2017 Scholarship Awardees

Southwestern Association of Volunteer Firemen


The Southwestern Association of Volunteer Firemen and its Ladies’ Auxiliary annually award scholarships to graduating high school seniors who exhibit a commitment to community service as evidenced by their volunteer service as reported by school and community leaders, and as revealed by the content of their essays.   The winners will receive their scholarships in Westfield, NY on Friday, August 4th, 2017 at the 109th  Annual Convention of the Southwestern.

 The SwAVF Scholarship Committee has selected Colin Kloc, of Olean, as the recipient of the $600 Southwestern Firemen’s Association Scholarship for 2017.  He is the son of Christopher Kloc of the Westons Mills Fire Department, where Colin has also been a member for the past two years.  In that time, he has completed Firefighter 1, Basic Water Rescue Technician, and Swiftwater/Flood Rescue Technician.  He serves as an interior firefighter as well. He actively participates in all training and fundraising activities as well as participating in the department’s presentation of the local fire prevention program for the Portville Central Schools.  At Portville Central, he is an academic standout, being a member of the Honor Society, and has earned 36 college credits during his academic pursuits.  He is also an accomplished band member, three sport varsity athlete, lifeguard, and serves on the Donate Life Club to raise awareness for the need of organ donors.  He was also selected  for Boy’s State by the American Legion.  The Southwestern is pleased to recognize this young man for his exemplary commitment to community service. He intends to study Biology and Environmental Science at Houghton College this fall.

Also honored with Southwestern Ladies’ Auxiliary Scholarships in the amount of $150 each were: Kayla Spacht, a member of the Ripley Fire District for the past 6 years; Eric Koeth, a member of the Bowmansville Fire Ass’n. of Cheektowaga; and Stephen Lasnick of Scio, whose father Michael is a member of the Scio Fire Department.

Kayla Spacht, in addition to service as both a Fire Explorer and now full member of the Ripley Fire District alongside Fire Chief and Dad, Jim Spacht , volunteers her time tutoring students and assisting the teacher in an elementary classroom at Sherman Central School where she also excels in academics (at both the scholastic and collegiate levels), athletics, and student leadership.  Kayla intends to major this coming fall in Education at St. Bonaventure University.

Eric Koeth will graduate from Lancaster High School this June and intends to enroll in the Architecture Technology program at Erie Community College.  A member of Bowmansville Fire Ass’n. since he was fourteen, both as a Fire Explorer and currently as a full member, he is also an altar server in his church, and served with CYO.  At school he represented Section VI at the  NY State High School Rifle Championships, and participates in Project Lead the Way Academy, where technology students learn to develop engineering solutions, and then teach other students new skills.  As a firefighter, Eric has completed both Firefighter I and the Certified First Responder courses, and has become a valued asset at Bowmansville.

Steve Lasnick is graduating from Bolivar-Richburg Central, and intends to study Sports Management and Communication at St. John Fisher College in Rochester.  He participates in many service activities as a Boy Scout, and in earning his Eagle Rank, had to develop and lead others in the implementation of a service project to improve technology at the local library.  He participates extensively in his Church with service projects and served on a youth mission to Jamaica.  At school, he participates in SADD a group which raises awareness to the dangers of driving while impaired by alcohol and drugs.  His willingness to serve others is greatly valued at both Bolivar-Richburg High School and by community leaders in Scio.