Janet Marie Hardy Memorial Scholarship Fund's annual soccer matches to be held April 14 [Letter]

The Aegis

Editor:

For the 15th consecutive year, games featuring teams from the Maryland State Police, Maryland Transportation Authority, Harford County Sheriff’s Office and local volunteer fire companies will compete against teens from Harford and Cecil counties in benefit soccer matches to raise funds for the Janet Hardy Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The event date has been set for Saturday, April 14, at the Cecil Arena, 2706 Northeast Road in Northeast. Games will begin at 9 a.m. and run every hour, ending at approximately 7 p.m., with the final match held at 6:00 between Maryland State Police Cadets and Maryland State Police Troopers.

Janet Marie Hardy, the victim of drunk driver, was killed on Oct. 26, 2003, at the age of 13 in Harford County. Her love of soccer lives on through the Memorial Games. Her legacy of giving continues with the scholarship program for graduating high school seniors in Harford and Cecil counties who maintain a Grade Point Average of 3.25 or better and participated in at least one season of soccer during their high school years. Applicants must also be drug and alcohol free.

Janet, a young soccer player, was a freshman at Perryville High when the vehicle she was riding in was struck by a repeat drunk driver at Maryland Routes 1 and 440 in Dublin. The annual Janet Hardy Memorial Soccer Games brings awareness and education to the community about the danger of impaired driving in a positive and productive manner and have been held since 2004. The Games are planned to take place during prom season as a reminder for teens to be safe.

My daughter was killed by a drunk driver, her short life ended by a crime that is 100 percent preventable. As her Mommy, I have dedicated my life to ending drunk driving and raising awareness throughout Maryland. Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for teenagers with nearly half related to alcohol.

To date, the Janet Hardy Memorial Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $67,000 to graduating seniors in Harford and Cecil counties. The bulk of the funding comes from the proceeds of the annual benefit soccer games played in Janet’s honor. Concessions and raffles are held throughout the day. Event shirts are available for purchase. Vendors will also be on site. Businesses throughout Harford and Cecil counties have generously donated gift cards and other items to be added to the raffle baskets.

For more information about the games or the scholarship fund, call 443-466-4990; write to the Janet Hardy Memorial Scholarship Fund, PO Box 302, Conowingo, MD, 21918 or communicate by email at heydebhideb@hotmail.com.

Debbie Hardy

Conowingo

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