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Catholic schools create scholarships to honor two KC firefighters killed in blaze

The Bright Futures Fund of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has created annual scholarships to honor Larry Leggio (left) and John V. Mesh, the two Kansas City firefighters who were killed Oct. 12 in the line of duty. The scholarships will aid low-income students at Holy Cross School.
The Bright Futures Fund of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has created annual scholarships to honor Larry Leggio (left) and John V. Mesh, the two Kansas City firefighters who were killed Oct. 12 in the line of duty. The scholarships will aid low-income students at Holy Cross School. Kansas City Fire Department

The Bright Futures Fund of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has created the John V. Mesh KCFD Memorial and the Larry Leggio KCFD Memorial scholarships in honor of the two Kansas City firefighters who were killed last week in the line of duty.

“The brave men both grew up in the Historic Northeast neighborhood and dedicated their lives to the safety of its residents by serving the community at KCFD Station #23,” said Jeremy Lillig, the managing director of Bright Futures, a nonprofit organization that supports six Catholic elementary schools and three high schools in diocese.

Mesh attended Holy Cross Catholic School and St. Mary’s Catholic High School. Leggio attended St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

Scholarships will be awarded annually to two students at Holy Cross School in honor of Mesh and Leggio, with the intent of helping low-income students who otherwise might not be able to afford a Catholic education.

Bright Futures has provided more than 750 annual scholarships to help families with children in Catholic schools and “to help eradicate poverty through education and to provide students with opportunities to become life-long learners and responsible citizens in their communities,” Lillig said in a statement Monday.

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“These scholarships are but a small gesture compared to the bravery and dedication that John Mesh and Larry Leggio demonstrated on a daily basis,” the statement said.

Leggio, 43, and Mesh, 39, were among the team of firefighters battling a blaze last week at a three-story commercial and residential structure in the 2600 block of Independence Avenue. The team had just rescued tenants from the building when a wall collapsed.

Mará Rose Williams: 816-234-4419, @marawilliamskc

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