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NFF Chapter Launches Scholar-Athlete Endowment

Success stories fill our chapter’s history. Among them: the scholar-athletes supported by our chapter who have become doctors, dentists, CIA agents, engineers, businessmen, coaches, graduate students and outstanding members of their communities.

They have made their families, their schools and our chapter members and supporters proud.

Our Scholar-Athletes of the Year are chosen using this criteria:

  • Academic achievement:                    40%
  • Football performance and attitude:     40%
  • Leadership and citizenship:               20%

A few highlights of our scholarship program:

  • We offer scholarship opportunities at some 70 Indiana high schools.
  • These schools are in 17 Northwest Indiana counties, from Tippecanoe to Lake.
  • In the 12 years since our chapter’s founding, we have honored 228 scholar-athletes at our annual NFF Honors Dinners
  • Scholarship awards have surpassed $200,000 total.

That’s what we call a touchdown! The money has come from chapter revenues, member contributions and sponsorships. Now, we’d like that score to reach even higher, and we’d like to ensure the permanence of our scholarship program.

To do that, our chapter is kicking off a campaign to raise funds for a scholarship endowment. We need your help. Money raised will be placed in the endowment and held forever, making your gift a lasting one, indeed. The money will be wisely invested by our national organization, and proceeds earned will help fund chapter scholarships. This way, we create an ongoing source for scholarship assistance.

Please consider making a lasting investment in our student-athletes. You believe in them, and helping them achieve their potential is a big win—for them, for our communities, for you as a donor and for our chapter.

Questions? Email or call  President Kelly Kitchel (kellykitchel@yahoo.com; 765-412-7215) or  Executive Director Jim Vruggink (jvruggink@purdue.edu; 765/427-3303).

Please send your most generous contribution today. Make your check payable to the National Football Foundation, noting in the memo line: NFF Tiller/NW Indiana Chapter Endowment. Mail it to:

 Jim Vruggink

 NFF Joe Tiller/NW Indiana Chapter

 3672 Farnsworth Drive

West Lafayette, IN 47906

 

Chapter History

Fourteen years ago, Joe Tiller, Purdue's head football coach at the time, presented a challenge of forming one of the largest chapters in the National Football Foundation here in Northwest Indiana. Since receiving its charter in Tippecanoe County, the Northwest Indiana Chapter (which was renamed in 2007 the Joe Tiller Chapter of Northwest Indiana) has enlisted more than 700 members, becoming the largest chapter in the state and the second largest in the nation at one point.

As a group of football-loving enthusiasts with the purpose of advancing amateur football at the local, state and national levels, the Joe Tiller Chapter of the NFF provides grassroots support in a many ways.

As a non-profit organization, this chapter has awarded more than $291,000 in grants, scholarships, honorariums and donations since receiving its charter in 2004. 

Through out first 14 years as a chapter, we have honored 358 individuals for their accomplishments, including 256 scholar-athletes who have been awarded a total of more than $226,000 in scholarships and honorariums for college.  

‚ÄčThis chapter offers scholarship opportunities for scholar athletes at 70 high schools in 17 Northwest Indiana counties (Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Fulton, Howard, Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Miami, Newton, Porter, Pulaski, Tippecanoe, Warren and White). Selection of the Scholar Athlete of the Year is based 40% on academic achievement, 40% football performance and attitude, and 20% leadership and citizenship. In addition to seeking donations and sponsorships to support the scholarship program, the chapter also receives money ($500 for every 50 dues-paying members in the local chapter) from the national office in Irving, Tex.

In addition to the scholarships, the local chapter has been involved with youth programs such as the Dream Season (providing experiences for kids and young adults with disabilities) and the Lafayette 56ers, Attica Youth Football, Little Gridiron, and West Side Flag Football, helping to provide opportunities for elementary school-aged players in the area. The chapter also helps to support the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.

The NFF chapter is one of 120 nation-wide. Other Indiana chapters are in South Bend, Fort Wayne, Evansville and Indianapolis. Nationally, the NFF has more than 12,000 members and awards more than $1.3 million in scholarships each year.

Save the date for our 2019 events

Ryan Kerrigan/12th Boiler Golf Outing: May 11, 2019

“Celebrating Our Legends XIV” Honors Dinner: June 9, 2019

August Schott West Lafayette High School

August Schott was named the Joe Tiller NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the state of Indiana's NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the J&C Male Student-Athlete of the Year.

NFF Honors Dinner Celebrates Achievements of 52 Individuals

A record number of 52 people, ranging in age from 18 to 87, were recognized for their achievements at the 2018 edition of the National Football Foundation’s Honors Dinner on June 10 at the Four Points by Sheraton Grand Ballroom in West Lafayette.

The event definitely had a “quarterback” flair as the Purdue University community celebrated the inductions of two former Boilermaker QBs into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame
and the recognition of two current Boilermaker QBs as award winners.

The Lafayette Journal & Courier and the Indiana Football Coaches Association assisted the NFF’s Joe Tiller Chapter of
Northwest Indiana at this “Celebrating Our Legends XIV” Dinner.
The new Indiana Football Hall of Fame members are a pair of former Purdue quarterbacks from the 1950’s, Dale Samuels and Len Dawson, while current Purdue QBs David Blough and Elijah Sindelar received two of the chapter’s top annual awards, the Citizenship
Award and the Drew Brees Mental Toughness Award, respectively.
The chapter awards presented this year were:

  • Drew Brees Mental Toughness Award – Elijah Sindelar
  • Citizenship Award – David Blough
  • Bernie Flowers Award for Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Sports – Brad Cohen & Orlando Itin
  • Legends Award – Jeff Washburn (deceased), accepted by son Jade & wife Cheryl
  • Patrick Mackey Courage Award – Tyler Trent
  • Outstanding Game Official Award – Dr. Todd Clark
  • Arnette Tiller “Service to Football” Award – Jan O’Shea
  • J&C Female Student-Athlete of the Year Award – Sami Royer
  • J&C Male Student-Athlete of the Year Award – August Schott
  • NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award – August Schott

For more information about the event, click the link below.