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

I unfortunately never got the opportunity to get to know Joe, but i've been lucky to become very close with some of his very best friends. I honestly hear the amazing stories and memories of the wonderful person, and best friend he was on a daily basis. My heart goes out to family and friends.
- Caitlin Breakey
Joe and I met in Mrs. Homan's algebra in the seventh grade and were great friends almost immediately. Joe, my brother, the late great Frank Krzeczkowski and myself were barely seen apart if we could help it. We were support for each other when Frank died in 2002 and unfortunately went separate ways for a couple years of high school. Life evidently had a different plan for us since almost immediately following graduation we were back together all the time. When I transferred to Michigan State Joe and I spent almost all day everyday together. We learned and built on our experiences with each other. Whether it was teaching Joe to wakeboard or Joe forcing me into the gym five days a week, we were together and it never got old. Joe was a brother to me and I love him for it.
- Chris Bender
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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