A scholarship creates a lasting memory of Brandon Boyd

Brandon Boyd was a gifted athlete who loved to hunt and ride his quad in the woods surrounding his home in Waterford, near Ligonier. His fiery red hair and contagious laugh earned him several nicknames; he was Red to football coaches, B-Dawg to friends and Sunshine to his stepmom.

His career as a Mountie on the Ligonier Valley High School football team is legendary. A co-captain of the 2007 Ligonier Valley High School football team, Brandon holds a high school career record for interceptions, a Heritage Conference record for interceptions and was a three-year Associated Press All-State defensive back from 2005-2007.

He was also selected as a Ken Lantzy Finest All-Star Classic player in 2008 and was a 2007 Heritage Conference All-Star.

Sadly, his life came to a tragic end one month after his graduation from high school when he and a close friend were killed in a car accident near their home. The accident left his family, including two sisters, his friends and the community devastated.

As a way to celebrate his life, Jim and Christy Boyd created a scholarship fund in memory of their son through the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County (CFWC). It is their greatest hope that it will spread the message to others, especially young people like Brandon, that life is a fragile blessing.   

“We want Brandon’s memory to go on and on,” said Christy, his stepmom. “Some things will fade away, but as the years go by this will help to keep his spirit alive.”

The Brandon J. Boyd Memorial Fund will provide scholarships to LVHS seniors who plan to attend college or trade school. Students who apply should be in solid academic standing and involved in at least one varsity sport.

It’s important that students who receive the scholarship reflect the best of Brandon, who was a well-rounded student and always respectful and devoted to family, friends and his coaches, says Christy.  The fund has awarded four scholarships to date.

The scholarship was funded initially through two initial fundraisers and generous donations. Christy and Jim continue to build the fund through a unique project that draws on Christy’s skills as an amateur photographer. Memories by Christy is an in-home photography studio that provides local families with professional portraits.

In return, they ask nothing for the service but a donation toward the scholarship in Brandon’s name. For more information, please visit www.memoriesbychristyphotography.com.

“Pictures are the perfect way for us to send our message,” says Christy. “We don’t care whether donors contribute $5 or $500. Since losing Brandon, every picture we have of him is worth so much more to us.

“Kids today all think they’re invincible,” she adds. “They don’t realize when they get behind the wheel of a car that they need to think. The fund is as a constant reminder that it can happen to anyone.”