What is the Be Like Joe Memorial Fund?

The Be Like Joe Memorial Fund was established in August, 2008 by Tom and Sara Barton in memory of their younger brother Joe who lost his life in an automobile accident earlier that month at age twenty. While attending Saline High School, Joe was a member of the cross-country and track teams; earning his varsity letter in both. The Fund is intended to provide financial assistance for college expenses to a senior class member of the Saline High School men's cross country and track teams. The recipient will be one who best exemplifies Joe's dedication to academics, his character, competitive spirit, and reflects Joe's heartfelt concern for family and friends.

Be Like Joe

In his hometown of Saline, Michigan, Joe Barton was the son, student and friend everyone wanted to be: an A student who downplayed his achievement; the role model who led by example; the fierce competitor who inspired teammates; and the loyal friend who always put others above self. Joe went on to study chemistry at Michigan State University, where he continued to impress teachers, teammates and friends with his drive, compassion and joyful personality.

On August 20, 2008, Joe died in a car accident. Even then, Joe found a way to give: He was an organ and tissue donor, providing hope and new life to dozens of people in need.

Today, Joe Barton lives on through a memorial fund designed to encourage the values he lived by: academic achievement, strength of character, competitive spirit and concern for others. Each year, The Saline Men's Cross Country program will recognize students who embrace those values through the Be Like Joe Scholarship – a tribute to a short life full of meaning, and young man with an unforgettable smile.

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Help us to remember Joe and the gifts he gave us.
Please post your memories and thoughts here as a tribute to Joe and his amazing life.
~Thanks.

Memories

Hey Joe, thanks for making Tom and I feel like our old-man advice mattered. I've never seen a kid who could have himself put together so well, yet never stop smiling and listening as we so matter-of-factly told you how we saw the world. The truth is, you had it all figured out way more than we ever did, and we knew it and loved you for it. I'll take your memories and life with me always.
- Ryan Weaver

"Joey. You are something else!! Your brother and sister wouldn't trade you in for anyone! Mom and Dad would fight forever You have the best "last words in any exchange-- Dad, I, Sara and Tommy cannot come to words that express what a wonderful part of our family you are--we would not be complete without you. Stay as spirited, loving and caring to everyone you know now and will meet in you exciting years to come. Love, Mom, Dad, Sara and Tommy"

 

This letter was written to Joe in April, 2002, as part of an assignment for his English class, his autobiographgy. It holds true to this day. Forever with us. I love you too, Joey, Mom

- Kathy
Joe, you gave me the greatest gift you ever could ... you gave me yourself. I'll always miss your big hugs and bright smile. Thank you for just being you.
- Your uncle Jim
The Be Like Joe Memorial Fund is a recognized 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization

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