Richard Hadfield Memorial Scholarship Fund

Our class is continuing to support the Richard Hadfield Memorial Scholarship Fund ..

... please help!

Rich Hadfield, our former class president, received a fatal injury as a result of an accident involving a motor vehicle in the summer of 1980. At that time, Rich was working as an assistant to the Public Defenders Office in Washington D.C. He was taking pre-law classes at Villanova University and would have graduated in the spring of 1981.

There is no doubt in anyone's mind that Rich was well on his way to success and would have risen to the top of any field, including the law field, which he may have chosen. That was just the way Rich was; giving completely of himself in any arena in which he participated.

Throughout our years growing up, Rich was very active in both athletics and academics. Later, his natural leadership abilities led him into the student government at Upper Darby High School. He was elected class president by a large student body (960+) in each of the three years the Class of 1977 was at Upper Darby High School.

Even though he was a popular athlete, scholar, and class president, he was very amiable and was quite approachable. One could often find him in our class center listening to a classmate that perhaps he had never met before. He really cared about all of us - our whole class - and that is what made Rich special.

Rich captained or co-captained the football, wrestling, and baseball teams during his senior year. All three teams had tremendous winning records and the UD baseball team won the Central League championship in 1977. Rich was a winner in every sense of the word.

The way Rich played football was exactly the way he went about life - giving 110% on every play and constantly encouraging, sometimes firmly, other players to give a better effort. It was this ability which made him such a natural leader. He never asked anything of others he wasn't already giving himself. He knew inherently that others had more to give and would seek to try to bring that out. He had a way about him which caused one to believe in themself even if they weren't yet confident in their own abilities.

As a result of the tragedy which ended Rich's life here on Earth, his parents were faced with one of the hardest decisions any parent could ever make. Rich was brain dead as a result of the accident. After three agonizing days in the hospital and all the doctors could do, Rich was still comatose and brain dead, and the Hadfields made the decision to allow doctors to remove Rich's organs before turning off life support.

It is only fitting that, even in death, Rich literally gave all he had to help some others live their lives to the fullest. I like to believe that in someone, somewhere else today beats the heart of a champion, Rich's heart, giving that person another chance to really live. I am reminded here of the words of Braveheart, "Every man dies, not every man really lives!"

It was sometime shortly after Rich's passing that so much goodwill flowed to the Hadfields as a result of Rich's outstanding life that the Richard Hadfield Memorial Scholarship Fund was established. Every year since 1981, an Upper Darby High School student active in athletics, sports, and in their class was given a gift of $600.00 towards offsetting the costs associated with pursuing a college degree.

Almost twenty-five years ago, The Hadfield Memorial Scholarship was awarded to the younger sister of one of our classmates, Greg O'Neill. Also, more recently, the son of another classmate, Linda Bates, received the Hadfield scholarship.

It is only appropriate now that our class helps in taking up the torch passed by Rich, and in honor of all our classmates who have gone on before us, speak into other students lives both encouragement and blessings through a gift to the Richard Hadfield Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Our class has been instrumental in supporting this scholarship to help keep Rich's memory alive. In 2002, during our 25 Year Reunion, we gave over $2600 to the Hadfields. The 50/50 held during our 41 Year Reunion for the Rich Hadfield Scholarship Fund raised $100. The 50/50 winner, Lynn Petrosina DiGnazio donated her winnings, and additional donations brought the total raised to $250.

Your donation is not tax-deductable

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