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Fundraiser to keep local scholarship begins

COAL GROVE — A fundraiser to raise money for a Dawson-Bryant scholarship honoring a local fallen soldier begins today and will continue through Wednesday, Nov. 25.

The Justin Allen Scholarship was created by the family of Justin Allen, Dawson-Bryant 2005 graduate who was killed at 23 years old in Afghanistan on July 18, 2010 in a combat mission during his fourth deployment as an Army Ranger.

The $500 scholarship is annually given to a senior at Dawson-Bryant High School.

Classmate, friend and organizer of the fundraiser Cody Chaffin said Allen’s mother, Bonnie Allen, was funding the scholarship, but died about two years ago leaving the scholarship in jeopardy.

“There’s enough money in it now for this year and next year, but I want to keep it going beyond that,” Chaffin said. “Justin and I were good friends through school and I felt obligated to pick up that slack.”

Chaffin is selling “Freedom Is Not Free” T-shirts for $20 in order to raise money to keep the scholarship going beyond next year.

“Even though there’s enough for this year and the following year, I wanted to get started early,” Chaffin said.

Chaffin said the goal is to sell 100 T-shirts throughout the campaign.

To order a T-shirt, visit www.booster.com/justin_allen_memorial. T-shirts have an estimated delivery time of Dec. 14.