Collector - February 2016 - 7
ACA Member-Founded Charity Honoring Memory of
Pennsylvania Teen Unites Community
hen 16-year-old Jamie Kotula
died in 2011 from injuries
sustained in a car crash, his
family-including his father John Kotula,
CEO of ACA International member
company Commonwealth Financial
Systems, and his brother Jeff Kotula,
director of operations at Commonwealth
Financial Systems-was devastated.
Through their grief, they found an
important way to honor Jamie's short but
dynamic life: The Jamie Kotula Foundation,
which awards scholarships to deserving
students and provides random acts of
kindness to those in need.
An outstanding student and enthusiastic
athlete, Jamie had been involved in many
activities, including the soccer team, swim
team, track team, chess club and show choir.
He also worked part-time at Commonwealth
Financial Systems after school. "He had a big
personality and a huge reach," Jeff Kotula said.
After Jamie died, his family was moved by
the tremendous outpouring of support they
received from the community. "Close to 5,000
people came to Jamie's funeral," said Jeff Kotula.
"We had no idea how he touched so many
people in such a short period. But we saw this
and thought, 'What can we do to continue his
legacy and support our mission as a family?"
Foundation board members and volunteers at the Fifth Annual Jamie Kotula Kickoff Classic soccer tournament.
ACA Member Obituary:
Shortly afterward, the Kotula family
launched the foundation to support
individuals and groups who demonstrate
and uphold the principles by which Jamie
lived. Over the last five years, the Jamie
Kotula Foundation has given out more than
$170,000 in college scholarships and random
acts of kindness throughout the community,
including donations to nonprofits such as
St. Joseph's Center, Friends of the Poor and
Archibald Lion's Club as well as families who
have suffered unexpected loss or hardships.
Last fall it held the Fifth Annual Jamie
Kotula Kickoff Classic, a soccer tournament
that brings together players from close to
a dozen local high schools and helps raise
money for the foundation.
"I think the tournament will be a lifelong
event," Jeff Kotula said. "It's already become
a very big community event. First it was a
Jamie event, but now it's for the community."
Since its inception, the foundation's focus
has been mostly contained to the Scranton,
Pa., area, but Jeff Kotula said he hopes to get
the foundation active nationally soon.
The Jamie Kotula Foundation is a
registered 501(c)3 charity. For more
information or to donate, visit www.
lizabeth Westveer, age 54 from Niles, Mich., passed away on Feb. 17, 2015. Westveer was
the president of Creditors Service Bureau of Niles, Inc. and owned and operated the
Creditors Service Bureau and The Bell Building.
She graduated from Niles High School and attended Southwestern Michigan College. She
lived in Niles, Mich., for most of her life.
Westveer volunteered with many organizations in her community and was a member of the
board of The Salvation Army in Niles and past president of the Niles Noon Optimist Club. She
was named Woman of the Year by the Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce.
Westveer is survived by her husband Mark E. Westveer; mother JoAnn Krueger; and halfsister Tab (Roger) Miner.
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