On February 27, 1991 1LT Donaldson (Donnie) Preston Tillar III died with eight other soldiers when their Blackhawk helicopter was shot down on the last day of hostilities during Operation Desert Storm. Donnie is the only West Point graduate to die in combat during Operation Desert Storm. He was a graduate of James I. O'Neill High School in Highland Falls, NY.
The LT Donaldson Tillar Memorial Scholarship has awarded $500 annually to a graduating senior from James I. O'Neill High School since 1992. For many of those years, this scholarship was funded through the generosity of one high school friend.
Members of the West Point Class of 1988 and past James I. O'Neill graduates have now established this fund so that this scholarship and Donnie's memory live well into the future and the scholarship will be available for generations to come.
The scholarship recipients are picked based on their academic excellence, athletic participation, and personal character - all of which exemplify who Donnie was.
Our initial goal is to raise at least $30,000 in honor of the 30th anniversary of Donnie's passing - February 27, 2021. The ultimate goal is to reach $100,000 so the amount of the yearly scholarship can increase and also be self-funded well into the future.
This fund is supervised by Chris Albanese, Mike Tetu, and Dave Anderson on behalf of James I. O'Neill High School Alumni, West Point Classmates and Alumni and the Tillar family. God bless Donnie Tillar. God bless the Tillar Family. And May God bless you.