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WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Local residents Shawn and Allyson Bice, who established the Mynde Tarter Memorial Volleyball Tournament as a way to raise funds for an endowed scholarship in the former Grizzly volleyballer’s name, have been chosen as recipients of the Grizzly Track Award presented by the Grizzly Booster Club.


The couple was given the award Tuesday, April 9, during the annual Grizzly Sports Banquet and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the West Plains Opera House.  The award honors extraordinary support given by individuals or organizations on behalf of Grizzly Athletics.


Calling the couple “clearly deserving” of the award, ceremony emcee Bo Pace recalled the events leading up to the tournament and subsequent scholarship.  “In the summer of 2006, a beautiful and talented young woman left us far too soon,” Pace said.  “Aside from other activities, Mynde Tarter was an accomplished volleyball player at West Plains High School and a big part of the local volleyball scene.  She was just beginning to fulfill her dream of playing for the Missouri State-West Plains Grizzlies when tragedy struck.


“Refusing to allow Mynde’s memory to fade, Shawn and Allyson Bice established the Mynde Tarter Memorial Volleyball Tournament,” Pace continued.  “Proceeds from the tournament were used to begin a Grizzly Volleyball endowed scholarship in Mynde’s memory.  As the years rolled by, the tournament continued.  The seventh annual Mynde Tarter Memorial Volleyball Tournament, held last month, involved an all-time record of 43 participating teams.  The tournament raised the market value of the endowment to approximately $50,000.  Those funds will never be spent for any purpose, but the earnings will be used annually for scholarship purposes to ensure that Mynde Tarter will never be forgotten.


“Shawn and Allyson Bice, you are doing something very special,” Pace concluded.  “It is our privilege to recognize you tonight with the Grizzly Booster Club’s highest honor – the Grizzly Track Award.”


Shawn Bice, holding the couple’s daughter, Jaima, thanked the booster club for the award on behalf of himself and his wife.  “A lot of people make this tournament and scholarship possible,” he said.  “Our number one goal was to endow a scholarship, and we’ve done that several times over.  As long as the community supports the tournament and players want to play, we will continue to have it.  Thank you all.”


The Grizzly Track Award is presented periodically to members of the Grizzly Booster Club who have shown exceptional enthusiasm for and extraordinary support of Grizzly Athletics over an extended period of time.  Actions by the recipient(s) must have enabled Grizzly Athletics to take a giant step forward.  Honorees are selected by the executive board of directors of the Grizzly Booster Club.


The award for Shawn and Allyson Bice is the 16th Grizzly Track Award given by the Grizzly Booster Club.  Past recipients include Richard and Mary Sheid (1999), Jess and Betty Garnett and Bob Neathery (2000), Russ and Laura Gant (2001), Norma Hilburn and Herb and Mary Beth Lunday (2002), Dr. Robert Martin (2003), Allison Smith, her husband Bruce (in memoriam) and sons Travis and Chase and their extended families (2004), Paul Childers (2005), Ozark Radio Network and the West Plains Daily Quill (January 2006), Rick and Lois Frazier and Bo and Sunie Pace (November 2006), Dean Smith (April 2010), and John and Dixie Williams (April 2011).

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