Benefit raises money to create new scholarship fund in memory of alumni

Assistant Editor

On October 22, 2013, Amanda Looman, a senior at Franciscan University, passed away after she was left in critical condition nine days after she was hit head-on by a drunk driver.

Looman was a double major in business and marketing, a member of the Barons’ soccer team, and a member of the Theta Phi Alpha sorority.

She was scheduled to graduate in December of last year and had been accepted to the master’s program in business at Franciscan in January 2014. During the commencement ceremony this spring, Franciscan University presented her with a posthumous degree.

“Everybody has been so kind and just so helpful and everything over at Franciscan,” said Debra VanCamp, mother of Looman. “It just seems like they can’t do enough for you.”

Looman’s family is continuing to raise money to start the “Amanda Looman Memorial Scholarship Fund,” which will benefit a senior student from Steubenville Catholic Central High School, where she graduated, who plans to attend Franciscan University.

“We just wanted to keep her memory going,” said VanCamp. “That is what she would have wanted.”

They need $50,000 to keep the scholarship fund perpetual and ongoing, said VanCamp. She said they have received over half the amount needed, currently at $27,600.

They had a benefit last year on December 8, right after she passed away. This year, they are hosting another Amanda Looman Memorial Benefit near the anniversary of her passing.

VanCamp said she hopes they will raise enough money for this benefit to be the last one.

Looman’s family and friends have other ways of raising money for the scholarship fund, from which are the matching of funds from the companies her father and VanCamp’s husband work for, doubling the money they raise at the benefits.

“I have had a lot of help from her friends and my friends too with all of this,” said VanCamp. “It couldn’t happen without the donations and everything we have received. It has been wonderful. That is what is making it happen…it is the people that are so generous in donating.”

The money is going into the endowment and once they reach their goal, they can start giving a scholarship of $2,000 every year.

“I think it will be a good time,” continued VanCamp. “We can just remember her…it’s about her. … I was hoping that this one would be good for people after church – they can come over, socialize, and eat dinner.”

The benefit will include a pasta dinner, raffle and silent auction. Items to be won include gift certificates, gift baskets, Penguins tickets and a weeklong getaway in a three-bedroom condo in Ixtapa, Mexico. Donations will be accepted at the door and all proceeds will go to the scholarship fund.

The benefit will take place on Sunday, October 26 from 12 to 4 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Sargus Hall located at 852 Main St., Wintersville.

If you are interested in making a donation, please contact Debra VanCamp at 740-266-6695 or donate online at