Officers grow facial hair for the month and donate $20 or more to the Officer John J. Wiegard Memorial Scholarship Fund here at Our Lady of Lourdes High School. This fund provides an award to a graduating senior each year who plans to pursue a career in law enforcement. For the past two years, Kris Barnhart, President of the Town of Poughkeepsie PBA has taken the lead on this initiative that in previous years spread to include the Arlington Firefighters Association, Dutchess County 1013 Foundation, and our OLL Community. To date, over $12,000 has been raised for this fund through this initiative alone. “John was a great Police Officer for our community and was a great friend to many at our department,” remarks Detective Barnhart. “We are thrilled to support this scholarship at OLL in his memory.”

Officer Wiegard was a beloved member of the Our Lady of Lourdes High School community.  He entered law enforcement in 1990 with the Town at East Fishkill, and in 1996 he joined the Town of Poughkeepsie police force where he remained for the next 20 years. During his career, Officer Wiegard was the recipient of many awards and commendations, including a Life-Saving Award.  After 26 years of service to our community, Officer Wiegard retired in July 2016. One of his favorite duties as a police officer was walking the halls of Our Lady of Lourdes High School, where all three of his children attended. Upon his untimely passing in the summer of 2016, the Wiegard family established a scholarship for aspiring students entering the law enforcement field. Officer Wiegard’s wife, Bonnie OLL 85 shared that “Our family decided to establish this scholarship to honor John’s memory and all he believed in and it is also now the only scholarship in Dutchess County that is offered to graduating seniors pursuing a career in law enforcement.” This past June, with the assistance of efforts such as these, the family was able to award scholarships to two members of the Class of 2020.  

Lourdes Principal, Catherine Merryman extends her thanks and gratitude commenting, “Our sincerest thanks to the Town of Poughkeepsie PBA. We are extremely grateful for your dedication and generosity to this cause. This annual effort now allows this scholarship to continue to benefit graduating seniors for many more years to come.” 

For more information on donating to the Officer John J. Wiegard Memorial Scholarship Fund, please visit…/officer-john-j-wiegard-memorial-s…/