Teen’s char­ac­ter re­mem­bered ahead of fish­ing tour­na­ment

The Sentinel-Record - - FRONT PAGE - BETH REED

Scott and Tab­bitha Briggs are still over­whelmed by the im­pact their son, Bryce Briggs, had on his com­mu­nity.

That im­pact is ul­ti­mately what made them form Live Like Bryce — The Bryce Briggs Foun­da­tion, which raises funds to pro­vide schol­ar­ships for Lake Hamil­ton stu­dents ex­hibit­ing good char­ac­ter, as well as award spon­sor­ships and do­na­tions to var­i­ous or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“We’re re­ally for­tu­nate the com­mu­nity has been so sup­port­ive of us and the foun­da­tion,” Scott Briggs said. “It’s pretty hum­bling. He touched a lot of peo­ple and we didn’t re­al­ize just how much un­til af­ter he passed away. Peo­ple still send us mes­sages. He re­ceived a post­hu­mous de­gree from Arkansas Tech (Univer­sity). He was al­ways think­ing about oth­ers.”

On Satur­day, the foun­da­tion will host the sec­ond an­nual Bryce Briggs Memo­rial Fish­ing Tour­na­ment at Moun­tain Har­bor Re­sort & Spa on Lake Oua­chita from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The tour­na­ment, his par­ents said, is some­thing their son would have loved to see and be a part of.

“I asked him once what he was go­ing to be when he grew up, when he got out of col­lege, and he told me he was go­ing to be a pro­fes­sional fish­er­man,” Tab­bitha Briggs said. “So I asked him what his backup was and he said ‘Win the lottery.’ I laughed and asked him what his backup for that was and he fi­nally said ‘I guess I’ll be an en­gi­neer.’”

“Bryce loved fish­ing, foot­ball, base­ball

and hunt­ing, es­pe­cially duck hunt­ing,” Scott Briggs said. “It’s go­ing to be a beau­ti­ful day for fish­ing.”

Ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease pro­vided by Tab­bitha Briggs, Bryce Briggs was in­jured in a brush fire ac­ci­dent on Dec. 13, 2016, while help­ing a friend. He was flown to Arkansas Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal with third-de­gree burns on 80 per­cent of his body and died on Dec. 18, 2016.

“Bryce touched more lives in his short 19 years of life than most will touch in their en­tire life­time,” the re­lease said.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­lease, which an­nounced five schol­ar­ships awarded to stu­dents this year, the foun­da­tion wants to “re­ward stu­dents for their ex­em­plary in­di­vid­ual char­ac­ter, be­hav­ior and kind­ness to oth­ers and com­mu­nity ser­vice.”

Since it was formed in Fe­bru­ary 2017, Tab­bitha Briggs said the foun­da­tion has given about $15,000 through var­i­ous do­na­tions and schol­ar­ships.

“Our (schol­ar­ships) are based on char­ac­ter, the high school teach­ers and coaches nom­i­nate stu­dents be­cause they are with the stu­dents ev­ery day,” she said. “We de­cided to make one (schol­ar­ship) for one male and one fe­male ath­lete, and one aca­demic for one male and one fe­male stu­dent, and then one that’s com­mu­nity ser­vice for, again, one male and one fe­male.”

Though com­pet­i­tive by na­ture, Tab­bitha Briggs said her son al­ways looked for the best ways to help oth­ers whether through team­work or look­ing out for fel­low class­mates.

“Bryce did not like to lose — he was com­pet­i­tive, but he also knew what was best for his team,” she said. “He was al­ways think­ing about oth­ers.

“I asked him once, he was up for a schol­ar­ship and didn’t get it, and I asked if he was up­set about it and he told me ‘No, mom, be­cause they prob­a­bly needed it more.’ Same with foot­ball, if he didn’t get to score the touch­down he was OK as long as it was what’s best for the team. That’s just who he was.”

The foun­da­tion, in ad­di­tion to schol­ar­ships, has do­nated $2,500 to Lake Hamil­ton ath­let­ics, $2,000 to youth team schol­ar­ships, $1,000 to the Lake Hamil­ton Op­ti­mist Club, $1,100 to Arkansas Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, $1,200 to var­i­ous in­di­vid­u­als and clubs in the com­mu­nity, $240 to Lake Hamil­ton In­ter­me­di­ate School and $300 to the Arkansas Tech Fish­ing Team. Funds are raised not only through the fish­ing tour­na­ment, but the Live Like Bryce 7 on 7 foot­ball tour­na­ment.

Brigette Dunn, foun­da­tion trea­surer, said prize money is cov­ered for this year’s tour­na­ment, and there is still time for an­glers to reg­is­ter.

Last year’s two di­vi­sions, Tripp Dunn said, have been di­vided into three for this year’s tour­na­ment — adult, se­nior youth for ninth through 12th grades, and ju­nior youth for eighth grade and be­low.

The dead­line for reg­is­tra­tion is Fri­day and the en­try fee for adults is $125 per boat, while youth en­try fees are

$80 per boat. Late en­tries the day of the tour­na­ment will be ac­cepted with an ad­di­tional

$20 fee. Reg­is­tra­tion forms are avail­able at Geared, Trader Bills Out­doors and Chris El­der Auto Sales. Forms may be re­turned to these lo­ca­tions or mailed to BBMFT, 236 Win­damere Drive, Hot Springs, AR 71913.

Reg­is­tra­tion is also avail­able on­line at http://bryce2497.

wu­foo.com/forms/razrvjy0a8m1rs/.

Pay­outs in each of the ju­nior youth di­vi­sion for grades eight and be­low, se­nior youth for grades 9-12 and the adult di­vi­sion in­clude pay­outs of

$100-$500. Spon­sors for this year’s tour­na­ment in­clude Chris El­der Auto Sales, Trader Bills Out­door Sports, Geared, Felix Brace and Limb, Denny McConathy, Moun­tain Har­bor Re­sort & Spa, Fer­rell Gas, Smith Re­mod­el­ing, B & D Plumb­ing, Falk Sup­ply, Smokin’ In Style BBQ , Amer­i­can Ter­mite & Pest Con­trol, MJ Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Dr. Mike Mullins — Health­star Physi­cian Group, JJ’s Truck Stop, Wil­son Home Im­prove­ment, Brad Hamil­ton, Allen Dodd, and Gree­son, Inc.

For ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the tour­na­ment, con­tact Danny Smith at 501547-1923 or Tripp Dunn at 501276-1500.

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