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Turning Grief to Good

Renee Mahrt Memorial Scholarship

The Renee M. Mahrt Scholarship is one of many scholarships given each spring at Morton High School. For Darren Hurst, a physical education and health teacher at MHS, this scholarship reminds him of an athlete and family that made an impact on him.

"I enjoy giving this scholarship because of the first hand experience I had with Renee. It means a lot to me," Mr. Hurst says. He coached cross country at MHS for 11 years and Renee and her older sister, Laura, were members on his team. Renee also was a member of the MHS track team.

Renee Mahrt graduated from MHS in 2004 and then went to Illinois State University to study fashion design. On Dec. 3, 2005, while on her way to visit a friend in Chicago, her car spun out of control and struck a disabled vehicle parked along the road. She died of her injuries early the next morning.

Dan and Cathy Mahrt and Laura created the scholarship fund to honor Renee's spirit and characteristics.

"Renee was a work horse. She challenged herself to do her best. She worked hard and got the most out of the talent she had," Mr. Hurst said.

The scholarship is awarded to a female student that must have participated in and demonstrated a commitment to track or cross country at MHS and is pursuing a college education.

"She loved life and shared it," Mr. Hurst said. Now, her family is sharing Renee's life and spirit with other young women through this annual scholarship.