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Heaton-Hudson Memorial Scholarship

Two families come together to assist fire and EMS careers

PRINCETON — Sara Hudson and Beth Heaton grew up watching their family members dedicate their lives to those in need — whether it was fighting home fires or assisting a person at the scene of an accident.

The two became life-long friends through their families’ connection with the local fire department.

Beth is the daughter of the late Richard “Dick” Heaton, who served as Princeton Fire Chief for 20 years. Sara is the sister of Mark Hudson, who worked his way up to deputy chief at the Streamwood Fire Department and had been just promoted to the fire chief capacity when he was diagnosed with cancer and passed away.

To carry on the honor of their loved ones, the Hudson and Heaton families have come together to create a memorial scholarship, which will assist those who wish to pursue a fire or EMS career.

“My father wanted something set-up not only for kids but whoever had the interest in firefighting or EMS. It’s near and dear to our hearts,” Heaton explained.

Hudson agreed and explained her brother’s lifelong dream was to see the next generation have the same opportunities he once had.

“We feel honored that we can represent this not just for our families, but for all the young people who may not realize this is a great opportunity,” she said. “It’s something a high school student may not even think about as far as a career path, so we are anxious to get the awareness out there as an honor to my brother and her father.”

The scholarship offers one of the following opportunities to a candidate: Illinois Department of Public Health Emergency Medical technician-Basic Pre-Hospital Care Licensure or Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal Entry Level Firefighter Certification.

The scholarship is to be award in amounts up to $500. The first scholarships will be awarded next spring, however Heaton and Hudson said if someone comes forward now with an interest in the career pathway and is seeking assistance, the Scholarship Committee will be more than happy to consider an early application.

Each application is reviewed by the Voting Committee, which is made up of Hudson, Heaton and Princeton Fire Chief Chuck Woolley.

An application and list of application rules can be picked up anytime at the Princeton Fire Department.

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