Foundation Celebrates 2020 Honorees

East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation held a dinner Thursday honoring Bruce Towne and Bill Krissoff. After being postponed a year due to the pandemic, the community was finally able to recognize the two distinguished individuals for their service and leadership.

Towne was named 2020’s Community Service Honoree for his contributions to the high school as custodial supervisor and for his dedication to uplifting and inspiring others. After working for the district for over 20 years, generations of students remember his impact.

Bill Krissoff was also honored at the dinner as the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award. After his son, Nate Krissoff, died serving in Iraq, Krissoff decided to join the United States Navy Medical Corps as an orthopedic surgeon, inspired by his son’s courageous actions and dedication to the country.

Krissoff was told by a Navy medical recruiter that his chances of joining were slim, as he needed an age waiver at 60 years old. But when President George W. Bush visited Nevada to speak with families of the fallen, Krissoff expressed his desire to honor his son.

Because of the president, Krissoff went on to serve as the primary or assistant surgeon in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Bill made a difference for good every day,” Major General Larry Nicholson said. “There can be no greater act of love by a father for his fallen son than to take his place in the ranks in the midst of war.”

This story is from the Oct. 2021 issue of The East Vision.