For the past four years the Stanley family has been awarding a scholarship to a Herndon High School theatre arts student in memory of their son and brother, Chuck Stanley. This year, the HHS Drama Department decided to show their thanks.
On Saturday, May 18 an improv comedy competition was held in the Herndon High auditorium to benefit the Chuck Stanley Memorial Scholarship Fund. Featuring teams from both Herndon and Mount Vernon High Schools, and hosted by the local theatre club “Let’s Talk Comedy,” the event brought together current and former Herndon drama students for a worthy cause.
A 1982 graduate of Herndon with a lifelong passion for theatre, Chuck Stanley passed away in January of 2006. With the Stanley family looking for a way to commemorate Chuck, then-Herndon Mayor Steve DeBenedittis suggested a scholarship fund for local theatre students. The Stanleys dove right in and the first fund-raiser was held at the Lazy Susan Dinner Theatre in Woodbridge in 2009. Chuck had appeared at the Lazy Susan for over 18 years, and the theatre has co-sponsored the scholarship fund since its inception.
The “improvathon” was organized by Herndon junior Hunter Robinson, a drama student that has seen firsthand the impact the Stanley family has had on the program—his sister is a former recipient of the scholarship. “They’ve been really helpful to theatre students for a long time, so we just wanted to give back,” explained Robinson.
“People send applications to us, I read them, my husband reads them and my sons read them. We all say at the same time who we pick, and it’s always been the same.”
-- Diane Stanley
The event featured six rounds of various improv games, with sporadic performances by “Let’s Talk Comedy.” The Herndon A team emerged as the winner in a night full of laughs for students, parents and alumni alike.
Chuck’s mother, Diane Stanley, explained the selection process for the awardee. “People send applications to us, I read them, my husband reads them and my sons read them. We all say at the same time who we pick, and it’s always been the same.”
Those wishing to donate can send checks made out to “John Chuck Stanley-Gonzales Scholarship” to Mr. and Mrs. Stanley, 320 Missouri Ave., Herndon, VA 20170.