Paul DeLong was the eldest son of Robert DeLong and the late Laurie McRae. Paul had two passion in life, teaching youth and agriculture. Paul grew up showing cattle at the county fair and showed at the Thumb Jackpot Beef Show. He was attending Delta College majoring in Special Education when he was unexpectedly killed in a farm accident at the age of 19.
A scholarship was started by the Thumb Jackpot Beef Education Program in 1997, with the support of the Jackpot Committee and the DeLong family. This scholarship was renamed in 1999 in honor of Paul combining his two passions. The Paul DeLong Memorial Scholarship assists youth enrolled in the 4-H and FFA beef projects throughout the seven counties of the thumb of Michigan (Huron, Tuscola, Sanilac, Lapeer, St. Clair, Macomb and Oakland) in furthering their education. All graduating high school seniors from any of the seven counties that exhibit three years including the current year (their senior year) at the Thumb Jackpot Beef Show are eligible to receive this scholarship.
Through the support of the Paul DeLong Memorial Scholarship’s live and silent auction held annually at the Thumb Jackpot Beef Show and the generous support of donors, as of 2015, the Paul DeLong Memorial Scholarship has awarded 145 youth more than $65,000.