Article by Ed Cobb
At the beginning of the last school year, we tragically lost one of our best friends and colleagues here at BMS, Mark Starr. Mark had a knack to brighten everyone's day after spending even just a few minutes with him. As this school year started, Heidi Wager and I began coming up with ideas to honor Mark and help fund the scholarship that is given in his memory. Heidi, Curt Alvey, and I all had the good fortune to coach and teach with Mark at some point while he was here at BMS. It only felt natural to host a basketball tournament to accomplish our goal. Mark loved BMS and he loved the Cutters basketball teams.
Once we had our teams set for the tournament, we made an announcement that the tournament would take place on Saturday, January 28th. Within minutes, I was flooded with responses from his family and friends wanting to know what they could do to assist in making this inaugural event a success. I was not surprised by the response, Mark was and still is that special to us.
Saturday morning came and the support we witnessed was incredible. Our gym was packed for each of the eight games that were played. We are still waiting on some final numbers, but it looks like we raised over $7,000 to help fund Mark's scholarship. We had some very exciting and competitive games and I really feel like Mark's spirit was present. So many smiles, laughs, and tears. We had too many individuals help out to list here, but we do want to recognize Chris and Heidi Atchison at DNA Designs for donating t-shirts to sell at the tournament. We raised over $2,300 on t-shirt sales alone. They also provided every player and coach with a free shirt to commemorate the event. Also, a big thank you to Andy and Emily Fortner at Magic Morning for providing donuts and cookies to sell in our concession stand. They also provided a generous monetary donation.
As the dust has settled after the weekend, I have to say that Saturday was such a special day for those of us that love and miss Mark dearly. Mark's family was in attendance all day long and I was thrilled that they were able witness the outpouring of love and support to keep Mark's legacy alive. So many young people will benefit from Mark's scholarship for years to come. And oh, by the way, the West Washington boys won the boys tournament and the Bedford Middle School girls won the girls tournament. We are already in the planning stages for next year.