The William Earl Shaner Memorial Scholarship has been established in the memory of William Earl Shaner.
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On May 5, 1966, 24-year-old William Earl Shaner drowned while trying to save swimmers caught in heavy surf at Fire Island National Seashore. In a posthumous Citation for Valor Award to Mr. Shaner, then-Interior Secretary Stewart Udall wrote that, “While on duty near Sailors Haven on May 21, 1966, where he was giving an interpretive talk to a group of hikers, Mr. Shaner, employed as a seasonal ranger-naturalist with the National Park Service, responded to a call to assist two swimmers in danger of drowning. Together with Mr. Smith, a seasonal maintenance man, who had also responded to the call for assistance, they made a team effort to rescue the two swimmers drowning in the heavy surf. They initiated the rescue attempt on a fifteen foot surfboard and when it was wrested from them by heavy surf action, valiantly and heroically they continued their rescue efforts. The exertion and subsequent exhaustion proved to be more than he could physically withstand and he became a victim of drowning.” Mr. Shaner was honored with Carnegie Hero Bronze Medal Award.
An amount up to $5000.00 will be awarded annually to a graduating senior of Hughesville High School who is continuing their education in the field of Biology in a 4 year institution and meets the designated qualifications as determined by the selection committee.