WORCESTER, Mass. (WLNE) -- Lieutenant Jason Menard's three children thought they would be going to Disney with their father the day he died.

That was just one of the family's plans for the future now up in the air.

But some at Clark University, themselves touched by Menard's death, want to remove some of that uncertainty for his family.

"There are staff members here at Clark who were related to Lt. Menard, and there were folks here who had family that lived in the home that burned," said Clark University Vice President of Government and Community Affairs Jack Foley. "So everything really comes back to our community, in a way."

Clark is joining several colleges and universities that are part of the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts (HECCMA) in offering free tuition to Menard's children if they're accepted.

"We'd love to honor Lt. Menard by having one or more of children come to many of our colleges here in the city of Worcester," he said.

Foley said it continues a tradition of supporting the children of fallen firefighters.

"It goes back to when we lost the six firefighters in the Cold Storage Fire," he said, referring to the severe 1999 fire in Worcester. "And we were all grieving so much then, and said, 'How can we all contribute?'"

That contribution could make a world of difference for the family.

"The hope is that it will add to the support that is happening for the family, and really take away the burden the family's facing right now, and several years down the road," Foley said.

The college tuition offer is just one of the ways the community is supporting the Menard children.

A fund for Menard's children has been established at the Worcester Fire Department Credit Union:

 

Worcester Fire Department Credit Union

 

34 Glennie St.

 

Worcester, MA 01605

 

Checks should be made payable to the PFFM Foundation c/o The Menard Children’s Fund.

 

 

 

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