Donor Stories

Jenny Diederich

In our ongoing effort to connect the past with the present for a brighter future, we wanted to highlight a donor who works hard every year to bless a number of students with scholarships - meet Jenny Diederich.

Jenny moved with her husband Derek and their three daughters to Louisburg 18 years ago. Derek works for KC Bobcat, Brecken is a Physician’s Assistant student at Wichita State University, Brooklyn is a sophomore at Neosho County Community College playing softball and Brylee is a senior at Louisburg High School. All three girls attended school in the Louisburg school district.

Jenny has always believed in giving back to her community and the students within it. Time is just as valuable as money resonates in her. Because of these ideals, she diligently works every year as leader of the Louisburg Holiday Mart and the Louisburg High School Booster Club (LHS Cat Backers).

The Louisburg Holiday Mart began in 2006 as the Louisburg Middle School Holiday Mart. Jenny has always enjoyed going to craft shows and decided in 2008 to take the lead role. She felt the Holiday Mart could be a great way to bring commerce to the Louisburg community as well as get kids involved in a community service project, so she changed things. In 2011 she renamed it to the Louisburg Holiday Mart with all proceeds going to the Louisburg Holiday Mart Scholarship Fund through the USD 416 Endowment Association. The Holiday Mart has gone from 60 vendors to 120+. The last two years the event has been held outside and earlier in the year. They have great attendance and many of vendors have been participating since Jenny took over.

Jenny decided to have Louisburg High School students volunteer their time each year to help unload and load the vendors items. Many of the vendors attend alone or they are elderly, so they are truly thankful for the student’s time and efforts. The students also help with whatever is needed throughout the day of the Holiday Mart. The students who volunteer their time are then eligible to apply for the Holiday Mart scholarship during their senior year. Many scholarships require high GPA’s, high ACT scores and student who plan to attend a four-year college. She wanted to give all the kids an opportunity to apply for a scholarship based primarily on community service. There is no prerequisite to how many years you plan to further your education. A student can attend trade school, community college or a four year to be eligible. In the last 10 years, they have provided 44 scholarships totaling $44,500.00. The LHS students who volunteer their time average 125 hours of community service a year for the Louisburg Holiday Mart.

Jenny was introduced to LHS Cat Backers in 2009 by Anita Cook. This organization (Jenny, Susan Caldwell and wonderful volunteers) supports the LHS staff, students and LHS Post Prom. They work the concession stand during varsity football games to acquire their funds. LHS Cat-Backers awards four $500 scholarships every year, fulfill two to three grant requests for teachers and coaches, as well as coming up with ways to treat the LHS staff during teacher appreciation week. The biggest contribution is the purchase of caps and gowns for all graduating seniors of LHS each year. Senior year can be expensive, so they enjoy taking some of the burden off a family’s shoulders. Every little bit helps!

Jenny encourages everyone to get involved and support the USD 416 Endowment Association. She believes it is a wonderful organization. They do all the financial work behind the scenes with donated scholarship money. Not only do they award scholarships to our students, they also award grants for our teachers. Their scholarship awards ceremony is amazing, and she encourages everyone to attend. She feels we are fortunate to have so many giving people and organizations in our community.