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We wanted to expand this opportunity to include people who want to be creative in other ways.

Remembering Gail and Alan

Stept Scholarship Now Supports Additional Creative Pursuits

As children, Steve and his four siblings were always immersed in music.

He has fond memories of his dad, Alan Stept, taking them to watch the Johnstown Jazz Workshop. His mother, Gail, loved her opportunity to play violin as a young child, and so when she became a mother each of her five kids had the chance to play an instrument of their choosing: flute, drums, trombone, trumpet, and violin. Of course, there was a family piano too.

“My mom was always very motivated about getting the kids to play, so each of us took piano lessons before we chose other instruments to learn,” Steven said. “She was able to expand upon the opportunity to us that she wanted for herself. She was also a supporter of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra Auxiliary for years.”

Initially, a scholarship they created for students involved in music at Westmont Hilltop High School was meant to honor Alan’s passion for music. This year, Gail lost her battle with cancer, and her children wanted to build on the gesture, creating the Alan and Gail Stept Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship Fund at CFA.

In addition to referencing both their parents and their shared passion for music, the scholarship now has a broader focus, providing an annual scholarship to a graduating senior interested in music and more.

The student could also be exploring visual or performing arts, from theatre or dance to fine arts, graphic design, or film.

“I think it’s about being creative,” Steven said. “That’s what mattered to my parents, part of what they loved about music and performing arts. We wanted to expand this opportunity to include people who want to be creative in other ways.”

Those who are interested in supporting the fund can make a donation online by CLICKING HERE, or they can reach out to CFA staff at (814) 536-7741 to make a donation by phone or mail. Individuals can also make a gift to the fund specifically in memory of Alan or Gail.

The many circles where his parents shared their time and talents—from the Beth Sholom Congregation to the Conemaugh Hospital Junior Auxiliary—created strong and lasting friendships, Steven said. Many people have stepped forward to share their stories of both of them with him and his siblings. That’s been a comfort, as well as honoring their intentions through a scholarship fund at CFA.

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