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Family of Haley Fox Honors Her Memory Through Scholarship

Writer / Julie Yates
Photography Provided  

Haley Fox of Winamac truly believed in giving back to others. As a cancer patient, she tried to buoy the spirits of those around her and had set her sights on the field of nursing. After a fundraiser was held to help pay for her medical expenses, she immediately started thinking of what she could do for the community.

Sadly, Haley passed away on April 13, 2021, before she could realize those goals. However, her spirit of giving goes on through the Haley Fox Memorial Scholarship. Winamac Community High School seniors Emily Rausch and Margaret Smith became the first recipients of the scholarship during the annual senior awards ceremony.

Haley’s brother Parker Fox presented the scholarship with his parents, Darrell and Angie Fox.

“It was kind of tough but we were going to do it no matter what,” Parker says. “After the community went above and beyond for her fundraiser, Haley’s goal was to give back. We got the paperwork going before she passed on, but at the time we thought she would pull through.”

Applicants for the $5,000 scholarship must write an essay on how cancer has affected their life. The next step is a short interview. Ultimately the family couldn’t decide between the top two candidates, so each received $2,500.

Haley was diagnosed with leukemia during her freshman year at the University of Indianapolis. After receiving treatment, she had her heart set on being a pediatric oncology nurse. A year later she started to resume her studies, but suffered a relapse. 

“Haley was the sweetest girl,” Parker says. “She was treated at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis and was the oldest patient at the time. She went around and treated all the other patients like she was their older sibling.”

Haley Fox

Winamac pulled out all the stops when a benefit was held in February of 2020 to help offset Haley’s medical bills. With the tagline “Fight Like a Fox,” posters advertising the event declared, “In this community, no one fights alone.” Held at the Star City Community Center, the fundraiser featured a bake sale, a beef and noodle dinner, an auction, a 50/50 raffle and the Brandt Carmichael band.

The community stepped up and contributed time and talents. Auction items were donated from businesses and individuals. Some objects such as cornhole sets were homemade. Auctioneers were supplied by Kopka Auction Service. Carry-out was available for those who did not wish to participate in the sit-down beef and noodle dinner.

The scholarship was funded by money raised by the fundraiser held for Haley, and from generous donations at her funeral. Going forward, the Haley Fox Memorial Wiffle Ball Tournament will be held each year. Last July, Haley’s family was heartened by the large turnout at Star City Park for the inaugural tournament. In addition, car decals acknowledging Haley’s brave fight were made and sold by family friend Kacie Ball. Funds generated from the sales were contributed to the scholarship fund. 

Haley Fox

The scholarship program has helped Haley’s family through the healing process. Another piece that has helped is the Facebook page titled “Haley’s Random Acts of Kindness.” It was begun by Angie and her cousin. It is a public page that invites people to share stories of good works they have witnessed, and encourages paying it forward and giving back.  

“We knew what Haley wanted – to help others,” Parker says. “Some days are harder than others but we are doing our best to live life to the fullest because Haley would want us to.”

Donations to the Haley Fox Memorial Scholarship fund can be sent to Alliance Bank or to Winamac Community High School. For more information on upcoming fundraisers, email haleyfoxmemorialscholarship@gmail.com.

For updates on the Haley Fox Memorial Wiffle Ball Tournament, visit facebook.com/haleyfoxbenefit.

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