Last year, Derek Hardy and I surprised unsuspecting high school seniors with flowers and an announcement of their Sigrid Hardy Memorial Scholarship award. Due to school closures, this year’s announcement comes via email with little fanfare, but we are nevertheless excited to share that The Mayday Foundation has continued to award scholarships to local high school graduates whose families have been impacted by cancer.

Our goal is to help lessen the financial burden of a continued education for the next generation and this year we are handing out $10,000 in scholarships to worthy Thurston and Grays Harbor county graduates.

The scholarship began in 2019 to memorialize Sigrid Hardy, an Olympia-area wife, mom, friend, rower and colleague, who lost a long battle to a rare form of appendix cancer, Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (PMP). In creating a scholarship, The Mayday Foundation recognizes Sig’s impact to the community and love of the water and animals. Sig’s full story can be read here.

“I am grateful that people are so generous and that generosity has Sig’s name attached to it.  We’re just a middle class family trying to get by every day,” said Sig’s husband, Derek Hardy. “Cancer throws a cloud over a family and this scholarship will throw some sunlight back into their lives.”

“I am humbled by the applicants’ personal hardships, their resilience and their hope for a brighter future,” said Karen Remy-Anderson, North Thurston Public Schools executive director of student support and a member of the scholarship review committee.

While we have decided to keep the scholarship recipient’s personal stories private, we want to share their names, future goals and a snapshot of their essay.

Carley Bradbury – Montesano High School

A graduating senior, Carley is headed to Montana State University in the fall and plans to study either political science or accounting. “Cancer is the one thing I will always wince at the name of. It has broken hearts and shattered dreams more than imaginable. Yes, cancer is evil, but if I have learned one thing it’s that cancer may take comfort, energy, time, and even joy, but it can never take the love out of our hearts.”

Molly Ellis – Montesano High School

Also a graduating senior from Montesano High School, Molly is enrolling at Western Washington University in the fall with plans to major in education.  ” I am planning on becoming an elementary school teacher, as I love kids and think teaching is a very noble profession. This scholarship will help me to accomplish this dream.”

Jaden LeMoine – Homeschool

Jaden, a Lacey homeschool graduate, is completing his first year of college at the University of Washington Tacoma.  His studies focus on computer science. “I am a loving, chill, and helpful person. I am very interested in how computers and software work and how to create my own, which I got from my dad.”

Jake Mangino – Olympia High School

A 2017 graduate of Olympia High School, Jake is currently pursuing a double degree in computer science and linguistics at the University of Washington.  “Being surrounded by disease for so long changes how you think, makes you wonder how there could be a life outside of that bubble, but also makes you appreciate the time that you have more. Cancer has practically defined these past few years for me, but I have found ways to keep it off my mind. Going to school, learning about languages and computers, two things that I love, has helped me keep focus on something productive.”

Aleja Perea-Ortiz – North Thurston High School

Graduating from North Thurston High School this year, Aleja is planning to study at Saint Martin’s University in the fall. “I have a variety of interests and passion to want to make an interesting career for myself and college is a way I can do this. This will help me so so so much in my educational journey with Saint Martin’s! I am so grateful and honored to receive this award! I can not express with words how much this means to me!”

Abigail Tait – North Thurston High School

Abigail is planning to study education at Washington State University in the fall.  “I want to be a teacher to help students learn and be a positive influence on them. With what I have been through, I want to help students feel comfortable and know that they can get through anything. I want to be a role model for other students and be able to not only be their teacher, but a role model that they can come to if they are going through a hard time.”

The Mayday Foundation raises funds for the scholarship through private donations as well as co-hosting the Two-County Double Metric Century Ride with Providence and Capital Bicycling Club. While the ride has been canceled for 2020, we’re looking at options for a virtual cycling or running race in June.  Stay tuned or drop us an email at if you want to stay in the know.

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