Sterling — Fanessa Fisher’s family continues her legacy 20 years after her death with an annual scholarship and the 21st Funny Open in August.
Fisher, who knew her and was affectionately called “Nessa” and “Fanni Mei” by her loved ones, died on March 19, 2002 after fighting cancer. At just 22 years old, she was a talented artist, a talented student athlete at Westfield State University, and a lifelong inhabitant of the town.
“We miss Nessa in many ways every day,” her mother, Mary Fisher, recently said. “She had a big personality.”
In August, after her death, her father’s state police colleague held the first golf tournament in her name at the Charlton Barracks and raised funds to launch the Fanessa Fisher Memorial Scholarship Fund. They called it Funny Open.
“Most soldiers knew with our family what we experienced two years ago,” Mary said. “They didn’t want her memory to die with her. I can’t remember how much money she made, but the next year to fund another (scholarship). It was enough. “
She said they usually offer two $ 2,000 scholarships a year, but haven’t received an application for years. “So we gave money to the different needs of the town. We gave money to the roof of St. Richard, the family who lost everything in the fire, the spire of the first church, the fund from neighbor to neighbor, etc. . “
The scholarship qualification must be a resident of a female town where the applicant attends Watchuset Regional High School or Montachuset Vocational Regional Technical School and plans to attend higher education school in the fall after graduation. Must be one of a girl scout, an art student, or a current member of their church who is planning to major in art at college, has a job, or is involved in a youth program To become a.
“We were given the opportunity to return or prepay it no matter what you call it,” said Mary Fisher. “Our girls worked hard to follow their path in Watchuset. Not many Sterling girls are recognized for their contributions in high school.”
She said that “only one girl dropped out of college” after being awarded the scholarship.
“She returned near her house next time,” said Mary Fisher. “She graduated and went on to graduate school. She is almost 100 percent successful with the young women we chose.”
She said they told the scholarship recipients, “You earned it, use it well.” They ask them, “Send cards from time to time to know how you are doing.” When asked about the response from the winners, Mary Fisher said she was “difficult to judge.”
“They are happy, but no one knows her,” she said. “This year, there was a mother who brought her daughter to get an application. She was telling her everything she remembered about Nessa. They were usually enemies together in the Sterling League. I was playing softball. I’m glad to know that someone remembers her besides us. “
Her mother said Nessa’s brother and sister “have been intimate for years,” and “both are married and fortunately have two beautiful granddaughters.” ..
Nessa’s family has many ways to remember her, and there are Nessa tokens everywhere in the house where she grew up.
“Each of her cousins, aunts and uncles has a bear of memory made of funny clothes and softball uniforms,” said Mary Fisher. “Her MVP ball hangs on a bar upstairs decorating Blue’s oversized metal wire representation from Blue’s Clues she created at one of Westfield State University’s art classes. Her artwork is It hangs on almost every wall of our house. “
Westfield State University has retired from his daughter’s softball number.
“A big # 15 hangs on the wall of the right wing, right next to where we put the home run that won the Westfield Smith trophy that year,” Mary Fisher proudly said. “The home run ball is in a trophy case with her photo in Westfield.”
“There are her souvenirs all over the United States,” he said.
“On our trip, we leave something there for her. One of her ball caps is in the Grand Canyon. She also has us in Alaska, Maine, South Carolina, and since she died. I’m in every other state I’ve been to. I can’t escape from her, I don’t want to escape. “
The deadline for this year’s scholarship is August 1st, and the Heritage Golf Club still has the opening of the golf tournament on August 12th. It costs $ 125 per player at Foursome, which includes 18 holes of golf, carts, and post-play steak dinners. Call Gary or Mary Fisher (978-422-6274) to get more information and a scholarship application.