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Student drama supports scholarship fund in honor of Marine killed in Iraq
Date published: 11/6/2012
By RUSTY DENNEN
When Kelly Cresswell's drama students step onstage and into the spotlight for four performances this week, they'll be motivated by more than applause.
Beginning Wednesday night at Riverbend High School, they'll pay their respects to Marine Cpl. Brett Lundstrom and raise more money for scholarships in his name.
Lundstrom, a Stafford County resident, was killed by small-arms fire in Fallujah, Iraq, on Jan. 7, 2006, along with two other Marines. He was 22.
Each fall since his death, the Riverbend Theater Department has produced a play in his memory, with proceeds going to the Cpl. Brett Lundstrom Scholarship for the Performing Arts.
The common thread in the production and the scholarship is Kelly Cresswell, who heads the Spotsylvania County high school's theater department. She taught Lundstrom before he joined the military and is his godmother.
"He had a great sense of humor, and he went with the punches," Cresswell said in a recent interview. Though his parents were in the midst of a divorce, "He was a happy guy and a hardworking student."
Cresswell met Lundstrom when he was 12 years old in 29 Palms, Calif., home of the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command.
Lundstrom, she said, "used to baby-sit for my daughters, and his father worked with my ex-husband" who was also in the Marines.
Lundstrom was in Cresswell's class when she taught at Woodbridge High School in 1999. When his family moved to Stafford a few years later, Lundstrom asked Cresswell to be his godmother. He graduated from Brooke Point High School in 2001 and joined the Marines in 2003.
The two kept in touch. Cresswell had talked to Lundstrom prior to his deployment to Iraq. She was teaching when she found out that her former student had been killed.
In the months that followed, "We were determined to do a scholarship," said Cresswell.
The fall show became a fundraiser for that purpose. To date, students have gotten 16 scholarships in Lundstrom's name, up to $800 each. They are awarded in May.
WHO: Riverbend High School Drama DepartmentWHAT: Production of Ken Ludwig's "Midsummer/Jersey" WHEN: This Wednesday through Saturday, beginning at 7 p.m. WHERE: Riverbend High School in Spotsylvania DETAILS: Tickets are $7. Proceeds go to the Marine Cpl. Brett Lundstrom Scholarship for the Performing Arts