March 11, 2021
James Robert “Perky” Herdzik was born on May 10, 1959, and spent his life dedicated to his friends, family and community. His life was unexpectedly cut short in January of 2021, but to those who loved him, his livelihood and commitment to his community was not yet finished. To celebrate his life, an anonymous donor established the James R. Herdzik Memorial Scholarship at The Erie Community Foundation. “This is exactly how a donor can remember a loved one while also benefiting his community forever,” said Foundation President Mike Batchelor. “Going forward in Jim’s honor, a student with financial needs and a community spirit like Jim’s can apply for the scholarship towards earning a post-secondary degree.”
The James R. Herdzik Memorial Scholarship is a need-based, $4,000 award that is now available to Erie School District graduating seniors who have been accepted into an accredited four-year college or university. The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate through their application the volunteer spirit and care for community that Jim Herdzik exemplified throughout his life.
Jim was a sales manager at LAMJEN for 40 years and served as a director on the Erie School Board for 22 years, consistently working hard for the benefit of Erie students. He was a proud graduate of East High School and served as the financial secretary for the Huzar club. He spent his personal, academic, and professional career proudly dedicated to the Erie community.
Despite his impressive high school extracurricular involvement and academic accomplishments, graduating third in his class, he was not able to attend a four-year university immediately following high school graduation due to a lack of available financial aid. However, he worked hard to earn the money to attend Mercyhurst College, where he later earned his bachelor's degree, while working his full-time job.
“Working with Jim’s family, we know his spirit will live on through his named scholarship that gives students the financial assistance to begin their college careers, which is most fitting as helping students was Jim’s passion,” said Foundation Vice President of Philanthropic Stewardship Susannah Weis Frigon. Herdzik is survived by his wife of 17 years, Amee (Costello) Herdzik and two sons, Evan Herdzik and R. Christopher Lilly.
Donors are welcome to make gifts to the fund in Jim’s memory. To apply or learn more, visit www.ErieCommunityFoundation/scholarships.