustaining preschool tuition assistance program as part of the Shayna Ritthaler Memorial Scholarship.
The Powder River Energy Foundation (PRECorp Foundation) Board of Directors awarded funds to Weston County Children's Center/Region III Developmental Services and Sundance's Kid Prints, Inc. preschool.
The scholarship fund was established after the tragic 2019 homicide death of Shayna Ritthaler, a high school student with ties to Moorcroft and Upton high schools. Shayna enjoyed her life with her sister Josalyn, and their grandparents Reuben and Shelly Ritthaler, on their ranch near Upton.
Region III provides early intervention and special education services for birth to school-age children. Their service areas include Crook and Weston counties, with preschools in Newcastle, Upton, Hulett, Moorcroft and Sundance. Kid Prints, Inc. provides preschool education and kindergarten readiness to children ages 4 and 5.
"This distribution of scholarship funds is part of an ongoing effort to support early childhood education in memory of Shayna," said Foundation Board President John Flocchini. In 2021, the Foundation raised more than $50,000 in the raffle of a donated '72 Mustang Mach I.
According to the wishes of the car's donor, the program has expanded the scholarship to more students in more preschools.
"This is a critical part of the Foundation's overall mission to help working families in need in northeast Wyoming. These students will benefit from extra days in their preschool programs to help them be ready to start kindergarten on Day 1," Flocchini said.
The Foundation will manage the scholarship fund in an investment strategy to last until at least the year 2040 to provide for future generations of students.