Arnold scholarship 'means a lot' to Hoover

July 29, 2004|HERB BROCK

To Adam Hoover, receiving the John C. Arnold Memorial Scholarship "means a lot." To his mother, it means even more.

Hoover, son of Tom and Lynn Taylor Tye and Kerry Hoover, all of Danville, graduated in May from Danville High School and was ranked as one of the top three students in the DHS class of 2004. For his outstanding academic record and involvement in numerous extracurricular activities, he recently was awarded the $1,000 memorial scholarship from the Danville/Boyle County Dollars for Scholars Foundation.

Hoover, who will be attending George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in the fall, is the second recipient of the Arnold memorial award; Mitch Massaro, a member of the 2003 DHS graduating class, was the first. Massaro's scholarship was renewed for his second year in college. Hoover, Massaro and the winners of 17, $500 Dollars for Scholars scholarships were honored at a ceremony Wednesday night at the Toy Box Deli.


Hoover was both honored and humbled at receiving the Arnold award, named for a 1986 DHS graduate who died of an illness a year later.

"It's quite an honor to receive this scholarship, and it means a lot knowing the kind of person that John Arnold was," said Hoover. "I had heard but didn't know that much about him until I got the scholarship. Since then I have learned a lot about him and his life and found out he was an outstanding person."

The person who provided most of Hoover's education on the subject was Hoover's mother. Tye attended Danville High School with Arnold's brother, Paul Arnold, and sister, Mimi Arnold Becker.

"I was in the same class as Paul, and Mimi and I were in the band together," said Tye. "I've been a close friend of the Arnold and Becker families for years - close enough to feel the hurt they all suffered when John died," said Tye.

John Arnold was about as active a student as any in his class at DHS. In addition to performing well in the classroom, he played soccer, ran cross country and was a member of the marching band.

"He was just a well-rounded high school student and all-around good kid," said Mimi Arnold Becker.

Asthma took his life

Arnold also was a young man with a very serious asthma condition - a condition that took his life less than a year after he graduated from DHS.

Following graduation, Arnold went on to attend the University of Kentucky. He made decent marks in his classes but decided not to participate in extracurricular activities. He carried a small oxygen tank in a flight bag at all times, and wanted to conserve all of his energy for academics, according to Becker.

In March 1987, during the second semester of his freshman year at UK, Arnold was heading from Lexington to his home in Danville when his breathing became labored. He pulled over to one side of the road. He died in the car before rescue personnel could reach him.

The story of Arnold's woefully short but bravely productive life will serve as an inspiration to Hoover.

"He made the most of his life and did it while battling a serious illness," said Hoover, who also played soccer at DHS as well as being a member of the school's forensics and academic teams and active in the National Honor Society. "He's quite a role model." And thanks to his mother, Hoover now knows the man behind the model.

"When Adam found out he had won the scholarship, he was really honored, and I was incredibly moved," said Tye. "I was glad to be able to share with Adam the inspirational story of John's all-too-short life. I believe the scholarship means something very special to him now. I know it means a lot to me."

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