News | November 26, 2012

Student Organizes 5K Run To Benefit Paul Bonenfant Scholarship Campaign

OSA Foundation scholarship less than $10,000 away from permanent endowment

Thanks to the efforts of a 15-year-old high school student, the OSA Foundation’s Paul A. Bonenfant Memorial Scholarship fundraising campaign is even closer to its goal of $190,000 with just less than $10,000 left to fully endow the scholarship. Kelly Skelton, son of Lightwave magazine staffer Kathleen Skelton, organized a 5k run in Bedford, Mass. last week in an effort to raise funds and help the campaign get closer to “crossing the finish line.”

Established in 2011 in memory of Paul Anthony Bonenfant, this need-based scholarship will enable undergraduate students enrolled in engineering or physical science programs to attend semester-abroad programs offered through their college or university. The scholarship will provide international experience to students as they prepare for their professional careers, affording them the opportunity to expand their total worldview and promote global engagement and collaboration.

Skelton’s involvement came as a result of Lightwave magazine’s continued support of the campaign. He saw the trade publication’s active promotion and contribution to the fund and decided he could help the OSA Foundation reach their goal by rallying his community together for a good cause.

“Lightwave is proud to support the Bonenfant Scholarship, the OSA Foundation, and Kelly Skelton in championing this important cause,” said Ernesto Burden, group publisher of Lightwave magazine. “We recognize the critical need to develop future engineers, for our industry, our national economy and its impact worldwide.  We encourage our industry peers to join us in supporting OSA Foundation programs like this that benefit the optical communications community.”

A dedicated member of technical program committee for the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition and the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) and a speaker at OFC/NFOEC for many years, Bonenfant spent his career in various capacities from engineering to investment banking. He believed that international experience enhanced a person’s general understanding and his or her effectiveness in interpersonal and business endeavors.

“Paul’s work involved a great deal of international collaboration and engagement,” said Michael Morris, OSA Foundation Board chair. “Passing on this opportunity to the next generation of students is a critical part of connecting the global optics community. We’re incredibly grateful for corporate donors like Lightwave and individual supporters like the Skelton family.”

In addition to Skelton’s run, two other 5K runs took place Nov. 23 for the same cause: in Washington, D.C. the telecom marketing agency Pacific Bridge Marketing organized their own and in Atlanta, OSA Foundation staff also ran for the cause.

For more information about the Bonenfant Scholarship and to make a secure online donation, visit the OSA Foundation website. Attendees registering for OFC/NFOEC 2013 also have the option of including a donation to the scholarship during the online registration process.

About the OSA Foundation

The OSA Foundation, created in 2002, is dedicated to supporting programs that advance science education, offer career and professional development resources, and recognize technical and business excellence. Contributions to the Foundation, a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, are deductible as provided by law. All donors receive special recognition and acknowledgements, unless they request to be anonymous. Donations to the OSA Foundation are matched dollar-for-dollar by the Optical Society through its donation to the OSA Foundation annual fund, so your gift makes twice the difference. For more information, visit, follow us on Facebook or contact the OSA development staff via telephone: 202.416.1434; or e-mail:

About Lightwave

For more than 25 years, Lightwave has delivered trusted technical, application and business insights to senior-level decision makers for optical communications worldwide. Lightwave’s technical magazine, email newsletters, targeted in-depth website, events and research are established, valued resources for more than 100,000 corporate executives, department heads, project managers, network engineers and others making strategic decisions for their businesses. Lightwave is part of the Technology Group of PennWell Corp. a highly diversified, business-to-business media company providing authoritative print and online publications, conferences and exhibitions, research, databases, online exchanges and information products to strategic global markets. For more information, visit

Source: The Optical Society