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‘It’s a way of keeping Darrell’s memory alive’

Foundation, local family team up for fundraising golf tournament


Since Darrell Pridemore and his brothers, Vince, Al, and Dwight, established their auto care franchises in the Douglas County area in 2005, they’ve been regular players and sponsors for the Debbie Jackson Memorial Scholarship Foundation’s annual golf tournament.

Since Darrell’s death from cancer last year, his brothers, and the foundation, decided to join forces.

“As a family, we could usually only get together to go golfing, so we tried to play in the tournaments,” said Al Pridemore, owner of Pride Auto in Parker. Joining the foundation is “a way of keeping Darrell’s memory alive … It seemed like a natural fit.”

The Pridemores wanted to start a nonprofit to honor their brother’s memory, and contacted Scott Jackson, who founded the Debbie Jackson scholarship 15 years ago to honor his sister Debbie’s memory.

“Their goals and reasons were almost identical,” Jackson said. “In the back of my mind, I thought, ‘We’re competing.’”

At Jackson’s suggestion, the foundation voted unanimously to expand its board from seven to 10 members in November 2016, making room for Al, Dwight and Vince, and changing the nonprofit’s name to the Debbie Jackson and Darrell Pridemore Memorial Scholarship Foundation.

On July 28 the organization will host a fundraising golf tournament, the 15th for Jackson and the first for the Pridemore brothers, to support scholarships for three high school seniors in Douglas County. Three seniors will be awarded $4,000, based on their grades, service to the community and an essay detailing hardships they’ve experienced.

Part of joining the foundation for the Pridemores has been evaluating the essays, a duty Al described as a grounding experience.

“It’s for kids who really are up against it,” Al said. “You read some of these stories and it just kills you.”

One of last year’s recipients was Darrell Pridemore’s daughter Mallory, Al’s niece. After her father’s death, the foundation board extended her award to $4,000 over four years, rather than the typical one-time award, allowing her to enroll at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs where she’s majoring in biology.

“There were a lot of trials and tribulations with my father’s death,” she said, “but the scholarship has allowed me to focus on school and my personal life … It’s helping me to not be stressed out.”

For the foundation’s part, Jackson said they are already benefiting from their new partnership.

“It’s increased our impact. Obviously the Pridemore name is well known,” Jackson said. “It’s increased the number of volunteers. We’re ahead of where we normally are.”

Jackson said the tournament, presented for the first time at the Plum Creek Golf Club in Castle Rock, has more than 100 golfers registered for the tournament so far, already above average for previous years.

“It might slow down the pace,” he said, “but it would make it better for the kids.”


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