“What a fantastic way to pay tribute to an amazing person” stated one observer.
This was the overwhelming sentiment at a meeting on June 29 to establish the Eva Conant Memorial 4-H Scholarship Fund.
To celebrate Eva’s life, her family and friends partnered with the Coös County 4-H Advisory Council and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to establish a scholarship fund that aids 4-H students who share Eva’s passion for animals and education. One or more scholarships will be awarded each year to 4-H members in Coös County seeking a post-secondary education, especially in animal science.
Eva Chase Conant was an equestrian, veterinarian and educator at Cornell University. She was only 35 years old when, on September 29, 2016, she lost her 5-year battle with melanoma. Eva was passionate about 4-H, crediting the program and its leaders for helping her develop a responsible work ethic and the drive to obtain the education required to achieve her goals.
Horses were Eva’s passion and influence from a young age. She was a member of the Colts and Fillies 4-H Club of Stark, which allowed her to learn, to lead and to excel. As she grew and matured, she gained honors and prestige in her local, state and regional equestrian activities. She showed twice at Eastern States in Springfield, Massachusetts, and represented New Hampshire at the national Hippology Quiz Bowl in Louisville, Kentucky. Eva continued to participate in equestrian events as an undergraduate on Cornell’s equestrian team. Her leadership in 4-H allowed her to encourage and mentor younger 4-H members, which was exactly the role and activity that she most loved about her later professional position at the university.
The Coös County 4-H Advisory Council works to guide programming, conduct fundraising and to provide financial support for 4-H. Membership consists of both adult and teen volunteers. Larry Barker, Field Specialist for UNH Cooperative Extension, works with the 4-H Youth Development program and said, “the Coös County 4-H Advisory Council has been working for a very long time to try to build up adequate funds to support an endowment for educational scholarships.” He added, “Shawn and Judi Conant approached us and it just seemed so exciting and so natural…almost as if it were meant to be. We decided to pool our resources in order to reach a critical funding level that would allow us to create a permanent endowment.” The Conant Family and the Advisory Council are very pleased with the arrangement. There will now be annual income to support Coös County 4-H members, and it’s a perfect tribute to Eva.
The funds for the scholarship will be managed by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, which was created in 1962 by and for the people of New Hampshire, and is dedicated to strengthening communities across the Granite State.
To learn more about the Eva Conant Memorial 4-H Scholarship Fund or Coös County 4-H opportunities, contact Larry Barker at the UNH Cooperative Extension office in Lancaster.
Celebration at the creation of the Eva Conant Memorial 4-H Scholarship Fund. Pictured (left to right) are Shawn and Judi Conant from Guildhall, Linda Gray of the NH Charitable Foundation, Larry Barker from UNH Cooperative Extension 4-H and, representing the Coös County 4-H Advisory Council, Darlene Tyler.