Donahue receives first Chris Holt Scholarship

Regann Donahue looks to attack the West Albany defense in a McNary girls lacrosse game from last spring. Donahue was the recipient of the first Chris Holt Scholarship on behalf of McNary Youth Baseball (File).

Regann Donahue has taken great pride in being a student-athlete at McNary High.

She has played on the Celtics varsity girls’ soccer team for the last three seasons and became a standout on the McNary lacrosse squad in 2019 — Donahue plans on playing lacrosse in college at Eastern Oregon University (EOU).

In the classroom, Donahue is just as fierce, posting a 3.7 grade-point-average with the aim of going into the EOU nursing program.

These are just some of the reasons Donahue was selected as the recipient of the first annual Chris Holt Scholarship from McNary Youth Baseball (MYB).

“I was so overwhelmed when I found out. I could not be more grateful,” Donahue said. 

The scholarship was created in memory of Chris Holt, a 13-year-old Keizer resident and youth baseball player, who passed away from leukemia in 2003.

The scholarship will be awarded once a year and is for any senior who has been active in sports at McNary. Recipients will be awarded $1,000 to offset costs of continuing education at any post-high school educational, technical or vocational institution.

However, MYB wanted to award this scholarship to someone who was about more than just their studies and sports. Part of the application process was to write an essay about what sacrifice means to them, along with giving a personal example of how sacrifice has played a part in their lives.

When Donahue was given this task, she knew exactly what she was going to write about. 

In her essay, Donahue talked about the process of her family adopting her little sister, Indianna.

In December of 2014, Donahue’s parents received a letter from the Department of Human Services (DHS) saying that they had a family member in need. Indianna, who was one year old at the time, was in need of a foster family after it was determined that her biological parents were not in the correct mental state to raise a child.

Later that month, the Donahue clan went from five members to six as they decided to take in Indianna. Right from the start, Donahue fell in love with her new sister.

“The essay was emotional for me to write because I can’t imagine my life without my little sister,” Donahue said. 

However, the next couple years wouldn’t be easy. Since Indianna was still in the foster care system, DHS would stop by their house once per week and often meander through Donahue’s personal belongings.

“DHS is very meticulous. It was really weird having someone go through your stuff every week,” Donahue said. 

Two years later, Indianna was adopted and officially became a member of the Donahue family. During this time, Donahue says that her family experienced some financial hardships and that she and her siblings had to make multiple sacrifices — like skipping out on sports at times. But in the end, Donahue wouldn’t change a thing.

“She is the best little girl in the world. She is so wise and so smart and has been such a blessing to our family,” Donahue said. “It’s been amazing to have had this little girl come into my life and teach me so much.”

While there were numerous high-quality applicants according to MYB President Bo Lane, Donahue’s essay made her stand out from the pack.

“Regann’s essay is really what captured us,” MYB President Bo Lane said. “She embodies the word sacrifice on a personal level and I think that is why we felt like she was deserving.”

After being one of the senior leaders for the McNary girls’ soccer team in the fall, Donahue was greatly looking forward to her final season of lacrosse as a senior captain. However, the COVID-19 pandemic ripped her final high school season away.

For Donahue, the disappointment wasn’t necessarily related to the sport. After all, she will be playing lacrosse in college next year. What was hard to take, however, was the realization that she wouldn’t ever get to be with her McNary teammates again.

“I’m still flabbergasted that something like this could happen,” Donahue said. “I cried a lot because I knew that I would never be able to play with the same girls.”

Donahue started playing lacrosse just last year, but it didn’t take long for her to fall in love with the sport and have a big impact for the Celtics squad.

After starting the 2019 season as a defender, McNary head coach Becca LaFramboise moved Donahue up to the midfield, where she flourished offensively and defensively.

“Regann has amazing field awareness and is a determined and motivated competitor,” LaFramboise said. “She is really skilled with getting possession of ground balls and her stamina makes her an asset on both offense and defense.”

Donahue’s favorite memory of her time as a McNary lacrosse player came in the Celtics final game of last season. Donahue scored the go-ahead goal with less than a minute remaining and the Celtics were able to play keep away to run the last 33 seconds of the clock to defeat Crescent Valley.

“It was one of the best things I have ever experienced on a sports field,” Donahue said.

EOU will have their inaugural season next spring and Donahue’s coach believes that her former player will be in a position to succeed at the next level. 

“She is so versatile that she can play any position and do whatever the team needs of her,” LaFramboise said. 

While she’s ready to be a part of the school’s first-ever girls lacrosse team, the main reason Donahue picked EOU was because of their nursing program. After college, Donahue plans to either work as a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse or as a midwife.

“I want to go into nursing because of my love for babies and children. They are the purest forms of life,” Donahue said. “I want to help families that are in need.”

Although she is ready for the next chapter in her life, Donahue is extremely grateful for her four years at McNary.

“My four years at McNary were absolutely amazing. There is no other school I would have rather been at. It has been such an honor to be a Celt,” Donahue said.