Scholarship Recipient Is Inspired by Casey’s Ability to Never Give Up

Saturday, November 6th, 2021

“I remember thinking, Casey Feldman wouldn’t have quit,” said Lionel McCulloch.

By Samantha Matthews*

Lionel McCulloch, a 2019 Casey Feldman Foundation Greater Philadelphia Cappies Scholarship winner, has recently been awarded the Madeleine Wing Adler Emerging Leader Award. This honor is reserved for a first or second year student who has shown the most promise of leadership displayed through roles in student organizations, academia, or service at West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCU). 

“Hearing about all Casey did before she was 21 really inspired me to put my best efforts out there in her memory when I started at college. When things got tough, I wasn’t going to quit.”

Lionel is currently a rising junior at WCU double majoring in Theatre and Media and Culture and minoring in Computer Science.

He also created a film about the dangers of texting while driving. When heard of Casey’s story before the 2019 Cappies, he felt connected to her. 

“I think about her a lot, and I am not kidding when I say that knowing all that she was capable of made me push myself pretty hard when everyone around me was not finding it possible to go on.” Lionel said. 

Casey had many passions in life, but two that she shared with Lionel were theatre and journalism. Lionel originally joined the Serpentine Yearbook working on layout for the sports section and quickly rose to the role of Sports Editor. In March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the yearbook needed additional leadership. 

“During the pandemic, kids around me were quitting like crazy. When the school closed down, it came down to just two of us actually doing anything on the book itself, and by the end, it was just me,” Lionel said. He remembered thinking, “Casey Feldman wouldn’t have quit — I need to get this book done in her name. She really has inspired me when things get tough.”

Lionel also served as Lead Editor on WCU’s “Unmute Yourself,” the school’s first live virtual production done via Zoom. Lionel recalls switching from in-person to online performances being a “huge learning curve” but felt that the reward for accomplishing something so personal and intimate during such unprecedented circumstances was worth it. 

This year, Lionel is excited to take on the role of sound designer for WCU’s performance of “Pride and Prejudice.”

Lionel is called to leadership by his inability to let himself down by always seeing his commitments through. He also credits his family for motivating and supporting him.

While Lionel completes his final two years at WCU, he will continue his “never give up” philosophy by working hard at what he loves and always keeping his family close.

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*Samantha Matthews is a junior at Fordham University at Lincoln Center, where she majors in Communications and Media Studies. She currently serves as the Features Editor at the Fordham Observer, and one day hopes to go to law school.

 

5K to Benefit the Foundation Scheduled for April 26, 2015 in West Chester – Register, Volunteer or Donate

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

 

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The West Chester University Alpha Epsilon Chapter of the national honors fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi, will be hosting a 5K walk/run on Sunday, April 26, 2015 as its  annual fundraiser for the Casey Feldman Foundation  (sponsor of EndDD.org – End Distracted Driving.). Since April is also Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Casey was killed by a distracted driver, the fraternity hopes to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving through their race.

Phi Sigma Pi has been a supporter of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, holding an annual fundraiser  for the Foundation since 2010. At the time of Casey’s death in July of 2009, Casey’s best friend from high school, Amber Staska, was President elect of the fraternity for the 2009-2010 school year. Casey’s close friend, Phil Knasiak, was Vice President.

The first three benefits were in the form of a concert at West Chester University with an on- campus pedestrian safety and and distracted driving awareness campaign in the week leading up to the concert. The effort received national recognition the first year when Phi Sigm Pi’s President was featured in Seventeen Magazine. In 2013, Phi Sigma Pi held its first 5K fundraiser.

The fraternity has inducted Casey’s parents, Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson as honorary brothers and have adopted the Casey Feldman Foundation as their annual charitable cause.

This year’s 5K event will take place in downtown West Chester, PA. with the race kicking off at 1:00 p.m. from Kildares Irish Pub, 18 W. Gay St, 19380. Check-in is 11:30 to 12:45 pm. Tickets are $20.  Registration in advance is strongly encouraged.

If you cannot attend,  please consider making a donation so that the  Casey Feldman Foundation  may continue  to save lives through our distracted driving efforts.

 

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Click here to view photos and videos from the prior four Phi Sigma Pi fundraisers and here to view articles about Phi Sigma Pi’s past efforts.