A Fort Bend County family wants to help cancer survivors. The Varney and Spellman families’ goal for The Jackie Spellman Scholarship Foundation is to keep Jackie’s memory alive perpetually to help provide benefits to cancer survivors who may not have the financial means to pursue secondary education on their own. In July 2009, the family, aided by Vinson and Elkins LLP, formed a 501(c) (3) non-profit foundation to award educational scholarships to those who have been affected specifically by leukemia or lymphoma.
An annual Golf Tournament to benefit The Jackie Spellman Scholarship Foundation (JSSF) will be held on Monday, October 10, 2011, at Sugar Creek Country Club, 420 Sugar Creek Blvd., Sugar Land. For tournament information, please contact Dawn Lodico at 281.277.1000 or fax your tournament entry form to 281.277.1001. On-site registration will begin at noon with a box lunch and shotgun start at 1:30 PM. Sponsors for the event include Chick-fil-A, Backyard Innovations, Sterling McCall Hyundai, David Taylor Cadillac GMC, Stubbs Harley Davidson Houston, ARCH-CON Corporation, Sundance Construction Company and Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land as of Aug. 30.
Why is the golf tournament so important? In 1978, Earle and Joan Varney moved from Connecticut to Sugar Land with their five children (Darlene, Donna, Dawn, Steve and Terry) Earle worked in the construction business. The youngest of their children, Terry Hydo, graduated from Clements High School and the University of Houston and Steve Varney, graduated from Dulles High School and now operates a local construction business. Today, the family lives in Fort Bend County with their extended families – Earle and Joan Varney, Darlene and Steve Spellman, Donna and Dave Lawrence, Dawn and Chris Lodico, Terry and Paul Hydo, Steve and Linda Varney, and Jackie’s Step-brothers Justin Macri and Kris and Christy Macri.
Steve Spellman and Darlene’s (step) daughter, Jackie, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) at the age of 24. Jackie grew up in Wethersfield, CT. Following her graduation from high school, she moved to Boston, MA, to attend Northeastern University where she was a starting defender for their Division-1 NCAA soccer team. Jackie graduated with honors, receiving her degree in Business Marketing while breaking Northeastern soccer records and mentoring young women in the Big Sister program. After graduation, she moved to Houston, Texas, after accepting an offer to work with the NFL’s Houston Texans.
Jackie was extremely excited about her new opportunity to work for the Texans. However, after only one week on the job in the marketing/sales department, she learned of her diagnosis. Jackie was admitted for treatment at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Sadly, on April 28, 2009, Jackie passed away from this incredibly devastating disease.
“We strive to make this a foundation of success and want to continue to reach out to help other families that have also experienced the trials and tribulations of enduring such a long journey, and if we can help someone pursue their dreams by furthering their education then it will fill our hearts with being able to help in some way. As we watched Jackie stay focused to achieve her dreams we know how one must strive even harder once cancer hits home.” Steve and Darlene Spellman
The Jackie Spellman Scholarship Foundation has just awarded its first round of scholarships to twelve recipients in July, 2011. Please come out and support The Jackie Spellman Scholarship Foundation Annual Golf Tournament. For registration information, please go to jackiespellmanbenefit.org or call Dawn Lodico at 281.277.1000.