by Lisa Tome
It's been a 14 years since Janet Marie Hardy was killed by a drunk driver.
Deb Hardy's dedication to remembering her daughter and awarding scholarships in her honor, has never faltered.
"The police officers and the kids love to play the games. I've stayed involved with it," Deb Hardy said last week.
The soccer games held each year in her memory and to fund Janet Hardy Memorial Scholarships, roll on.
Hardy, a junior varsity soccer player at Perryville High School, was killed by a drunk driver October 26, 2003, a week before her 14th birthday. Her mother, Debbie, continues to hold the tournaments to build awareness about the dangers of impaired driving as well as to fund the scholarships which are awarded annually for local students. Graduating seniors are encouraged to contact their school office for information regarding the scholarship application.
To date, the Janet Hardy Memorial Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $60,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors in Harford and Cecil County. The bulk of the funding comes from proceeds of the benefit soccer games.
This year, the event will be held on Saturday, April 8 at Cecil Arena, near Calvert. Games begin at 9 a.m. and continue all day. This year, the Maryland Transportation Authority Police will field a team for the first time. There will also be teams from local high schools, Maryland State Police, Harford County Sheriff's Office, and Cecil County fire department and rescue teams. "We could play games until midnight if we wanted to. That's due to the dedication of the players and the volunteers," said Hardy.
Concessions and snacks will be available throughout the day. There will also be silent auctions.
All donations benefit the Janet Hardy Memorial Scholarship Fund. To donate to the fund or for scholarship information, mail to Janet Hardy Memorial Scholarship Fund P.O. Box 302, Conowingo, Md. 21918.