Zach Shawano Mem Travel Scholarship

Zach and Pudge were killed in an automobile accident on March 20, 2015.  Zach had an unimaginal zest for life, more importantly, adventure.  In High School, Zach traveled with the Geography Club to Australia.  He also traveled to France to Normandy Beach, Hawaii, Mexico, Canada and many of the states in the United States of America.  Zach loved adventure both big and small.  Adventure came to him in many different ways such as getting friends and family together to taking off in the middle of the night to Las Vegas, New York, Key West and many other places.  His death has left a big emptiness in our lives.  He left this world with a wife and 8 week old son.  In his honor, we have developed the Zachary Shawano Memorial Travel Scholarship.  We held our first 4th of July Memorial last year and were able to raise enough funds for 2 young people to join the travel group in 2018, twelve days in Ireland.  We have had many ask where they donate to this worthy cause so we have set up this page.  The following is an essay from one of this years winners:  Wyatt Reeves:
A Life Changing Opportunity
By: Wyatt W. Reeves
Hello, my name is Wyatt Reeves and this is why I should be awarded the scholarship to go on the trip to Ireland. I just want to start off by saying that to me this opportunity would be life changing. I am not just a bored high school student thinking “Yeah, I guess I'll write an essay and see if they choose me. Why not?” No, I can firmly assure you that this is deeper than that. I feel like I was the only one sitting in the library thinking how amazing this woman was for sharing her story and starting this program. I am an adventurer and this is very personal for me.
On July 28, 2017, about a month and a half ago, I lost my partner in adventures, my mentor, my fishin’ buddy, my brother. Me and my brother were very close. He and I were the most alike in the family. He was just a bigger version of me. We shared all the same view points and one thing that really bonded us was our sense of adventure and humor. We had this raw yearning to go out and explore the world. From exploring the streams around here for fish, to heading out west to Montana for fly fishing, nothing was in our way of loving life and adventure.
We took a family vacation out West in July for fly fishing and even with his leg still healing from being broken in four spots and gimping to get around, Cole insisted that he go with our family. From camping in the high prairie deserts to camping in the Rockies, we were both indulged in this feeling of “this is what life's about” and a feeling of home and comfort. Twelve straight days of fly fishing, camp fires, on the road laughs, and sleeping in a cozy trailer when the temps in the Rockies would drop to around twenty degrees at night. We spent those twelve days together talking about life, roasting each other, grossing each each other, and making memories.
After returning from our family trip, Cole went back to his home in Oregon, WI. Five days later, I woke up at 3:30 in the morning to a knock on the door. I had been on the phone with him earlier teaching him how to download music on his phone. The last thing I told him was that I would call him the next day or when I got the chance. I never did get the chance after that. I will never forget my dad cursing under his breath going down the hall to answer the door, to find that it was a cop. Immediately my dad's voice heightened and as the cop asked to step inside to talk with him. The cop was hesitant and then stated that my brother Cole had died. I didn't believe it at all. I tried calling him so many times that night refusing to believe the news. The more and more the days moved on it has been harder and harder. I have this bleak new perspective on life now, and I hate it. My purpose feels null and I feel that life is unfair and dumb.
When we got assembled into the IMC yesterday and listened to you talking about this offer I had this overwhelming sense of purpose again. I'm not highly religious and don't even have a solid opinion on the after life but man, when you were talking about this I just had this feeling that Cole was right there with me just saying “You need to go for this, go get it, this is ours”. This has just turned very emotionally important to me and I am passionate to get this. Adventure was important to him and is important to me. Zach sounded like a kid that is just like me. From random trips to Chicago at five in the morning, to calling up a bunch of friends to hike down a river at two in the morning with a cooler and some fishing rods to experience the outdoors in the middle of the night. I want to do this for my brother. And I want to do this to feel normal again. To feel like myself again, with this big part of me now missing.

Thank You so much for this amazing opportunity
Yours Truly,
Wyatt Reeves
  • Leslie McFarland 
    • $100 
    • 26 mos
  • Amanda Mehl 
    • $100 
    • 35 mos
  • The Cosentino Family 
    • $225 
    • 36 mos
  • Travis Gage 
    • $100 
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  • Donald Everett 
    • $100 
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See all


Dori Zimmerman 
Mineral Point, WI
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