The Mike Sanford Memorial Fund

Mike Sanford was a member of the Staff of the Synod of the Trinity who had no responsibilities for youth ministry in the synod, but who was sent to Trinity Youth Conference (according to Mike) by the Synod Executive, the late Dr. William Rush, to "keep an eye on the youth." For those who knew Mike, that seemed like asking the fox to watch the henhouse. For he not only fit in and enjoyed himself...he was somewhat of an instigator. Few people have brought more joy to the participants at TYC than Mike Sanford, and fewer still have been able to inspire as he had.

Mike had a personal tradition of singing at the talent show every year. He always sang a song about the happenings and the people of that particular year to the tune of a popular Christmas carol, inviting everyone to join him on the chorus. Mike is also responsible for the very special grace before our picnic dinner at Shawnee State Park. And from his mind, came forth the idea for the greatest TYC shirt ever. Every year on Saturday morning, Mike donned his bright yellow t-shirt, which everyone looked
forward to seeing as it marked the end of the week and gave us the hope of looking forward to next year. Sadly, in the Fall of 1988, Mike was taken from us in an automobile accident, and was called home to join the church triumphant. His was a great memorial service - attended by high-ranking church officials from around the country as well as dozens of TYCers from across nearly two decades of conferences. All were there to celebrate the life of a truly great man, loved and admired by so many. We now honor Mike with a memorial fund in his name, established in 1988 to benefit first-time TYC participants.

Sustaining the Fund

TYC is, in so many ways, reliant on first-time participants for its continued vitality, recognizing that each of the members of our TYC family were once first-time participants themselves. It is for this reason that the Mike Sanford Scholarship specifically benefits first-time participants. The Friends of TYC is reliant on donations in order to sustain this fund, and greatly appreciates gifts of any size. Click Here to make a donation online, or, if mailing your donation, please make checks payable to "Friends of TYC" and write "Mike Sanford Memorial Fund" on the memo line of your check.

Applying for a Scholarship from the Fund

For questions about the scholarship and to apply, please contact Jason Best, a member of the Board of Directors of Friends of TYC, at (717) 468-6106 or


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