‘Blake’s War’ to raise funds for memorial scholarship

Published 10:45 am Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Six years after a tragic accident involving Bell County High School student Blake Jackson, a scholarship war is being hosted by Bell County High School between the class of 2023 and the class of 2018.

After Jackson tragically passed away in a fatal car accident, his parents wanted to do something to honor him, so a scholarship fund was created.

Approximately $15,000 has been given out to Bell County High School students in the last six years.

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Now Bell County High School is challenging Blake’s graduating class, the class of 2018, and the class of 2023 to a donation war.

The 1st Annual “Blake’s War” began on Friday, March 17, and will end on Monday, April 17.

“Blake was one of my athletes,” said Bobby Partin, the athletic trainer at Bell County High School. “He was one of my athletes, and his mother works with my wife at Bell-Whitley.”

According to Partin, he got to know Jackson when he had a break in his hand around the thumb area. Partin built a relationship with Jackson and met with him to train at least weekly.

“Unfortunately, on his way to school one morning, Blake got in a car accident and passed away, and not long after that, we kind of wanted to do something to keep his name and memory going,” said Partin. “So I got together with Debbie [Jackson], and we started a nonprofit – and then we started doing fundraisers for the nonprofit, I think, six years ago.”

Six years ago was the organization’s first 5k, allowing the organization to award Jackson’s graduating class two scholarships. Since then, the organization has awarded a scholarship each school year.

“Blake passed away in March of 2018, and in that fall, we opened our CrossFit gym right after the 5k, and since then, we’ve done the Blake for Blake,” said Partin.” In CrossFit, a lot of times you get to hear of workouts–and there was a Blake workout for a gentleman in the army who had passed away during duty–and we thought, ‘What better way to honor Blake and Blake’s name than this workout named after him?’”

Julia Burgan, a guidance counselor at the high school, and Courtney Howard, secretary to the superintendent, became involved with the scholarship program this year.

Last year, Howard’s daughter received the scholarship, and the pair became involved in the program this year.

“Hence the battle, the war, of sorts, between the graduating class this year and Blake’s graduating class,” said Partin. “We have several different things going on. We hosted the ‘Blake for Blake’ this weekend, and then the battle.”

Jackson’s athletic trainer recalled his personality.

“Blake was a fairly quiet kid but a great kid. He kept to himself but had a lot of friends. When he came out of his shell, he was a really funny kid. It was one of those things where he had to know you,” said Partin. “He was quiet until you got to know him. I’m not a coach, but I was an authority figure in his life…Until he got injured, but that’s when he kind of opened up and we started talking a lot more and it was hard to get him to be quiet. He was just always talking to you.”

According to Partin, Bell County High School hopes to have the battle of the classes every year.

To donate to the scholarship fund, Please be sure to add a message to your donation on PayPal that states the year that you graduated, such as 2018 or 2023, and send your donations to pmxfit@gmail.com on PayPal. In addition, the organization asks donors to please send all donations as family and friends to avoid any donations being subject to PayPal fees.

If you prefer to donate cash, please get in touch with Julia Burgan at 606-337-7061 or Courtney Howard at 606-337-7051. Remember to add a message to the donation that states which graduating class you are donating to.

The winner will be announced after the donation war is complete.