Shaler Area grad remembered through fundraiser
Lora Alexander-Weinman said she strives to honor her brother's passion for athletics, academics and service through the scholarship fund established in his memory.
In 2007, 36-year-old Scott Alexander died 22 days after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“He was not the normal, average guy. He went above and beyond,” Alexander-Weinman, of Richland, said. “He was the class president of Shaler's class of 1989 when he graduated, and he really went above and beyond to make sure everyone was happy.”
The year of Scott's death, friends and family established a fund benefitting his wife, Kris, of Olney, Md., who was six months pregnant with their second child, when Scott died. They also have an older daughter, Samantha, 14.
The following year, they established the Scott Alexander Memorial Scholarship, available to graduating Shaler Area seniors who have lettered in track or soccer for three years.
The fund's primary fundraiser is an annual alumni soccer game at Shaler Area High School's Biles Field that the Shaler Area Soccer Team Alumni sponsors. This year's event is set for noon Aug. 18. It costs $20 to play and players can register on game day. There is no admission fee for spectators.
Additionally, Alexander-Wineman is organizing a new Night at the Races fundraiser with her father, George Alexander III, and brother, George Alexander, IV, both of Richland.
“It's something different. We haven't done it before. We wanted to have a different crowd of people that haven't come to a soccer game and we thought that it would be a way to get different people involved,” Alexander-Wineman said.
The event is slated for 6 p.m. May 12 at the Hampton Township Volunteer Fire Department, Hall No. 1. Guests 21-and-over will place bets starting at $2 on horses. Admission is $45 per person or $75 per couple, which includes naming rights to one horse. Guests may purchase a table of eight and earn naming rights to four horses for $280. Ten horses will race in 10 games throughout the night.
Lisa Popinski, of Shaler, is catering a buffet. The Night at the Races will have limited beer. Guests may bring their own bottles.
Basket raffles will raise further scholarship funds.
Since its inception, the Scott Alexander Memorial Scholarship has awarded $26,000 to 27 Shaler Area students, Alexander-Weinman said.
Scott held a soccer scholarship, himself, while he studied liberal arts at the University of Pittsburgh. He played tennis, in addition to soccer for the university. He used his master's in occupational therapy from Duquesne University to land a job working in the field for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland.
He also served as a varsity soccer coach, with his Magruder High School team winning a state championship the year after he died. Alexander-Weinman said the team reunited for an alumni game and raised about $3,500 for a scholarship they are starting on their own in Scott's memory.
“They just felt that they needed to keep his legacy alive.”
“We lost such an important member of our community, our society, family life that really, truly cared about everything. … So, we try to honor that every year with the scholarship by picking the winners that believe in what he believed in.”
Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune-Review contributor.