Food fight to raise funds for scholarships

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 3, 2018

An event is set for May 12 to raise funds for the Thomas Keagon Travis Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The inaugural “Be Strange and Not a Stranger Food Fight” fundraiser will be held at the Henleyfield Community Center from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., that day in loving memory of Travis, who died in a fatal car accident on his 17th birthday last year.

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Donations from the fundraiser will go toward the scholarship fund, established to help students interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics pay for college expenses, said Travis’ grandmother Susan Travis.

One student from Pearl River Central High School, Picayune Memorial High School and from a homeschool program will be awarded the scholarship, she said.

On April 22nd last year, Keagon was involved in a two-vehicle accident on his way home that claimed his life and injured two of his friends, Susan Travis said.

“He loved cooking and was heading home to celebrate his birthday by cooking burgers for his friends and family,” she said.

Keagon was described as a bright student and active member of the Pearl River County Robotics Team. His participation in the robotics team help him develop his computer programming and engineering skills and inspired him to pursue a career in computer engineering or software designing, Travis said.

After his passing, Keagon’s family decided to establish a fund that would benefit high school seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in the STEM field.

“He was a good person and liked to help people so we thought why not do something positive from something negative,” Travis said.

The idea to hold a food fight as the theme for the fundraiser came from Keagon’s reaction to his seventh birthday party, which included a food fight. Since Keagon recalled it as one of his favorite birthday celebrations, Travis said the fundraiser will allow participants to buy a scoop of mashed potatoes for $1 to be used in the fight.

During the event, a memorial candlelight service will be held in memory of Keagon and others missing from the community.

At the event, members of the robotics team will be selling drinks. Proceeds from the drink sales will fund activities of the robotics team.

Food Fight T-shirt’s will be available for $20 at the event and can be pre-ordered at

Entertainment during the event will include music, dancing and a poetry reading.

Travis said depending on this year’s turnout, the family may consider making the fundraiser an annual event.