‘What is needed?’ Hecox Family Fund helps Perrysburg students


PERRYSBURG — The Hecox Family Fund for Education has been created to provide immediate and meaningful aid to Perrysburg Schools graduates who are facing significant hardships that impact their financial ability to continue their education.

“I just feel good inside,” Bob Hecox said about the experience of starting this fund. “It’s going to the right place for the right reasons. For the average person, it could be a life-changing experience. I was lucky in life. I learned a lot at Perrysburg, it was a great place to be raised. Education is important. When you get older, you realize that.”

The Hecox Family is grateful for their experiences with Perrysburg Schools, dating back to the 1950s. Dorothy Mutcher Hecox taught at Elm St./Toth Elementary School from 1951-78. Her son, Robert “Bob” Hecox graduated in 1962 and her daughter, Susan Hecox Bay, graduated in 1965.

Because of this connection to the schools and the desire to provide a life-changing college experience for PHS graduates at the University of Toledo, where Dorothy and Bob both earned degrees, funds have been made available for the Perrysburg Schools Foundation to award Hecox Family Scholarships.

These scholarships may include tuition, room and board, books, supplies, travel or other support that will help provide for a full experience for students. The gift of more than $500,000 will generate, through investment income, roughly the amount needed for a full year of tuition, room and board in perpetuity.

The inspiration began when Iryna Snahoshchenko, an exchange student from Ukraine who is a member of the Perrysburg High School Class of 2022, wished to stay and continue her education in our community in the summer of 2022.

Thanks to the donation from the Hecox Family, Snahoshchenko is completing her first year at UT. The family wanted to continue their focus of removing obstacles to higher education and having a direct impact on the lives of fellow Yellow Jackets.

“She sent me a beautiful card,” Hecox said of Snahoshchenko. “I feel very connected, so that’s how this all came about. This opened my eyes to find other places where I can see the impact.

“The idea is, what does it take to make this student successful, to take the pressure off them,” Hecox said. “Someone goes to college, gets a degree, I’m a part of that. … At the end, I’d like to see someone graduate.”

Jeff Abke, director of development, told Hecox about Snahoshchenko’s predicament.

“When we first started this conversation with Bob he shared that he wanted to make a difference and asked what that might look like. Somewhat serendipitously, just a few days later the case for Iryna came forward and I reached out to Bob to explain the situation,” Abke said. “As a true philanthropist would do, he said ‘What is needed?’ and once I shared the story he said ‘I can do that.’

“That is one of the many wonderful things about this generous gift and fund — it will allow for immediate action to address a need, not just for Iryna, but for generations of students to follow.”

The fund will be managed by the Perrysburg Schools Foundation and will be awarded to students that have been identified by the Perrysburg Schools staff and scholarship committee.

Those who are interested in supporting Perrysburg Schools Foundation should visit www.perrysburgschoolsfoundation.org, or contact Abke at 419-874-9131, ext. 2274 or [email protected].

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