Family contributes to Century Walk, scholarship program
November 3, 2002 — Source: Naperville Sun, The (IL)
John Scherer, nationally known for his educational role as the Video Professor, will be donating $500,000 in the name of his parents, William and Jane Scherer, to the Naperville Education Foundation on Wednesday during the unveiling of a statue of his father at Naperville Central High School.
The money will establish education and athletic scholarships that will be given to two Naperville Central High School students annually.
He also is honoring his parents' involvement in the community by contributing $100,000 toward the statue of his father and another sculpture of his parents as children that will be unveiled Tuesday. The sculptures are the newest additions to Naperville Century Walk, an outdoor public art exhibit in the downtown Naperville area.
A bronze sculpture of Jane Latshaw Scherer and Billy Scherer sitting on a park bench holding hands will be unveiled at the Main Street entrance to the Riverwalk at Chicago Avenue at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
The statue, which will be dedicated at 2 p.m. Wednesday outside the main entrance of Naperville Central, depicts Billy Scherer as a high school basketball star.
The statues were created by Emanuel Martinez of Denver, an internationally known muralist, painter and sculptor who has pieces in the permanent collection of the National Museum of American Art and the Smithsonian Institute. Martinez has won numerous awards and public art commissions, participated in prestigious invitational shows and been featured in several publications.
William Scherer and Jane Latshaw Scherer were both born in Naperville in 1918. They attended school together, meeting in third grade. They graduated from Naperville High School in 1936. They married in 1941 and were together for more than 60 years before William Scherer's death.
Jane Scherer was an elementary school teacher and founder of a kindergarten program. She is the great-granddaughter of John Naper, brother of Naperville founder Joseph Naper.
William "Billy" Scherer served as captain of the Naperville High School basketball team and participated in football and track. After graduating from the Illinois Institute of Technology, he became a civil engineer. He represented the third generation of the Scherer Hardware Store family. The original Scherer store was opened in the early 1880s by Christian Scherer at the southeast corner of Jefferson Avenue and Washington Street. Billy Scherer's father, William Christian Scherer, operated the store until 1946.
The dedication ceremonies will be attended by Jane Scherer and her children, John and James Scherer and Susan Scherer Weeks.