The ALS Association’s Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund Continues to Help Families in Need

Students holding diplomas

The ALS Association awarded $470,000 in scholarships to 94 students for the 2020-2021 school year through The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund. Established in 2019, the fund was created to support post-high school education for students whose lives have been financially impacted by ALS. Scholarship recipients receive $5,000 per year to help cover the cost of education.

This year’s group of recipients were from 35 different states nationwide.

Mark Calmes, vice-chair of The ALS Association National Board of Trustees, established the fund in honor of his wife Jane, who lived with ALS for eight years until her passing in August 2017.

“Students from families that are dealing with, or have dealt with ALS, are often overlooked and collateral damage to the disease. This damage can negatively impact people for a lifetime. The fund was created to help negate the damage and turn educational dreams into reality,” said Calmes, who has served on the Association board since 2015.

An ALS diagnosis presents tremendous financial challenges for families dealing with the disease and has only been exacerbated by the additional difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic. “The financial burden of ALS is well-documented and can devastate a family’s ability to make ends meet,” said Neil Thakur, Ph.D., chief mission officer for The ALS Association. “We are honored to work with Mark to implement this important scholarship program, and we share his goal to make sure students impacted by ALS can still achieve their educational potential.”

The scholarship program is administered by Scholarship America, an organization that has worked directly with students, parents, colleges, businesses and communities to help students fulfill their college dreams since 1958.

For more information about The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund, please click here.

More About Jane Calmes

The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund honors Jane’s courageous spirit, her love of family, and her belief in the importance of education.

Jane Calmes was born in Coffeyville, Kansas, and spent her youth in Neodesha, Kansas. She attended Kansas University and later graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wichita State University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science/Dental Hygiene. Jane was an accomplished dental hygienist and loved working with the public, all the while providing a necessary service with gentle thoroughness, for which she was noted. She married Mark Calmes in 1980 and together they had four children. Jane was also an ALS hero, having fought the disease for eight years through pure grit and determination. Early on in her journey with ALS, the family formed a very successful Walk to Defeat ALS team in her honor named Jane’s Angels, which continues today. Jane passed away peacefully at home on August 16, 2017, in the arms of her husband and surrounded by her loving family.