Children of Rob Parkhurst have been hosting a memorial scholarship fundraiser since his untimely death Feb. 21, 2012, at age 46. This year the Rob Parkhurst Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser will feature a bass fishing tournament and barbecue.
The event will be hosted in June and the family said they hope to raise additional funds that will add to the program and possibly benefit other agencies.
“I talked to my siblings, the foundation committee, and we all definitely agreed that if we are able to raise more money at our event we would like to expand the number of scholarships or even donate to another cause like the Citizens Against Spouse Abuse (CASA) women’s shelter,” Bailey Parkhurst Smith, of Lee’s Summit, said.
Smith is the oldest of the Parkhurst siblings. Helping her with the fundraiser are Jackson Parkhurst, of Sedalia, Katy Parkhurst, of Lee’s Summit, and twins Morgan and Madelyn Parkhurst, of Warrensburg.
“We pretty much do everything ourselves,” Smith said.
Smith said when their father died they received a large amount of monetary donations, prompting them to provide a scholarship fund for Smith-Cotton High School seniors.
Previously the fundraiser was a motorcycle ride benefit with the Sedalia Motorcycle Association. Rob Parkhurst was a past president of the association.
“Larry Yeager (of Yeager’s Cycle Sales) pretty much put the whole ride together, and helped us with that,” Smith said. “The motorcycle group was always a big supporter.”
This year, the fundraiser will take a different approach featuring a bass fishing tournament at the Tiki House on the Parkhurst property, west of Sedalia.
“We’re going to do a raffle, have prizes, and we’ll have three things for kids,” Smith said. “It will be a lot different than what we’ve done before.”
Last year the Rob Parkhurst Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser brought in more than $2,000. The memorial fund awards two $500 scholarships to two SCHS seniors.
In 2014, the scholarships were awarded to Cheyenne Reed and Justin Pripusich, and in 2015 Monika Vaughn and Alec Wilken received the award.
“These were all seniors going to college, that showed good character, were involved in school activities, had good grades and had financial needs,” Smith noted.
Smith added that there are approximately 300 students in the senior class and they usually receive 20 to 25 scholarship applications each year.
“We always raise what we need for the next year,” Smith noted. “The first year we did it, we raised a little over $1,000 and then last year we raised over $2,000. So this year, hopefully, with the new plan we’ll get a lot more people to come and we’ll be able to raise a lot more than we usually do.”
Smith explained that the scholarships are awarded based on grade point average but also financial need.
“We just don’t pick the person with all As,” she added.
They are also looking for students who are involved in school activities.
“My dad went to Smith-Cotton and he went on to graduate and went to college,” Smith said. “So, he thought college was very important. He wanted all of us to go to college.”
For this year’s bass tournament fundraiser the Missouri Department of Conservation will provide extra fishing poles for the event. Smith said those wanting to fish don’t have to have a fishing license.
She added that the winners will be awarded prizes. This year’s raffle will cater to outdoor sports enthusiasts and will include donated hunting and fishing items. Children’s activities for the day include a bounce house, face painting and a sand castle contest.
Food will be prepared by Don Weaver, of Don’s Truck Towing and Truck Wash. Weaver will grill hot dogs, hamburgers and possibly chicken for the fundraiser. A $5 donation will be requested for the plate of food.
“Usually Bing’s (Grocery Store) donates food for us, and then we make up the difference,” Smith said. “Bing’s has said they will donate food again.”
Other supporters of the fundraiser are the Sedalia Country Club, Ray’s Auto Sales, Sedalia Starter and Alternator and Crown Power and Equipment.
Smith added that they have also received support from Melinda and Kevin Moore, Dena McFarland and Lisa Moon.
“They have donated their time, skills and food,” she said.
The Parkhurst family said everyone is welcome to attend the June event.
The Rob Parkhurst Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser will be hosted from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 26 and will feature a one-day bass fishing tournament and barbecue at the Tiki House on the Parkhurst property, located on state Route Y, west of Sedalia. Tournament fees are $15 and a donation of $5 is requested for the barbecue. To sign up for the event or for more information, email Smith at [email protected]
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.