Following Gretchen Wolf Swartz’s untimely death in 1997, fellow York County Interscholastic Athletic Association officials set up a sportsmanship award and scholarship. Gretchen refereed girl’s high school basketball from 1981 until 1995, displaying good sportsmanship on and off the court. It is in memory of her high dedication and purpose that the award and scholarship were conceived.
In 1999, the referees collaborated with friends and family of Gretchen to set up this 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization registered in the state of Pennsylvania. Board members started and continue to raise money for the awards and scholarships. Annually many referees donate earnings from a game. This enabled the Board to give out the first awards and scholarships at the end of the 2000-2001 school year. In 2001, the Board established a Heritage Fund at the York County Community Foundation, www.yccf.org.
The ‘Recipients’ section of this web site lists past winners – that is, the schools voted by referees as winners of the award and the students who received the scholarship. The referees establishing the criteria for school selection did so with Junior and Senior High School students, players, coaches, cheerleaders, managers and fans in mind. All are involved with sportsmanship and play a large part in determining which schools the referees select.
The Board meets throughout the year, and following the basketball season, interviews and selects the student winners. It is the desire of the Board to grow the fund and financially assist students with a keen sense of and appreciation for great sportsmanship.