Remembering a Life to Improve the Future

On a sunny day in May 1982, Kim Anne Pedersen, a seventh grader at Saugerties Junior High School, was struck by a car while riding her bicycle. Sadly, the accident took her life at the young age of thirteen. 

Though devastated by the loss of their daughter, Kim’s parents, William and Linda Pedersen, looked to create something positive from the tragedy. With help from friends and family, they formed the Kim Anne Pedersen Memorial Scholarship. “While I was just ten years old at the time, I remember how important the scholarship was to my family,” said Kim’s brother, Christian H. Pedersen, who is now an attorney living in Ohio. “It gave us a place to put our sorrow and provided purpose in a time of despair.”

“As I contemplated the situation, I could not help but think of how Kim’s death inspired me to become an attorney and the role that education played in affording me a great life,” said Christian. “I let those experiences and the love of my sister drive the decision.” Wanting to ensure the future of the scholarship, he reached out to the Community Foundations for help. Staff encouraged him to continue on with the scholarship and to raise the funds necessary to ensure its delivery in perpetuity. 

Taking on the challenge, Christian raised the funds necessary and just one year later the scholarship became permanently endowed. “That I could step up and play a small role in this outcome was incredibly fulfilling,” said Christian. “While our family still suffers from that tragic day in 1982, we are comforted in knowing that Kim’s legacy will live on.” The lessons and benefits of the scholarship will now continue, forever. 

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