ENOSBURG — The Luc Gates Foundation has recognized outstanding Franklin County seniors since 1997, and while this year’s recipients may have received their announcements differently, the recognition was just as special.
“The scholarships are usually given out at graduation, but because we give a plaque with the award, I told the school that Carrie Gates, Luc’s stepmom, and I would deliver them ourselves,” said Lise Gates, Luc’s mother. “I really enjoyed meeting the kids and their parents.”
Two of the Annual Luc Gates Scholarships and the athletic awards are given to Ensoburg athletes who demonstrate the qualities that made Luc so special to his school, family, and community.
This year, Hannah Burns received the Luc Gates Memorial Awards for Best Female Athlete, Best Female Athletic Leadership, and one of the Luc Gates Memorial Scholarships.
“I’m very honored and grateful to receive these awards and to be recognized as someone who has some of the qualities that Luc had--both on and off the field,” said Burns.
“My family was friends with Luc, so winning this award was special to all of us. My dad (Rodney) was honored that I’d received the award. He knew Luc from athletics.”
Logan Jette of Enosburg was awarded Best Male Athlete, and Tommy Benoit was named Best Male Athletic Leadership.
Lydia Bowen and Thomas Benoit of Enosburg and Austin Archambault and Nicholas Carswell of Richford each received the Luc Gates Memorial Scholarship.
“My mom knew Luc really well. She told me he loved including everyone--not just athletes--and I’m the same way. That’s pretty special to me,” said Bowen.
“Lise brought me the award while I was at work at the Country Club. I was honored and surprised to receive it.”
“I was happy to receive this award, and it will help me further my education,” said Benoit.
“I wrote my essay about how sports had a positive impact on my life, helped me build positive relationships, kept me focused and self-driven, and how they help me maintain goals.”
Carswell was surprised when the ladies showed up at his door to let him know he’d received the scholarship.
“I want to thank the Luc Gates Foundation for selecting me. I hold this in high honor because I know Luc meant a lot to the community,” said Carswell.
“I’m a big sports guy, so to get a scholarship based on sports shows the progress I’ve made.”
Austin Archambault had a special appreciation for the award.
“I’ve worked with Lise at the Dairy Center, and I’ve heard her and others talk about Luc and how great he was. To receive this scholarship named in his honor is special,” said Archambault.
“I think it’s cool--I got other scholarships, but this one was an honor because it’s from within our community and chosen by people who knew Luc.”
The Luc Gates Foundation was established to carry on the memory of Luc, who was, according to the Luc Gates Foundation website, “known for his ability to inspire his teammates to victory with his endless desire to succeed.
“...While Luc’s fighting spirit would shine on the baseball diamond, basketball court, and soccer field, it was his honor and sportsmanship that earned him the respect of his coaches, team, and opponents.”
Luc passed on April 17, 1996, after a battle with a brain tumor. The following year, the foundation was established to ensure his memory would live on in the community he loved.
The Luc Gates Foundation awards annual scholarships to students from the five in-county high schools who represent their school and community in the same way Luc did: with respect, leadership, sportsmanship, and selflessness.