It seemed only fitting to name the first recipient of a LaceLocker Scholarship, funded by an endowment created by Carol “Stash” Stanley, at the Ruterbusch 5K run during the 2017 Homecoming weekend.
Stash, the charismatic founder of Stash Sporting Goods, recipient of the Fredonia Alumni Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2010 and a 1971 graduate, returned to campus to announce Genielle Byczynski, a first-year student from Dunkirk majoring in Business Administration, as the inaugural scholarship recipient. The occasion also marked the 50th anniversary of Stash’s arrival at Fredonia.
The LaceLocker® Endowment Fund was established by Stash through the Fredonia College Foundation to help first generation female students who otherwise would not be able to attend college. She was inspired to create the scholarship by her mother, Cassie, who reinforced the belief that education builds the foundation for independence.
“These are tears of joy; these are tears of opportunity; these are tears of thankfulness; these are tears of hope that every young first generation female student who is a recipient of the scholarship has the opportunity to pursue excellence,” Stash said as she hugged Genielle. “I want to do something in my Mom’s memory, and today you’re helping me to do that.”
Profits from sales of the LaceLocker, one of five products developed by Stash Sporting Goods, are being allocated to the endowment fund.
“I’ve always been, I think, an over-achiever. I call it ‘salmon-esque,’ because I’m swimming upstream all the time,” says Stash, who started Stash Sporting Goods as part of her love and affinity for sports. The company produces the LaceLocker, a unique lace storage device designed to make running, competing in sports and recreational activities safer and more enjoyable.
Stash has pledged to raise $250,000 to the Nurturing Innovation campaign. Her ultimate goal is to donate enough money to cover all college expenses of each scholarship recipient.
“This is not about me at all, this is about the young women, such as Genielle, and others who will follow in her footsteps and make my mother’s legacy last forever.”
In honor of the occasion, Stash, a two-time ASA All-American and former softball coach, provided LaceLockers®, adorned with the new Fredonia logo, to all Ruterbusch participants.