Memory of slain officer lives through scholarship

Twelve Youngstown State University students were recently awarded the Michael T. Hartzell Memorial Scholarship.

“The scholarship was created by Howard and Mary Kay Hartzell in memory of their son, Michael Hartzell, who was a police officer for the city of Youngstown and was killed in the line of duty,” said Paul McFadden, president of the YSU Foundation.

Michael Hartzell was killed on April 29, 2003.

Scholarship applicants must be enrolled in the YSU Police Academy, be children of a Youngstown police officer or an officer in the tri-country police or sheriff’s department, or be graduates of Austintown Fitch High School.

This year’s recipients are Jordan Fisher of Warren; Simone Grant of Boardman; Joshua Grimes of Boardman; Christopher Kenney of Girard; Parker Lopez of Youngstown; Delaney Lyons of Youngstown; William Magnuson of Canfield; Samantha Marucci of Salem; Tina Meloro of Hubbard; Christopher Platton of Youngstown; Travis Williams of Youngstown; and Jenna Yacovone of Austintown.

Howard Hartzell, Michael Hartzell’s father, said the scholarship is funded by an annual charity golf outing.

“This year was the 10th annual golf outing, and we have collected over $250,000 throughout the years. But we also get a lot of contribution from local business,” he said.

Howard Hartzell said more students have been taking advantage of the scholarship in recent years.

“It is a great way to keep people getting their education at YSU,” he said. “To help kids get their education in Mike’s name is a tremendous feeling.”

Meloro, a recipient of the scholarship for the 2012-2013 academic year, said she feels honored.

“I think it is generous that the Hartzells have set up this scholarship; it helps students get forward with their lives,” she said.

McFadden said he is happy to work with Howard Hartzell in establishing the scholarship. Since its start in 2004, the scholarship has been awarded to more than 60 students.

“I am glad we have put something together for the memory of Michael Hartzell, and this horrible tragedy is benefitting others,” McFadden said.