Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley
(630) 896-7800

Aurora East Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund

Established 2019

The Aurora East Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund was created by the Aurora East Educational Foundation.

These awards are available to students graduating from East Aurora High School who reside within East Aurora School District 131 and who are in the top 10% of their class.

Students must attend an accredited institution of higher education within the United States of America on a full-time basis. Accredited institutions may include a two-year college, four-year college or university, or a professional/trade/vocational school.

The Aurora East Educational Foundation was founded in 1993 to fund educational programs in East Aurora School District 131 and throughout the years the foundation has funded scores of programs that have touched the lives of thousands of students throughout the district.


The AEEF would like to recognize and thank the following benefactors whose generosity makes these scholarships possible.  


Note: The following scholarships are housed within the Aurora East Educational Foundation and are not individual funds within the CFFRV Scholarship Program. 


Merry Carey Aurora East Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship in honor of Genevieve Kennedy 

Merry Carey is a 1968 graduate of East High School, and considers herself a “proud Tomcat.”   In 1972, she graduated from Illinois State University in Music Education, and later earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Northern Illinois University.  She taught for 34 years in Dist. 129, and also directed many youth and adult choirs in the area.  She has served on numerous community boards, and is in her sixth year as an Aurora East Educational Association director. 

Ms. Carey has dedicated this scholarship to Genevieve Kennedy, the long-time choir director at Simmons Middle School.  Ms. Carey believes that “her inspiring teaching and her belief in me sent me on a career path that has given me opportunities I never dreamed I could have way back in 1962.”   


Fazio Family Aurora East Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship 

Realizing the importance of the arts and sciences to our society, Mr. and Mrs. Rich and Margie Fazio believe that education can be a great equalizer.  They believe that students of all backgrounds can attain amazing personal and professional goals with internal determination and a dedication to learning. 

Mr. and Mrs. Fazio have established this scholarship in honor of students who have dedicated themselves to learning their craft and who wish to pursue a career in the arts or sciences. 


Carol Thompson Aurora East Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship 

In gratitude to East High School and to Dist. 131, Carol Thompson has established an Excellence Scholarship. 

Ms. Thompson attended Bardwell Elementary School, the old East Junior High School, and entered East High School when it was located on Jackson St.  She graduated in 1960 from the “new” East High as a member of the first class to attend that building for all three years. 

As a high school student, she remembered her teachers guiding her into extra-curricular activities which helped her in college and in later years.  She was on the debate team, attended speech contests, had roles in plays, and was Speculum yearbook editor as a senior.  With the help of several scholarships, she attended Knox College in Galesburg, IL. 

Ms. Thompson taught English at a high school in Alabama during the challenging early years of integration.  She became a social worker at the public welfare office, and eventually the director of the local county office.  Later, she was a Chief Juvenile Court Officer and was able to serve troubled children. 

Ms. Thompson believes that the education she received in the East Aurora Schools has shaped her whole life.  She further says that it’s the basis for whatever skills she earned over the years and also is the foundation of her moral and ethical life.  As a result, she learned how to seek out more knowledge and risk experiences that have enriched her life. 


Arlene and Richard Hawks Aurora East Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hawks have established the Arlene and Richard Hawks Aurora East Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship.

Arlene and Richard Hawks have been longtime residents of Aurora who believe in the bright future of their city and its children. The couple both serve on numerous philanthropic and public service boards with the mission to move them forward in successful ways. Richard is retired from the Commodity and Brokerage trade and Arlene, after teaching and directing theatre in Dist. 131 for over 32 years, is presently Executive Director of SciTech Hands on Museum in Aurora where the Arts and Sciences are imagined, explored, and discovered.


Dr. Charalambos Menelaou Aurora East Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship

A native of Cyprus, Dr. Charalombos Menelaou was a physician dedicated to the care and well-being of his patients. His core principles centered upon family, faith, education, and service to all in need. Completing his secondary education and military service in Cyprus, Dr. Menelaou traveled to the United States to further his academic studies, receiving his chemistry degree from George Washington University and his medical degree from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Dr. Menelaou was an independent practitioner of obstetrics and gynecology with various hospital affiliations.

Fluent in Italian and French and self-taught in Spanish, Dr. Menelaou volunteered his services to the Latino community and anyone without health insurance. As a Greek Orthodox parishioner, Dr. Menelaou was very supportive of the people of Cyprus and faith-based ministries active in churches and monasteries across Cyprus and the United States.

True to his calling, Dr. Menelaou practiced the art and science of medicine for all people under his care.

(630) 896-7800