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Moniteau Alumni Create Annual Event, Scholarship Program in Honor of Ashley Hasychak
Ashley Hasychak, also a graduate of Moniteau Junior-Senior High School, as well as Clarion University, was just 24 years old when she was killed in a vehicle vs. pedestrian accident in Florida last January. She was working as a Speech Language Pathologist at Jessie P. Miller Elementary School in Bradenton at the time of the accident, a job her friends say she loved.
“That was her first official teaching position, and she truly loved it there, she loved the sun and water, and she always wanted to explore different places and new things. Her fear wasn’t in trying new things, her fear was not trying new things and the fear of missing out on what those might be,” her friend Kathleen Bauer said.
Her friends were devastated by the loss and looked to each other for comfort and a way to keep Ashley’s memory alive.
“After the unexpected loss of our friend and classmate Ashley, we three friends just had to do something and put our focus on something positive not only for us but for our entire community that was mourning this loss. We really liked the idea of a Scholarship Foundation to raise money from different events each year to put towards scholarships for graduating seniors at Moniteau High School in West Sunbury, Pa., where we all graduated from. To be able to give some scholarships each year in Ashley’s name, will help keep her name and legacy alive in this small town,” stated Kyle Thompson, another of Ashley’s friends.
“We brainstormed for a few days to figure out what we could do to help keep Ashley’s legacy alive, and we also loved the idea of a scholarship fund to help aid students with the same educational dreams,” Bauer said.
“There are very few new scholarships started through MHS, and we thought what better way to honor the memory and success of our dear friend, Ashley Hasychak, who changed so many lives with her passion for teaching children and her never-ending sense of adventure than to begin her own memorial scholarship foundation,” said Cody Thompson, the third of Ashley’s friends who worked on the scholarship in her memory.
Deciding upon a scholarship in Ashley’s name was just the first step, though. Next, the friends had to decide how to raise the money.
“Ashley was involved in Track and Field during her high school years, and at this moment, there is not many Track and Field Invitationals for kids in our area. So, we came up with the idea to have an annual Ashley Hasychak Track and Field Invitational and invite local teams to participate in as well as having a full concession stand and Chinese Auction to help raise the money for the scholarships. Not only are we bringing friends and family together to remember our great friend Ashley, but we are putting this effort to make a difference in future Moniteau graduates lives,” Cody Thompson said.
Last year, the friends pulled together, with some help from Moniteau school staff, and put together the first Ashley Hasychak Annual Invitational event.
“We actually ended up having exactly one month to get everything together, with the help of the MHS track and field coaches, the athletic director, and a few wonderful teachers we organized the Jr High Invitational at MHS last April. We hosted four Jr. High teams, had a concession stand, sold t-shirts, and had one of the best Chinese auctions I’ve ever seen!” Bauer said.
“The event, a track and field invitation, was the first invite to be hosted at Moniteau, and we were blown away by the success of it. The support we received from the wonderful track and field coaches, teams, and entire school, Ashley’s family and friends and this community made the whole event grow into a truly inspiring day for the young athletes participating in the meet, spectators watching, and everyone who came to be a part of it to remember and honor the life of Ashley,” Kyle Thompson shared.
The second annual Ashley Hasychak Annual Invitational event is scheduled for Thursday, May 17, at Moniteau High School, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Bauer said, “We will also be doing the t-shirt sales, concession, and Chinese auction baskets again. We happily accept donations to the Ashley Hasychack memorial scholarship fund…this scholarship goes to one male and one female senior MHS track and field member. The applicants have to have an acceptance to a college, university, or trade school, a 3.0 GPA, and a letter of recommendation from someone outside of the track community.”
“This is very important to the three of us,” Kyle Thompson said, “It just feels good to do something in her honor since she was such an important part of our lives. Our hearts are also doing this for Ashley’s family, we know it has been so tough on them, and we just want to do anything positive to help keep her memory alive and well.”
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