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Positive legacy continues long after tragic death

Kayla Jones ride provides money for scholarships

A scholarship ride set up as a kind of coping mechanism by the family of 15-year-old Kayla Jones following her death in a 2007 car crash has helped dozens of area students achieve their higher education ambitions.

In 11 years, the Kayla Jones Memorial Scholarship Ride has generated the staggering sum of about half a million dollars.

Each year, that money has been divided between graduates of Fort Dodge Senior High School and St. Edmond High School.

”We’re all from the same town,” Heather Farrell, Jones’ mother, explained. ”We wanted to reward and recognize as many kids as we could, whether they were from Fort Dodge or St. Edmond.”

Last year’s ride generated $60,000. That means 30 local graduating seniors each received a $2,000 scholarship.

This year’s version of the ride is set for Aug. 29. It will begin and end at Lefti’s Neighborhood Bar, 2001 Second Ave. N.

The pain of losing a child defies description, even for those who have experienced it. Jones’ parents – Heather and Mark Farrell and Todd and Becky Jones – were left reeling by the tragedy. Incredibly, they found a way to not only cope, but ensure that their daughter’s spirit lives on while helping others attain their dreams through education.

In the process, the family decided to recognize as many young people as they could by sharing the scholarships between Fort Dodge Senior High School and St. Edmond High School.

We’re humbled by the way a grieving family was able to create something good from tragedy.

We also encourage people to participate in the upcoming Kayla Jones Memorial Scholarship Ride.

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