The James T. Alton MS Athletic Department is looking to continue a new tradition of giving back that was started last year. After the success of JTA’s Team Tenly Night last March, a benefit night for a preschool-aged child diagnosed with leukemia, Alton is hoping that the spirit of giving will continue this year.
On September 9th, JTA will host a benefit night for the Trooper Cameron Ponder Memorial Scholarship Fund through the Central Kentucky Community Foundation. Trooper Ponder, a former JTA student, and 2002 North Hardin graduate was killed in the line of duty in service with the Kentucky State Police in Lyon County in 2015. Trooper Ponder, responded to a traffic violation on I-24, leading to a nearly ten-mile pursuit, and ending when the suspect abruptly stopped and opened fire on Trooper Ponder’s cruiser ending his nine-month career with the KSP.
In his initial traffic stop, Trooper Ponder discovered that the suspect’s license had been suspended, and was making lodging arrangements at a local hotel when the suspect drove off, ending in the pursuit. "He wasn't just someone enforcing the law, he was someone who was looking after others," JTA Principal Kevin Estes said, "and so those are some of the virtues and characteristics we want to be teaching kids is to take care of yourself, take care of others, you take care of, in our case, your school, and communities."
On September 9th, at the JTA Girls Basketball game versus Scott Middle School, all donations made at the gate will go towards the scholarship in the former Trojan’s name. “This was something we started last year with Team Tenley and hope to continue doing this year in teaching our students the importance of giving, and providing this amazing community with a mechanism for doing so,” said JTA Athletic Director Richard Rowland. “It is really fitting that we do this for a Girls Basketball event because Cameron’s dad, Joe Ponder, has and continues to drive the bus for that program, going out of his way to take care of our girls.”
At this game there will be no set price for entry, only donations of any amount will be accepted to get into the game. The entirety of these donations will go towards the scholarship fund in Ponder’s name. Anyone, or any local businesses interested in making a donation are encouraged to contact the school for more information.
“This is going to be a big night for our school, our community, and this department. We have invited Law Enforcement, and Community Leaders from all across the state, including the State Police,” says Rowland, “The KSP Honor Guard will be on hand in helping us memorialize one of our own that night, and I hope that we can pack the gym, because this is an amazing, overwhelmingly giving community, and I look forward to making this an annual event for our school along with others we are planning this year.”
The link to the WAVE3 News story regarding this event is below: