When Peter Spielhagen, the beloved proprietor of Forest Hall Antiques, died earlier this year, his husband, Reggie Cheong-Leen, wanted to honor his memory in a special way.
He has established and endowed a scholarship fund at Greater Pike Community Foundation to support a cause that was important to both of them – immigrants to the United States seeking opportunity and better lives for their families.
The Reggie Cheong-Leen and Peter Spielhagen Scholarship Fund will assist the children of first-generation immigrants graduating from Delaware Valley High School in obtaining higher education and a career path in their new country.
The fund will accept applications starting in 2020. It will provide significant multi-year financial support for post-secondary education for a student who is a child of non-citizens. Up to $20,000 annually will be provided, for up to four years, to support attendance at a university, college or trade school.
“Education is the key for immigrants,” said Cheong-Leen. "I was fortunate that I had that opportunity, and I want to pay it forward by making that opportunity available to others. In a time when there is so much anti-immigration feeling, which is divisive and dangerous, it is more important than ever that those of us who can stand up for the American dream do so.”
Cheong-Leen and Spielhagen immigrated separately to the United States as young people, with hopes and dreams for a new life, which they found together after leading fulfilling careers in the garment industry and the antiques business, respectively. After living and working in New York City, they moved to Milford in 1988 and purchased Forest Hall at the corner of Harford and Broad streets in Milford, where they operated Forest Hall Antiques and rented retail space. Over the years, Cheong-Leen and Spielhagen became deeply involved in the community through their business and volunteer endeavors.
Greater Pike is now accepting donations to the scholarship fund. Checks should be made payable to: GPCF-Cheong-Leen/Spielhagen Fund and mailed to Greater Pike Community Foundation, P.O. Box 992, Milford PA 18337.
For more information about this or any other Greater Pike Fund, contact Jenni Hamill, executive director at 570-832-4686 or email@example.com, or visit greaterpike.org.
“Education is the key for immigrants. I was fortunate that I had that opportunity, and I want to pay it forward by making that opportunity available to others. In a time when there is so much anti-immigration feeling, which is divisive and dangerous, it is more important than ever that those of us who can stand up for the American dream do so.” –Reggie Cheong-Leen