The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


January 27, 2013

BAF fund created to honor Maddison Faith Bennett

Maddison Faith Bennett was born on Dec. 5, 1999, in Beckley at Raleigh General Hospital. “Maddy” to her family and friends, she experienced a loving home.

Her parents, Brent and Amy Bennett, exemplify strong family values. Maddy’s older sister, Brittney, now 19, graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in June 2012. Younger brother Riley will be 8 in April; he is in the second grade at Hollywood Elementary School.

Maddy started playing soccer while still in elementary school. In August 2011, a sports physical lead to the discovery of a heart murmur, and further testing revealed cardiomyopathy. She had to quit soccer.

On March 12, 2012, Maddy was stricken in the school hallway. She was a sixth-grader at Park Middle School, a varsity cheerleader, a friend to many, a model of good conduct, and an exemplary student. In 12 short years, this young lady touched the hearts and lives of many others.

Ali Bass, an older friend and neighbor who sang at Maddy’s memorial service, is currently a student and cheerleader at Woodrow. She commented, “Not only was Maddy an amazing person, she was an amazing friend, too. She was smart, funny, sweet, loving and beautiful inside and out. Maddy was everyone’s friend, and we will never forget what a wonderful person she was.”

A resident of the Sunny Acres area of Raleigh County, Maddy was a member of Oak Grove Christian Church. Always interested in children, Maddy attracted the younger siblings of her friends. Without encouragement from others, she volunteered to work in the church nursery and was scheduled to start in April.

Her love of babies and toddlers contributed to her desire to become a pediatrician. She was also a strong advocate for her brother Riley and did not want anyone else to reprimand him. She was known to stand up for students who were perceived to be “outsiders” or “underdogs.”

Maddy loved cheerleading.

How do we deal with such an unexpected death of a loved one? Susan Landis, executive director of Beckley Area Foundation, said. “Maddy’s mother, Amy Bennett, has repeatedly told us that this worst experience of their family’s life has shown them that we live in a loving, caring community. She has been touched by how both friends and strangers reached out to them, helping with words and deeds.”

And so, Maddy’s family and friends have decided to create a lasting memorial in the form of the “Maddison Faith ‘Maddy’ Bennett Memorial Scholarship Fund” at the BAF. They are utilizing BAF’s “Building over Time” option which allows donors five years to contribute $10,000 for the permanent endowment. A pass-through gift will allow a scholarship award to be made before the fund is fully built.

Recipients of the merit- and need-based scholarship must have attended Park Middle School for at least two years. Applicants who were members of the cheerleading squad at Park will be given preference.

Anyone may make donations in any amount to help reach the required minimum; BAF has already received nearly $4,500. Donations are fully tax-deductible. Also, a limited number of West Virginia state tax credits are available for donors who contribute at least $500.

Maddy cheered for everyone else; let us now cheer for her. Make checks payable to BAF-Maddy Bennett Fund and mail to Beckley Area Foundation, 129 Main St., Suite 203, Beckley, WV  25801. Call 304-253-3806 for further information.

Text Only
  • life dr Wellness Wednesday: Adding an ‘I’ to TEAM

    Erica Tuckwiller is pediatrician with a deep-seated passion for changing the course of the childhood obesity epidemic.

    “As a physician, good nutrition is one of the biggest challenges I face in the care of our children and I actually have been involved in the fight against childhood obesity beginning with my senior thesis early in my college career at WVU,” she stated.


    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • bob thompson The jazz man

    If Bob Thompson’s 30-year career as a professional musician has taught him anything, it’s that there are really only two kinds of music.


    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leave a good legacy, and respect others’

    The death this week of the Rev. Jerry Falwell led to a network and cable blitz of commentaries on his life. We’ve been bombarded with a flurry of eulogies, criticisms, apathetic shrugs and lots of news footage regarding Falwell’s faith and foibles.


    July 26, 2014

  • 072314 Life CrossFit 4.jpg Crossfit Nation: Working out the WOD way

    Just as fashion trends come and go, so do fitness fads, and Cyndie Chinn had tried them all.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • downsize 1 Living large in smaller spaces

    How is it possible that as your nest gets emptier, your garage gets fuller? Living off the grid sounds tantalizing — the extreme version of paring down. But are you ready for solar panels and growing your own groceries or would a smaller home do the trick?

    July 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Relishing the faith of little children

    July 19, 2014

  • Guns 1 ‘Guns’ for Life

    With the latest World Health Organization figures showing global life expectancy increasing from 64 years in 1990 to 70 years in 2011, staying healthy enough to add quality to the quantity of life is an important consideration.

    July 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • coconut 4 Crack open the power of the coconut

    Now let’s get this straight …
      We know about Parrotheads. And Cheeseheads. But when did Coconut Heads become cool?
    Move over, argan — you are so last season. Another exotic oil is taking lead role in everything from shampoo to weight-loss supplements. That cast-iron skillet seasoning, stretch-mark banishing essence of the hour is — coconut oil.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Free summer serenade concert to be held

    Aurora Celtic, sponsored by Ivy & Stone, presents the free Summer Serenade concert Saturday at 6 p.m. on the Brown House lawn in Summersville.

    July 13, 2014

  • WVU Extension: Healthy summer eating tips for all occasions

    Summer and early fall are the times of year for family reunions, potluck picnics, pool parties and various other celebrations where we like to share food.

    July 13, 2014