Andrew Parker’s family has created a scholarship to be awarded to a Palmetto High student to attend the University of Florida.
Parker was a popular star on the Palmetto football team whose goal was to attend UF. He graduated in June and was accepted to Gainesville for the spring semester. He was attending Santa Fe Community College getting some prerequisites out of the way when he died in an October car accident. More than 1,000 people attended the memorial service.
Now his family wants to take that support and do something for the community. They have created the Andrew Parker Memorial Foundation to fund the Andrew Parker Memorial Scholarship. To raise money for the foundation, the family is hosting the Andrew Parker Memorial 5k Fun Run/Walk on Jan. 2.
“We are trying to make something positive out of this,” says David Parker, Andrew’s father.
“Run, and if you can’t then walk and if you can’t walk, donate. Our goal is to get to as many people in the community as possible for the event.”
The fun run/walk will be held at Coral Reef Park in Palmetto Bay at 10 a.m. on Jan. 2. It’s a non-certified event, so the course is three times around the park. The money raised will fund the scholarship, which will be awarded to a Palmetto High student who attends UF.
“We really want it to go to people who can’t afford to go to a good university, but they have to have the academics,” he says. “My son was an honor student, a real bright kid. It’s one of those really sad things in life.”
Parker’s mom, Collette Powell, says she thinks Andrew would have been happy about the scholarship fund. “It’s important not to forget his name,” she says. “And all the good friends that he had.”
Powell plans to run in the Jan. 2 event and then she is going to train for a marathon that she will run in his name.
If the event is super successful, Parker says they hope to donate some money to the Palmetto Panther Touchdown Club and maybe even to the Palmetto Broncos.
“He was a three-year varsity player,” he says. “He played Pop Warner football with the Broncos and he played baseball at Howard Palmetto.”
Parker says they are hoping for a turnout of 500 people. As of mid-December, there were approximately 130 RSVPs on the event Facebook page. “
All of Palmetto Bay knows about it,” Powell says. “There will probably be a lot of college students.”
Powell says she has been in the area for almost eight years now, moving to Palmetto Bay from Cooper City. They had close friends in Cooper City and had worried that things would be different in Palmetto Bay.
“This community has become our home as much as Cooper City,” she says.
Pre-registration is urged so the foundation can have the correct number of shirts on hand for the runners and walkers. The cost is $7 in advance without tee shirt or $20 with a tee shirt provided. Same day registration remains the same for those who aren’t getting a shirt and $25 for those who want a shirt.
For more information or a registration form, go to the foundation website at www.AndrewParkerFoundation.org.