When Yvonne McHone recalls time spent with her late husband, Arnold McHone, tears bubble in her eyes, but she still cannot help but smile when she thinks back on all of the memories.
The Arnold McHone Sr. Manufacturing Scholarship Fund at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation will carry on those special memories for many years to come.
The scholarship, named after the late founder of McHone Industries, will provide an annual scholarship to graduating seniors or recent high school graduates of any Cattaraugus County high school pursuing a technical education for any field related to manufacturing such as machine technology and heavy equipment operation at any post-secondary institution in a 1-, or 2-year program.
Financial need will be considered and recipients may re-apply.
The first award will be $1,000 in 2019. The amount and number of awards will vary in the years to come.
For Yvonne, the scholarship is inspired by the legacy Arnold left and the special type of life he lived.
“He had very, very humble beginnings; he lived in an orphanage on and off for most of his young life—so [the scholarship] is inspired by that,” she said. “He ended up with a lot of education, but that was all of his own doing… so more than anything I think his drive for education was always extremely important to him.”
Arnold’s determination carried him through life despite all of the struggles he faced, a trait that Yvonne always admired, along with his wit.
“When I first met him I remember he told me he was in the special service of the Navy and I thought he must have been a Navy Seal she remembered with a smirk. “Actually he played tennis and basketball for the troops.”
That athletic prowess is part of what opened the door to education to Arnold after his time in the service, as he played basketball and tennis at Centenary College in Louisiana.
That persistence and drive carried on as together Yvonne and Arnold founded McHone Industries in 1974, beginning in Nunda before moving to Salamanca in 1987.
“He always wanted his own business, and a friend was interested in selling his manufacturing facility in Nunda, NY—so a manufacturing business it was” Yvonne said of the company’s genesis. “He didn’t know anything about manufacturing, and I was a dental hygienist who didn’t know anything about accounting, so naturally we bought a metal manufacturing business like one might expect!”
Humor aside, the scholarship ensures that future generations of aspiring industry workers, however, will be prepared.
“Technology though is not like it was 40 years ago—he and I would run the machines if needed—that doesn’t happen anymore,” she said. “You really have to know something about the manufacturing business to succeed. All of that means that education is essential to enter the field.”
Just as manufacturing became something near to the McHones’ hearts, philanthropy and a love for the community is something that grew into a shared family value. This scholarship is just another example of that.
“Philanthropy is so important to our family. We’ve lived here over 50 years and it’s been a wonderful place to live and raise a family,” Yvonne said. “We have built friendships here that can never be replaced. I fought moving here from the South 50 years ago but would never change a thing.
Donations can be made to the Arnold McHone Sr. Manufacturing Scholarship at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Suite 203, or online at cattfoundation.org.
Established in 1994, the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email email@example.com, or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).