Jim Gibeau served the surrounding Greater Itasca community in many ways. He served on the Grand Rapids Fire Department for almost 17 years before his passing in a work accident in 2021. Jim grew up in LaPrairie and attended Greenway High School. He played football, baseball, and hockey for Greenway High School. Jim was very involved in his community through the fire department, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and coaching. He had always been a big supporter of youth sports in Greenway, where he coached hockey and baseball.
Last year, Jim’s friends and fellow firefighters at the Grand Rapids Fire Department created the Jim Gibeau Memorial Scholarship in Jim’s honor. Lance Kuschel, fellow firefighter for the Grand Rapids Fire Department, says, “We do a county-wide Fire vs Law hockey game every year where all donations collected get divided up between the fire department and law enforcement. Jim was a year-in and year-out player for the fire department team in this event. Our department thought a memorial scholarship in his name would be a perfect way to honor Jim, and the annual hockey game will raise money for the scholarship. Jim gave so much to the Grand Rapids Fire Department and youth sports in Greenway and we look forward to helping local students in their education with the Jim Gibeau Memorial Scholarship.”
The Jim Gibeau Memorial Scholarship was awarded for the first time this year to support an Itasca County graduating senior who is a relative of an active or retired firefighter from an Itasca County fire department. This year’s recipient was Nicholas Morse.
If you would like to donate to the Jim Gibeau Memorial Scholarship, you can do so through the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation. Go to the Foundation’s website www.gracf.org, click on Donate and search for the Jim Gibeau Memorial Scholarship, or you can send or drop off a check to 350 NW 1st Avenue, Suite E in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.