After ten years, we have decided to shift our focus and partner with the University of Notre Dame to continue to be able to provide assistance to students for many years to come. We are so thankful to everyone who made the Melissa Cook Foundation a success, and are incredibly proud to have been able to help out so many deserving students. We will continue to provide assistance to our current students through 2016, and we are looking forward to seeing them through to the completion of their college degrees.
As a resident of Lake County Indiana, as well as a 1994 graduate of Notre Dame, much of Melissa's life revolved around her experiences at Notre Dame and the friendships developed there. It is only natural to continue to honor her legacy by helping future Notre Dame graduates achieve their goals. We look forward to many wonderful years ahead, working hand in hand with the University of Notre Dame as they forge a new path for the Melissa Cook Scholarship Fund.
The Melissa Cook Memorial Foundation was formed in
honor of Melissa Cook, a Lake County, Indiana native
who was killed in 2002 when scaffolding fell from
the John Hancock Building in Chicago onto her car.
The foundation takes its slogan, "Every Little
Kindness Counts" from the fact that Melissa waved a
pedestrian across the street seconds before she
died, saving the pedestrian and sacrificing herself.
"The silence was deafening for a long time after she died, but now there is a new day. I know she wants us to be happy and go on without her and that's what I'm going to do. We're going to turn a terrible tragedy into something positive for young people for many years to come."
Made possible by the generous contribution of
Melissa's mother and step-father, Linda and Paul
Demo, the Foundation was created to provide a
four-year university "experience" to those deserving
students who might not be able achieve that dream on
their own due to financial limitations. Melissa's
own college experience as a scholarship athlete at
the University of Notre Dame was a pivotal time for
her, shaping her into the young adult she became.
In memory of her wonderful spirit, the Foundation
provides full tuition, room and board to any school
for those recipients selected each year. It is the
goal of the Foundation to continue Melissa's legacy
by making "every little kindness count" for upcoming
generations of men and women.
In addition to the scholarship, the Demos have also chosen to honor Melissa by donating additional settlement funds to build a softball stadium at the University of Notre Dame, where Melissa played on scholarship. The stadium was completed in April 2008 and is a state-of-the-art athletic facility. Between the stadium and the scholarship, Melissa's memory is sure to live on for generations of young people.