Bendel Memorial Fund Donates $9,000 to Boardman Local Schools

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A memorial fund in honor of a local business owner will ensure future generations of Boardman students get experience with the trades.

During a school board meeting in August, The Steve Bendel Jr. Ditch Digger Memorial Fund presented a $9,000 check to Boardman Local Schools. Accepting the check on behalf of the district was Tim Harker, design lab teacher and instructor for the Boardman Makers Club.

The fund was started by Frank Quinlan, who began his freshman year at Boardman High School this year. Quinlan is a former student of Harker’s and mentee of the late Steve Bendel Jr., who owned Bendel Excavating Inc., where Quinlan would work during the summer.

Following Bendel’s death in May, Quinlan launched the fund through Go Fund Me. In addition to the donation to Boardman Local, remaining funds will be donated to the Mike Rowe Works Foundation.

In early August, Harker said some of the funds will likely be put toward restocking the Makers lab’s consumable materials, including wood and fasteners. He would also like to transform the shop to make the space more flexible.

Quinlan is happy knowing that proceeds from the fund will plant the seed for more students to get experience in working with their hands.

“It’s cool knowing that some kids might see this and say, ‘Oh, that’s kind of cool. I want to go try that,’ ” Quinlan said. “And even if they don’t like it, they tried it. So they know what they want to do.”

On hand for the presentation were Bendel’s family, including his wife, Lorraine, and daughters Amanda, Sabrina and Megan.

Donations are still being accepted at GoFund.me/fe2e8929. As of this posting, the fund has accrued $11,830, exceeding the $10,000 goal.

Pictured: On hand for the check presentation were Lorraine and Amanda Bendel – Steve Bendel’s wife and daughter – Tim Harker, Frank Quinlan, and Bendel’s daughters Sabrina and Megan Bendel. Another daughter, Rachel, wasn’t able to attend.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.