Tarkington Roundup enjoys banner year, organizers say

Waldo Rodas of KORG Radio (left) and J. Andrew Rice, one of the founders of the Tarkington ISD Education Foundation, perform "I am a Man of Constant Sorrow" at the Tarkington Roundup event in 2018.

Money is still being tallied from Saturday’s Tarkington Roundup, one of the biggest annual fundraisers for the Tarkington ISD Education Foundation, but organizers are expecting a record-breaking year.

“I think it has been a phenomenally successful day for the student foundation. We look to be breaking records, and not by just a little, but a lot,” said Mollie Lambert, emcee for the Roundup’s karaoke contest and one of the founders of the TISD Education Foundation.

The day started with performances by the Tarkington Intermediate Choir and bands from the middle school and high school. The karaoke contest, among the biggest draws of the event, had participation from youths and adults.

The audience is encouraged to purchase votes for $1 each that they could use to vote in favor of or against a performer.

Inside the middle school cafeteria, an auction and book sale was set up. Walgreens employees were offering free flu shots while Tarkington Community Library supporters were promoting the library’s newest project — Little Free Library boxes.

In a parking lot to the east of the school, Anderson Ford workers and Tarkington teachers and supporters were signing up people for Drive 4 UR School test drives of Ford vehicles. For every car test driven, Ford will pay $20 to the Education Foundation.

The Education Foundation’s purpose is “pure and simple,” Lambert said.

“If you are a Tarkington High School graduate and you go on to any form of post-secondary education, whether that is a vocation or trade school, junior college or university, we will give you $1,000 to help you on your path,” Lambert said. “We’ve given away $40,000 to $50,000 per year depending on the number of graduates.”

The money can be used for tuition, books or tools to get the graduate started in their post-secondary education.

“We just want our graduates to be the best people they can be,” Lambert said.

By Vanesa Brashier, editor@bluebonnetnews.com

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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