From left is Sector Education Service Officer Barbara Bardi, Chief Warrant Officer Paul Bertram; 2018 recipient Heather Bertram, daughter Brooke; Chief Petty Officer Michael Langin; Lt. Commander Amalia Boyer; Amy’s parents Robin and Paul Ignatowski; Chief Warrant Officer Rachael Leask.
Lake Superior State University, officials from US Coast Guard Base Sector Sault, and members of a local family have awarded the eighth Amy Ignatowski Memorial Award to LSSU student and Coast Guard dependent Heather Bertram. The award presentation was held at LSSU’s Lukenda Alumni House.
Paul and Robin Ignatowski, both of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., created the award in 2010 after the loss of their daughter, Amy, who was killed in May 2008 while serving with the Coast Guard in Corpus Christi, Tex. Amy attended LSSU just before joining the Coast Guard.
The memorial fund assists Coast Guard members and their families with the cost of attending LSSU.
Heather Bertram hails from California and met her husband, Paul, while stationed in St. Petersburg, Florida. Paul is chief warrant officer, USCGC Buckthorn and a native of Sault Ste. Marie. “I am very proud to be a Coast Guard spouse and love that our daughter is growing up in a military family,” said Heather. “Beyond our examples and values set as parents, I feel she is blessed to have the US Coast Guard as a model for her as she grows.”
In addition to working towards her LSSU Bachelor’s degree in General Studies, Bertram is pursuing her private pilot’s license. With her ultimate goal and dream to fly for a major corporation, she takes on each day as it comes. “I am very thankful for my supportive family that helps me to reach my goals along the way. I want my daughter to see that you can do anything you set your mind to,” stated Bertram. A mindset much like Amy Ignatowski.
Amy Ignatowski was an outgoing young lady who wore a perpetual smile that could light up a room. She loved to share her positive attitude. Ignatowski believed friendship to be very important, and had the utmost loyalty toward her friends, among whom she counted the many men and women with whom she served in the Coast Guard.
Active Coast Guard members, reservists, and their dependents stationed at Sector Sault are eligible for the Ignatowski award. Candidates may be accepted as students in any course of study at LSSU, with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Active-duty Coast Guard members must have completed a minimum of six months of military service and reservists must be in drilling status.