Herald JournalHerald Journal, April 21, 2003

Two HLWW memorial scholarships are being set up to remember grads

Two scholarships are being set up for the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted school district to honor the memories of two past graduates, Julie Ann (Gilmer) Holtz, and Jodi Just Diedrich.

The Gilmer-Holtz scholarship will be awarded for the first time this spring, and the Diedrich scholarship will be awarded in June of 2004.

More information about the Diedrich scholarship will be printed in a future issue of the newspaper.

The Gilmer-Holtz scholarship is meant to remember the late Julie Ann (Gilmer) Holtz, who graduated from Howard Lake-Waverly in 1982, and had an untimely death at the age of 38 in March.

Holtz left a rich impression behind her.

"While in high school at (then) Howard Lake-Waverly school, Julie was one of the drama department's mainstays," commented longtime drama teacher Dave Metcalf.

"Any organization has a core group that does the bulk of the work and really makes things click ­ Julie was a leader within that core group of HL-W theater," Metcalf said.

"Aside from faithfully working on various behind-the-scenes crews ­ such as props, publicity, set painting, assistant directing ­ Julie was an energetic, enthusiastic and talented actress," Metcalf said.

Beginning in eighth grade, Julie had rolls in numerous plays, including the following:

· "Chowder and Cherries"

· "David and Lisa"

· "Rip Van Winkle"

· Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"

· William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

She earned top honors as a cast member in "The Romancers," which attained the highest possible rating at the Minnesota State High School League's state one-act play competition in 1979.

Her musical talent was showcased in "Two By Two," Godspell," and as Lucy in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," Metcalf said.

In addition, Julie had roles in two summer musicals, along with adult performers from the HLWW area in Unicorn Community Theater's productions of "The Robber Bridegroom," and "Man of La Mancha."

When she graduated her dedication and cheerful exuberance were sorely missed by her fellow actors and director," Metcalf said.

During 1990, Holtz became interested in becoming a storyteller and entertainer of children. From that beginning, she established a successful business entertaining at daycare centers, schools and special events such as birthdays.

During June of 2002, Holtz and her family moved to Medina, Ohio as a result of her husband, Doug Holtz, and his work. She sold her business in Minnesota, known as Storybook Fun, which is still operating today.

Once in Ohio, she immediately started another business, calling herself Miss Julie, The Story Lady and a puppet named Juliet.

She had a large clientele in Ohio at the time of her death.

Holtz touched the lives of thousands of children during her life, and was an influence for good as shown in her monthly themes, such as giving, friendship and respect.

The family's goal in establishing this perpetual scholarship fund is to keep her memory alive for the people she loved most ­ the children.

Holtz is survived by her husband, Doug, who is a 1980 graduate of Howard Lake-Waverly High School, daughter Danielle, who is a sophomore majoring in drama at Kent State University, and son, Mitchell, who is a high school sophomore in Medina, Ohio.

Both of her children are very active in drama.

Applications will be taken by teacher Addie Mucha and high school counselor Terri Collins. Metcalf is also involved in the process.

The recipient will be chosen by the scholarship committee based on part of the following criteria:

1. Preference will be given to students having been active in drama.

If there are no applicants from drama, the second preference would be given to students who were active in the fine arts such as music, painting, etc.

2. All things being equal, preference is to be given to students having a financial need.

3. The successful applicant must have familiarized himself or herself with a brief background of Holtz's career so that her memory is kept alive.

The scholarship is being put together by her family and Curt Levang.

The amounts for all scholarships vary year to year, Levang said.


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