The Margaret D. Bell Memorial Scholarship Fund

margaret-bellThe Margaret D. Bell Memorial Scholarship fund was established in October, 1988 in memory of “Peggy” Bell who was a lifelong advocate for animals.  Peggy was devoted to her own animals and to helping improve the lives of animals in her community.  She was a strong supporter of the Monadnock Humane Society serving on its board of directors for many years.

Peggy wanted to see her passion for the welfare of animals continue in future generations. The scholarship fund was established to provide support to those making a lifelong commitment to animal welfare through their vocation of veterinary medicine.

Each year a review board for the Trust convenes to determine an amount of scholarship and to choose awardees.  The review board is comprised of a representative of the Monadnock Humane Society, a representative of the Cheshire Kennel Club and a local Veterinarian.

 

Peggy Bell, Quiet Community Leadership Through Kindness and Compassion

By Roseanne Margaret Bell Hyatt Currier, Peggy's daughter

Margaret D. Bell was a longtime Monadnock Humane Society Board Member. Her devotion to MHS was based in her appreciation of animals and their capabilities. She was an owner and exhibitor of purebred Standard Schnauzers and Boxer dogs. Her understanding of dogs having a purpose not only as companions but, working in a variety of tasks to improve life in the community was the driving force in her love for positive interactions between people and animals.

Peggy, as she was known was a quiet but commanding force in many dog related activities in Cheshire County, from the time she arrived in NH in the 1940s until her death in 1988. From enthusiastic sponsorship of MHS sponsored community obedience classes to playing key roles in the Cheshire Kennel Club events including Dog Shows and Obedience Trials. This was an era where the Humane Organizations worked closely with the local Kennel Clubs promoting all aspects of proper animal ownership. She approached everything she did with grace and consideration of others.

Her passion for seeing that members of the community, no matter their age or background, having the opportunity to have memorable, positive interactions with dogs was central to her life. She was a quiet, gracious and inclusive person who always ready to lend a hand and give someone an opportunity and support that they may not have considered. She was well loved in the community and is remembered fondly by many. It is this aspect of her spirit that is central to the Margaret D. Bell Memorial Scholarship for those pursuing their lifelong passion for animals in the field of Veterinary Medicine who may need a hand in financing their dream.

Peggy came to Cheshire County in the 1940's as a result of marrying into the Bell Family, a well-known family devoted to dogs in the area. Her husband local attorney “Tutt” Bell, and his parents, Ellamay and Ernest L Bell Jr “Boyser” were founding members of the Cheshire Kennel Club. Peggy served in many roles within the club. The family exhibited Boxers in obedience and conformation shows. At the time of his death in 1963, Boyser was the President of the American Boxer Club. The entire family promoted of good relationships with healthy dogs both in mind and body as well as mentoring others in appreciation of dogs as pets and working in working roles.

Peggy and her husband Tutt decided to get a Standard Schnauzer Ch. Kalenia’s Mint Julep, called Julep in 1969. She utilized Julep’s excellent temperament to help in the development of her daughters, one in obedience and the other in Junior Showmanship. The lifelong lessons that she shared through this dog, such as kindness, preparation and animal husbandry made an impact on her daughters’ lives. The elder daughter is sharing her life with a Samoyed, a cat, bees and chickens. The other is spending her quality dog time with Laekenois and a Borzoi. Peggy stayed in Standard Schnauzers until her death in 1988. Tutt continued with Standard Schnauzers another 20 years until his death in 2008.

Her most memorable Standard Schnauzer of Peggy’s lifetime was called Daisy, she was also a Kalenia dog from Cape Cod MA. Daisy was not memorable for her show wins as she grew too large, but rather her humor. Beginning in the late 1970's Peggy was diagnosed with the skin cancer called Malignant Melanoma, which she kept a secret. Most people did not even know she was ill until a few weeks prior to her death in 1988. She did not care for pity and felt it was a distraction from living life. The cancer battle continued for 8.5 years, she had originally been 6 months to live at her initial diagnosis. He quiet strength was legendary.

