Nicole Lemieux Knight was a remarkable person. President of the 1986 senior class at Newburyport High School and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Nicole enjoyed successful careers in both New York and Paris and was a friend to many on both continents.
“Nicole had an incredible way with people. I think more than anything, it was her openness…to people, and to all that life offered,” said her brother Peter Lemieux. “Some people’s beauty — and Nicole was really quite beautiful — intimidates others, scares them away, makes them feel insecure. But not Nicole’s. She had a real gift, a sweet, disarming way about her and, because of that, she really had an impact on people’s lives.” Nicole succumbed to breast cancer in October 2005, three weeks after giving birth to her first child, Sofia.
Her family and friends, anxious to create a lasting tribute to her life, chose to establish a scholarship in her memory and turned to ECCF for help. The Nicole Lemieux Knight Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a Newburyport graduating senior who, like Nicole, demonstrates a free spirit and creative vision for his or her life pursuits.
“When we started the scholarship, we weren’t sure how to proceed from a legal, tax or accounting perspective,” explained Barry Lemieux, Nicole’s father. “Early on, we were really caught in a no-man’s land at a critical juncture. Fortunately, a friend turned us on to ECCF, which turned out to be the perfect solution for our needs. Right away, every contribution became tax-deductible. All the paperwork and all of the headaches went away. It was a great decision going with ECCF. And thanks to their fine work, there’s no question about the scholarship’s long-term sustainability.”
Nicole’s friends and family also decided to continue to raise funds for this ongoing tribute to Nicole’s life. Each summer, as a group, they participate in the Yankee Homecoming road race in Newburyport. The race adds to the scholarship endowment, ensuring that it will become a permanent tribute to Nicole’s life and keep family and friends connected to Nicole’s memory and to the community in which she was raised.
Said her childhood friend, Nonie Olsen, “It’s fitting…even now after this tragedy, she’s able to still bring people together. We’re all proud of this scholarship and what it stands for, and I know she would be too.”