Family Establishes Scholarship in Memory of Late Social Worker

Janet McCracken Hansard (Provided photo)

Janet McCracken Hansard (Provided photo)

CLEARFIELD – A new scholarship fund has been established with the Clearfield County Charitable Foundation to honor Janet McCracken Hansard.

Hansard passed away nine years ago and for some time the family has been planning an event to honor her memory.

In April they held a benefit dinner and dance at the Curwensville Moose that raised more than $6,000. This event featured four hours of music, a basket raffle, a 50/50 drawing and spaghetti dinner. Several relatives performed, including Brett McCracken, Kody McCracken and Ryan McCracken with The Sitch.

Their next venture is a garage sale that will be held during the 100-Mile Yard Sale on Friday and Saturday at 118 McCracken Rd. near the top of Shawville Hill.

Hansard has family throughout the area and all the local communities provided items for the fundraiser. The support has been “amazing” and has come from people who didn’t even know her, according to family members who wish to thank everyone for their support. Additional events are in the planning stages.

The annual scholarship will be awarded to a student in the Clearfield, Curwensville, Clearfield Alliance Christian School, West Branch or Philipsburg schools who is studying to be a social worker or is interested in a related field. The first scholarship is scheduled to be presented in 2015.

Hansard was a 1972 graduate of the Clearfield High School and of Gannon University in 1977. She had a degree in mental health counseling and was employed as a social worker. She worked for many years at the Clearfield County Children’s Home.

Even though she struggled with health problems, she volunteered for the Literary Council and the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging. At one point, she was given the Volunteer of the Year award from that agency. She continued to help even when she was unable to drive and had to be driven by others.

She was an “example of how to live life with courage and humor,” her mother said. Her faith was important to her, as she was a member of the St. Francis Catholic Church in Clearfield. Her patience and perseverance in face of illness were inspirational, according to a family member.

Hansard was only 51 years old when she passed away. Her children remain in the area: Robbie A. Hansard, who lives in Bigler with his partner, April Picard, and son, Weston and Amy J. Hansard Cartwright, who is married to Tim, and has a daughter, Chloe. They live in Hawk Run.

She was one of 11 children and left behind a big, loving family, including these siblings: Ward H. McCracken Jr., and his wife, Tina of Girard; David ‘Mike’ McCracken and his wife, Verlee of Woodland; Carolyn Schenk and her husband, John and Nina ‘Wezie’ Adams and her husband, Ted, Joan Castillo and Eric McCracken and his wife, Beth, all of Clearfield; Edward McCracken and his wife, Carolyn of Jackson, Calif.; Chris McCracken and his wife, Tracey of Curwensville; Amy Larson and her husband, Tom of Philipsburg; and Kevin McCracken of Wellsboro.

Contributions to the Janet McCracken Hansard Memorial Scholarship Fund or any of the Clearfield County Charitable Foundation’s funds may be made at or can be mailed to: P.O. Box 1442, Clearfield PA 16830.

Established in 2004, the purpose of the foundation is to enhance the quality of life in Clearfield County through the support of services that promote health, education, social welfare, public and urban affairs, arts and culture, conservation and the environment.

The CCCF welcomes inquiries from potential donors or those interested in establishing funds to benefit local communities and organizations. Additional information regarding the Foundation is available at the foundation’s Web site or by calling 814-592-7331.

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