As a result of her cancer treatments, Peggy did not have time to prepare her garden at her home on School Street in Keene for The Garden Club in Keene Tour of Gardens event. So she neatened up the garden slightly and then took her grooming table, placing it in the middle of the garden with a lovely table cloth on it and began to groom Daisy. All who visited got a great laugh as of course her pal Daisy was center-stage in the Garden was a great distraction from the lack of perfection in the flower garden. This was her way, a smile and a laugh through a difficult time, knowing that perfection was often overrated. It was always about people and their hearts. This approach why people cared for her so much. She was able to roll with the punches and still smile.

From hosting parties and dog competitions at their property known as Steeplechase in Fitzwilliam NH with many dog fanciers to helping prepare for the annual dog show in Keene’s Wheelock Park. With entries of more than 900 dogs it was considered to be one of the most beautiful show events in the New England. Peggy and her Mother-in-Law, Ellamay were on the forefront of health testing for dogs. Sharing the knowledge of her friend author, Rachel Paige Elliot, who was in the structure and soundness pool well before it was widely accepted. When the cardiac issues raised their heads in Boxers in the late 1950's. She and Ellamay were transporting Boxers for testing from all over the United States. Often with Peggy and Tutt piloting an airplane around the country to make sure dogs the diagnosis and treatment quickly. These events and relationships had an impact in the world of veterinary medicine, which is evident today in the areas of cardiac and orthopedic care issues.

Peggy’s strong beliefs in having healthy dogs and carried this belief through to share with future generations of the family. Her granddaughter Vianne, competes in herding and conformation with her Berger Picards and National Specialty winning Laekenois. Her daughter, Roseanne worked with Search and Rescue dogs as well as training Service Dogs, where soundness in temperament, mentality and body is imperative. Her son David was known for his excellent Salukis. Her daughter, Robin is skijoring with her Samoyed. Her grandson an Olympic athlete in sailing, conditions with his Vizslas by his side, Peggy’s belief in good health and a close relationship with animals has been applied with the next generations of dogs in her family, of which she would have been proud.

Peggy’s wish for people who are taking steps towards achieving their dream of working with animals with kindness and compassion to have the best opportunity to move forward with her style of assistance. Assistance with a sweet smile, a good laugh and a sense of strength that causes others to notice that this sort of approach does make a big difference. Her scholarship may not be the largest in the planet in terms of money, but it is large with her hope to have an individual impact in causing people to consider approaching life with quiet strength and kindness. By reaching out to the community to lend a hand by encouraging positive interactions with people and animals to make the community a better place.

 

Who is Eligible?

MHS accepts applications from students originating in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire who are pursuing either an Associate’s Degree as a Veterinary Assistant or a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.  Applicants must indicate their intent to practice or be employed in the Monadnock Region upon completing their studies.

Amount of Scholarship

Scholarships in the past have ranged from $500.00 to $2,000.00 per award.

How to Apply

  • To Request information about applying for the Bell Scholarship--email to kellys@humanecommunity.org
  • Complete and submit the online form below.
  • Complete and submit, either by mail or email, application signature form
  • Select two (2) personal or educational/professional references and ask them to submit written recommendations on your behalf.
  • Request supporting documentation from  the registrar of the school you are (will be) attending to send confirmation of your enrollment

All supporting documents should be sent by mail or email to

Monadnock Humane Society 

Attention:  Kelly Brigham-Steiner/Bell Scholarship

101 West Swanzey Road

Swanzey, NH  03446

 E-mail supporting documents to: kellys@humanecommunity.org  Please put Bell Scholarship in the subject line

Applications are due November 1, 2020

Bell Scholarship Application Form

Please complete and hit submit when finished
  • Add a new row
  • Add a new row