Clawson sponsorship award to benefit Hampton grads

By Travis Brown
STAR Staff
tbrown@starhq.com

   In the wake of tragedy, come the waves of hope. Although many tears have been shed in the memory of those departed, those who remember Rachel Clawson have began an effort to honor her life.
   Last summer the Hampton community lost one of their own when Clawson was killed in a road construction accident on stoney creek. Many individuals in the community have searched for a way to keep her spirit alive, and a group of family and friends hope to do so by helping her alma mater.
   A newly generated scholarship program that bears her name seeks to keep her memory alive, while giving students at Hampton High School a better chance to further their education.
   Although the program remains in its infancy, Hampton principal Danny McClain hopes this scholarship effort will be in place for years to come, "Rachel was a very caring person," McClain said. "I hope that this scholarship can help some student, in the same way Rachel would have."
   Currently the program hopes to deliver an award of $500 to an upcoming senior. The award money will be designated to help defray costs of graduation, and miscellaneous expenses during the senior year.
   Sherry Clawson, Rachel's mother, was very touched by the community support, and thinks the scholarship is an appropriate way to celebrate her life, "Rachel lived and breathed Hampton High School," Clawson said. "She would be thrilled by this, I am really touched."
   Although fundraising efforts have been in place since soon after Rachel's death, McClain hopes that more funds can be generated for the program "We had quite a few donations from people early on," McClain said. "We would certainly like to have more money to make sure the scholarship will last."
   Although no definite guidelines have been set for the delivery of the scholarship, McClain feels certain the award should be given to an individual like Rachel, "When we set out the qualifications, we will look at alot of things," McClain said. "We want the money to be awarded to someone... who is up to Rachel's standards."
   The ultimate aim of the program is to create a college scholarship capable of helping a Hampton graduate defray the costs of higher education, for the time being however that option is tabled.
   The scholarship award will be given out of interest incurred from the donated money. McClain wants the program to remain self-sufficient and hopes that a larger award can be reached through more donations, "We want to make sure the program is stable," McClain said. "A college scholarship is our goal, but for now we want to help out a junior that is not only in need, but someone who is like Rachel."
   Education is the way to a better future, and although Rachel's bright future is now only a memory, perhaps this program can help another qualified youngster the opportunity to do great things as well.
   Just as Rachel would have were she with us...