Scholarship created in honor of former Thorsby mayor

The awarding of a scholarship created in his honor coincided with the anniversary of the passing of former Thorsby mayor Dearl Hilyer.

Hilyer died in October 2012, shortly after being re-elected to his second term in office.

Charly Hilyer (left) was presented the Dearl Hilyer Memorial Scholarship by Laken Hayes, 2012 Junior Miss Swedish Fest at Thorsby's Honors Day in May.

Charly Hilyer (left) was presented the Dearl Hilyer Memorial Scholarship by Laken Hayes, 2012 Junior Miss Swedish Fest at Thorsby’s Honors Day in May.

One of the many ways the former mayor is being remembered in Thorsby is the Dearl Hilyer Memorial Scholarship, which was awarded by the Swedish Festival Queens for the first time in May.

“He was just so important to Thorsby,” said Marika Porter, who organizes the Swedish Festival pageant. “He loved Thorsby. We just wanted something for a student from Thorsby, a senior, to get in his name.”

The first recipient of the scholarship was Charly Hilyer, who is Dearl Hilyer’s nephew.

Charly Hilyer was presented a $600 scholarship at Thorsby High School’s Honors Day in May.

“Being from Thorsby means a lot more to me than just being from any other town,” Charly Hilyer wrote in his essay as part of applying for the scholarship. “Thorsby is where my journey began, the root to the rest of my life. Thorsby is my home. It is my childhood. It is the place that will be in my heart forever.”

Charly Hilyer also wrote about his memories of his uncle.

The 300-word essay is the most significant portion of the application process.

All Thorsby seniors who are planning to continue their education at an institution of higher learning are eligible. Thirteen applications were received earlier this year.

Porter said applications would be available at ThorsbySwedishFestival.com in time to give those interested time to apply. Applications can also be obtained at Thorsby High School.

The queens are tasked with raising $100 each, so the scholarship given is at least $500. The queens also read and judge the essays to determine a winner.

Anyone interested in donating to the scholarship fund can make checks payable to Dearl Hilyer Memorial Scholarship and mail to 6182 County Road 50, Jemison, 35085.

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