In memory of their friend and mentor Joe Hoy, members of the Midwest Bird and Animal Breeders Association have created a scholarship in his name.
Hoy, who was the driving force behind the success of the bird and animal swap meet at the Monroe County Fairgrounds, died when a tornado struck his New Minden home last November.
He was president of the MBABA for 25 years and grew the organization considerably in terms of membership and participation.
Unfortunately, a tornado with 190-mile-per-hour winds struck his Washington County property and home, claiming the life of Hoy and his sister.
Bob Andress of Waterloo, a member of the MBABA and driving force behind the installation of this scholarship, said association members decided at their annual January meeting they wanted to do something in Hoy’s memory.
Because of all his hard work and dedication, Andress and other members created the Joe Hoy Memorial Scholarship Fund.
“He really put a lot of his heart and soul into the organization to make it a large swap for people to buy and sell anything from ducks and chickens and rabbits to dogs and cats… even yard sale items.”
Andress said during this past weekend’s swap at the Monroe County Fairgrounds, there were 110 sellers.
“That’s a lot of people,” he said. “It took 25 years to build that up.”
There are eight total MBABA bird swap events held every year at the fairgrounds.
Andress and four others make up a committee that has been given the task of making this scholarship fund as successful as possible. The scholarship fund is a registered not-for-profit, and Andress is in the process of gaining the status of 501c3 for the fund.
“We’ve come a long way since that January meeting,” he said.
Though Andress and the others are still working to get the scholarship up and going locally, he hopes he can spread the scholarship nationally eventually.
“Though the scholarships aren’t going to be a whole lot of money, every bit counts,” he said. “Our goal is to build up each year and be able to give out $20,000 somewhere down the road. We just want to help as many students as we can in a certain way.”
Andress said he wants the scholarship to be able to help students all over the country, not just locally.
“It’s earmarked for a very specific scholarship,” he said.
Recipients must be full-time students planning to major in agriculture, veterinary medicine, vet tech certification, animal husbandry or any other related field as determined by the committee in order to qualify.
Andress said he hopes to have all forms and application materials ready by the middle of May.
Scholarship guidelines, along with information on how to donate, can be found at www.joehoyfund.org.
Once the application is available, forms may be submitted to:
Joe Hoy Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o 6202 Deer Hill Road, Waterloo, IL 62298