The parents of Chance Harman, who died in July, established a scholarship in his memory.
By Lindsay Key
Courtesy of The Ronoake Times
Five high school seniors will begin college with between $750 and $3,000 more in their pockets through a scholarship that Brian and Desirae Harman of Floyd established in memory of their son, Chance Harman.
The 4-year-old, who had suffered from a brain tumor, died in July.
"After he passed away I was trying to think of some idea of how to carry his tradition on, or some way to help out the community and kids that had helped us out," Brian Harman said.
Inspiration came from friend and Radford High School basketball coach Rick Cormany, who suggested that Harman start a basketball tournament in honor of Chance, to raise money for scholarships and cancer research.
The inaugural Chance Harman Classic basketball tournament was Jan. 5, with the boys' varsity teams from Floyd County, Giles, Glenvar, Graham, Christiansburg, Blacksburg, Radford and Patrick County high schools participating.
The admission fee, $8 for adults and $5 for children, brought in about $12,000.
Touched by each school's participation, the Harmans decided to spend a portion of the proceeds on scholarships for students at the four schools that gave up regular season home games for the tournament.
The Harmans created a $3,000 scholarship at Floyd County High School and a $1,500 scholarship at Radford, Glenvar and Giles high schools. They asked each school's administrative staff to decide how to award the money.
The only set criteria, according to Brian Harman, was that the recipient or recipients had to play a sport and be a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
"Chance was real big into God and reading the Bible, and he loved sports," he explained.
The Harmans set up a committee of family and friends to choose the recipient at Floyd County and Giles high schools at the request of their administrative staff.
The remaining money they donated to Duke University Hospital for brain tumor research.
Radford senior Michael McCown received a $1,500 scholarship at the school's sports banquet Monday night.
Glenvar High School seniors Chris Ferguson and Kaitlyn Barnett each received $750 scholarships.
Ashley Martin of Floyd County High School received a $3,000 scholarship at the school's academic awards banquet May 8. The 18-year-old is a member of the school's forensics team and plans to attend Virginia Western Community College and eventually Radford University to study psychology.
"There's so much emotion behind that scholarship. It's just overwhelming and it brought tears to my eyes when I found out I received it," she said.
Martin grew up in a single-parent home where money was tight, and she had to work two jobs during high school. Before receiving the scholarship, she anticipated working full time and attending college part time. Now she'll be able to do the opposite.
"Basically it was a huge burden off my shoulders," she said.
The name of the Giles High School student receiving the award will be announced at an awards banquet set for May 30.
The second annual Chance Harman Classic is already scheduled for Jan. 3, Harman said.
"We hope the community supports it like it has before," he said. "If it's a bigger turnout, we can do bigger scholarships everywhere and give more back to the cancer research."