FAN names its annual scholarship the ‘Linda Kreiser Female Athlete Scholarship,’ announces at Lend A Hand field hockey tournament

Nora Bioty made several runs to baseline from the 25 yard-line on May 6 cutting to receive no-look passes and then take top-self shots.

She landed a few goals.

The Class of 1999 Lower Dauphin field hockey player has participated twice before in the one-day Lend A Hand field hockey tournament in Hummelstown, but the May event was more meaningful this year. Linda Kreiser, who has coached at Lower Dauphin for 45 years, announced her retirement in March.

She has hosted the Lend A Hand field hockey tournament for 12 years.

“She’s amazing,” Bioty said. “I tell everyone field hockey at Lower Dauphin was one my best experiences. She’s just so positive and that has something to do with it. I hope she gets to enjoy playing the sport now that she has a little bit of time.”

Bioty, a 1999 Lower Dauphin graduate and state field hockey champion, laughed, ran, and played against middle and high school players, as well as a handful of high school coaches.

“It’s fun to be competitive again,” the Penn State alum said.

She held back tears when talking about Kreiser’s retirement announcement. Kreiser has influenced thousands of field hockey players throughout her career. She ended it as the second most winningest high school coach in the country.

Kreiser’s charity is supported by the Lower Dauphin Falcon Foundation, a non-profit organization.

Middle school and high school field hockey players are invited, as well as alumni. The charity has raised money for Lower Dauphin families faced with flood recovery, car accident recovery, multiple sclerosis, and Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).

Funds are raised through a raffle, auction, and donations.

Female Athlete News founder Jana Benscoter announced at the event that FAN’s annual scholarship has now been named the ‘Linda Kreiser Female Athlete Scholarship.’

“Linda Kreiser has set an example for all who know her,” Benscoter said. “Whether you’re an athlete, coach, parent, or reporter, Kreis always shares her passion, energy, and positivity wherever she goes. She’s been an advocate for girls and women in sports ever since the approval of Title IX. And, it’s because of her contributions toward sports in general, specifically with females, that FAN has named our annual senior scholarship after her.”

Bianca Pizano is the first winner of the annual scholarship. Pizano played field hockey at Wyoming Area High School. She is playing Division I field hockey at Michigan State in the fall, where she plans to study to become a dentist.

Details about the Class of 2024 Linda Kreiser Female Athlete Scholarship will be shared throughout the summer and early fall.

Here are the 2023 Lend A Hand recipients:

Ken Freeland: Ken, an LDMS basketball coach, was diagnosed with head and neck squamous cell cancer. He had radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery to remove the cancer. In 2021, he was diagnosed with more squamous cells in the sinus. Radiation and Keytruda seemed to have the condition under control. In 2022, metastasized Squamos cells were found in the lymph nodes in his neck and lungs. Ken’s condition has made it impossible to eat solid foods. He has been on a liquid diet since 2018.

Gale Freeland: Gale, Ken’s wife, has been diagnosed with Melanoma of the brain, adrenal glands and lymph nodes. She has had six Melanoma-related seizures in the past 15 months, each more severe than the previous one. Gale has been in and out of the hospital, and she no longer can drive. Lend a Hand will help both Ken and Gale with mounting medical bills.

Laura Souders: Laura, a former LD elementary and MS teacher, suffered from a brain bleed which caused a stroke. Laura had to undergo surgery to relieve pressure on her brain. She was hospitalized and then moved to a rehabilitation center. Unfortunately, the event resulted in paralysis on the left side of her body. Laura is working hard in rehab to regain strength and mobility.

Christie Gamber: Christie, an LD elementary teacher, was diagnosed with metastasized liver cancer and a broken C4 vertebrae from a tumor in her neck. She will have a number of immunotherapy treatments over the next three months. Christie’s children have been LD athletes. Daughter Janelle played field hockey, and son Clint was a talented football player who currently coaches at LD. Lend a Hand will relieve some of the financial burdens the Gamber family faces, as well as show Christie that she has community support.

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