CHC - Capt. Leroy "Bubba" Balch Memorial Scholarship
Leroy “Bubba” Balch was born in Topeka Kansas and spent his early years in Kansas. Moved to Colton CA. and graduated from Colton Union High School in 1949 where he excelled in sports. After graduation Leroy joined the Navy and served 4 years during the Korean War. He was assigned to the Pentagon and also served on a sub-tender out of Norfolk VA.
Bubba joined the Redlands Fire Department in 1958, attaining the rank of Captain, and served for 32 years until his retirement in November of 1990. He was one of the most respected Captains in the Redlands Fire Department. Those who served under Capt. Balch considered him a great friend, boss and leader. He was always supportive, loyal and always greeted his fellow firefighters with the smile and encouragement. The firefighters that Bubba served with in Redlands referred to him as “the Pied Piper of the Redlands Fire Department” because of his relationship with the youth of Redlands. The kids were always welcome visitors. The youth of Redlands vision of a Firefighter was Fireman Balch. There are firefighters scattered around the Inland Empire, including Redlands, who became firefighters because of Capt. Balch. Leroy’s charm and wisdom inspired, encouraged, soothed, and strengthened the people around him. Bubba is a part of many wonderful memories stored in the memory banks of many friends and family as well as the memories that he left with the thousands of kids in Redlands. Like the vision of that smiling, forever young, Captain Leroy Balch, of the Redlands Fire Department—greeting them at the station or waving to them from the bright red fire truck. This memorial scholarship has broadened that smile.
The Capt. Leroy “Bubba” Balch Memorial Scholarship has been funded by his wife Marilyn “Molly” Balch and family, his longtime friend Dr. Bob Percy and Bubba’s many friends.
Criteria: Recipient must be receiving a certificate from the Firefighter I Basic Training Academy. Preference for student who is from Redlands or Colton.