Scott Armstrong Memorial Scholarship Walk May 4
By JAN GRIFFEY/Editor
COLUMBIANA — Scott Armstrong packed a lot of life into his 40 years on this earth and left behind a bevy of lifelong buddies who will never forget a minute of it.
Those dear friends, along with many others, will gather in downtown Columbiana on Saturday, May 4, for the Scott Armstrong Memorial Scholarship Walk.
It wasn’t until age 34 that Armstrong, of Columbiana, was diagnosed with an acute form of leukemia. At 37, he underwent a stem cell transplant at Duke University and his cancer went into remission, at which time he resumed his very active life. That included his volunteering with Relay for Life, an activity he began six years before he was diagnosed with his disease.
Armstrong lost his battle on May 19, 2011.
The walk, about 2.5 miles around Shelby County’s historic county seat, is the “signature fund raising event for the Scott Armstrong Memorial Scholarship Fund,” said Corley Ellis, one of Armstrong’s lifelong friends.
The walk will begin at 9 a.m. at the Columbiana Recreation Building on Washington Street.
“The scholarship goes to a Shelby County High School graduate who is going to the University of Alabama,” Ellis said. “It is intended to go to someone who plans to play in the Alabama band or play softball. That isn’t the primary requirement, though. What’s most important is that they plan to attend the University of Alabama.”
Armstrong graduated from the University of Alabama and was a member of its Million Dollar Marching Band. He earned his master’s degree at Delta State University, where he was an assistant softball coach.
“Scott loved girls’ softball. That’s how he paid for his master’s degree, coaching softball,” Ellis said.
The walk is free. No one will be charged to walk on May 4, Ellis said. However, suggested donation is $50 per walker or team.
In addition, a variety of businesses, individuals and non-profit groups will sponsor the walk.
“Everyone will gather at the Rec. Center and start out. There will be sponsors, which will have tables stationed throughout town. Walkers will have to go find those sponsors, using a map we give them, and check in. They will be given a wristband, and once they locate all the sponsors, walkers will head back to the Rec. building. Those wristbands will be turned into raffle tickets, which will be used as entries for door prizes,” Ellis said. “It’s just a fund way to get downtown, get out and walk and see things.”
Ellis said he can’t remember a time in his life when Scott Armstrong wasn’t his friend.
“He’s just one of those people who enjoyed life to the absolute fullest. He loved people. He loved Shelby County High School. He loved the University of Alabama and he loved girls’ softball. Put all those loves together and that’s how we came up with the criteria for who gets the scholarship.” Ellis said. “He was one of the most incredible friends anyone could ever have. He was the glue that held our group of friends together. He was that guy.”