Compassionate, loyal, and brave, Nicholas Cumer had the heart of a hero.
He was born August 21, 1993, and spent his formative years in Washington, PA.
His charismatic personality made him popular among his classmates, and his talents allowed him to shine. Among his diverse extracurricular activities, he was a member of the marching band for all four years of high school, rising to the position of Drum Major as a senior. He was also a skilled athlete who not only played on the tennis and basketball teams but who also holds the distinction of being the first male student to play on the girls’ volleyball team. Outside of school, Nicholas attended Washington Alliance Church and performed volunteer work in the physical therapy department of Washington Hospital.
After graduating from Washington High School in 2012, Nicholas continued his education at Saint Francis University, where he played sousaphone in the marching band. Concentrating his studies in the medical field, he earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology and later a master’s degree in cancer care. During the last ten weeks of his final year at Saint Francis, Nicholas was an intern with Maple Tree Cancer Center in Ohio.
With a true passion for helping others, Nicholas loved working with his clients at the Maple Tree Cancer Center. In turn, he was adored by his patients, his coworkers, and the administrators of the facility, so much so, he was offered a job to operate one of Maple Tree’s new offices in the Pittsburgh region.
Just a few days prior to the conclusion of his internship, Nicholas and a few friends wanted to enjoy an evening out together. An occasion that was supposed to be a celebration of their friendship ended in unthinkable tragedy when a mass shooter attacked. Nicholas courageously gave his life by shielding two of his coworkers from open fire. They both survived as a powerful testament to how Nicholas was always willing to put others first.
Nicholas’ parents take great pride in the man he became calling him “a blessing to us and everyone he met.”
A life such as this deserves a lasting tribute.
Graduation season will soon be underway, and it is a joy to see bright, accomplished students from our all corners of our community prepare to make their mark on the world.
For the parents, loved ones, and mentors of these young adults, these days can be bittersweet. And at the Washington County Community Foundation, we know these overwhelming feelings can sometimes be shared by our donors who annually treat this as a time of remembrance.
Many of the funds at the WCCF, and most especially scholarships, have been created as lasting, heartfelt legacies to lives that were lost: beloved children, dedicated parents, and even inspirational educators.
The Nicholas Cumer Scholarship Fund at the WCCF was created earlier this year by his family and friends in hopes of helping other students from Washington School District who want to pursue a career in the medical field, as Nicholas did.
Also new this year is the Loughman Scholarship Fund, which was created to honor Ralph E. and Helen G. Loughman, who were prominent members of the Fort Cherry community for more than 65 years.
Ralph spent his career at Fort Cherry School District, where he not only taught, but also worked as a guidance counselor, Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Athletic Director, baseball coach, and bus driver. After retiring from Fort Cherry, he had a second career with H&R Block Tax Services.
Helen worked as a Registered Nurse for many years in several different fields of nursing. She particularly enjoyed helping persons with disabilities, especially children.
The couple’s children and grandchildren hope that the scholarship will not only assist Fort Cherry graduates in attaining their educational goals but also serve to perpetuate the legacy of Ralph and Helen which encompasses education, faith, family, community, and service to others.
More than 40 different post-secondary scholarship opportunities are available through the WCCF, and the total amount available this year exceeds $300,000. Each scholarship has its own story and unique parameters established by its donors. The deadline for applications is April 1. Additional information is available on www.wccf.net.
Although choosing the scholarship recipients is never an easy task, learning about the each of the hundreds of applicants through the review process is an uplifting experience reminding everyone involved with this process that there is hope for the future.