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Parent booster club honors Kilian, Evans

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Washington Elementary School Parent Booster Club President Colleen Coleman (L) and club member Lisa Fairbairn (R) present Dawna Evans with the scholarship founded in honor of her late husband, Sunnyside Police Officer Steve Evans. Also pictured is the police department's DARE vehicle, which was one of the pride and joys of Evans, a former DARE officer.

Wanting to reach out to the community, the Washington Elementary School Parents Booster Club raised money for scholarships honoring two of the community's best, who died last year.

The families of former Sunnyside School Board member Fred Kilian and Sunnyside Police Officer Steve Evans were honored with $75 scholarships in the memory of both people.

The scholarships were presented to Dawna Evans and Karon Kilian earlier this week.

Lisa Fairbairn, a member of the Washington Elementary School Parents Booster Club, said the organization wanted to do something to recognize the contributions the two men made to the schools.

"We decided we wanted to recognize all the service they did in our schools," said Fairbairn.

"Their support in our school district in the past has benefited the kids in so many ways," said Booster Club President Colleen Coleman.

Coleman said the booster club at Washington Elementary School not only felt it was important to be involved with the students at the school, but try to reach out to the community.

Evans died from a heart attack in October 2004 while on a hunting trip. While Evans was a mainstay in the community, he is perhaps best known for his role as the Sunnyside Police Department DARE officer, a position he held for many years.

Kilian died during Thanksgiving week in November 2004, after battling diabetes for many years. Kilian had served on the Sunnyside School Board from 1981 to the time of his death.

Evans was very involved with the schools through the DARE program, said Fairbairn.

"He really had the respect of all the kids," she said. "He was well liked by all of the students."

"I think it is a big honor," said Dawna Evans of the booster club's scholarship contribution.

She said what made her husband so well liked in the schools was that he got down on the same level with the students.

"While he was playing with them, he taught them," she added.

"It is a nice honor," said Karon Kilian of the club's donation in her husband's name.

She said the scholarship will be a benefit to students for years to come. Mrs. Kilian said her late husband always stressed the importance of how students need to continue their education after high school.

She said her husband stayed involved with the school district for so long because he liked it.

"He enjoyed the teachers. He enjoyed the administrators," said Karon. "He wanted to make sure they (students) got a good education."

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