|The Ralph W.
Abele Conservation Scholarship Fund was established following Ralph's death as a living,
continuing memorial. Ralph Abele's life was marked by extraordinary
dedication to conservation and education. As a leader of the Boy Scouts, Ralph taught about the
wonders of nature and instilled a conservation ethic in young minds with his message that the
land is ours only to nurture and pass on to future generations. His commitment to education was
shown by his membership on the Greenwood Area School Board. As a leader in government, Ralph
showed uncommon tenacity, combined with unmatched integrity, in his efforts to protect, conserve
and enhance clean air, pure water and the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the
To mark the Scholarship Fund's anniversary, the Fund has designed a special "Thank You" gift
for donors. Anyone making a donation of $5 or more to the Fund will receive a colorful
lapel pin depicting the "Gadsden Flag."
As anyone who entered Ralph's office can tell you, a framed version of the the famous
Revolutionary War era flag was mounted on the wall directly behind Ralph's desk. Ralph
liked the flag because it depicted a rattlesnake, one of the animals under the jurisdiction of
the Fish Commission, and because of its message: "Don't Tread On Me."
Gifts to the scholarship fund may be made by check payable to the "Ralph W. Abele
Conservation Scholarship Fund" and sent to:
RWA Scholarship Fund
c/o PA Fish and Boat Commission
PO Box 67000
Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000
The Ralph W. Abele Conservation Scholarship Fund awarded its first scholarship in 1991. Each year the fund will award between $1,000 and $2,000. These awards will assist a worthy young man or woman in
pursuing their education at approved institutions of higher learning in one of the environmental
disciplines, such as fisheries, forestry, ecology, wildlife management or environmental resource
Guidelines for the Scholarship Fund are listed on the Application for Scholarship Award.
Scholarship selection is based on an applicant's academic potential, his or her
interest in conservation education, and his or her demonstrated commitment to conservation. The
decision of the Scholarship Committee is final and binding.
The Scholarship Fund is an IRS-recognized organization to which tax deductible donations may
be made. The RWA Scholarship is a private, nonprofit organization; its Board of
Directors consists exclusively of unpaid volunteers. The Fund is not officially related to
the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.