Alexis Taylor would have turned 17-years-old next February. She was on course to graduate from Woodmore High School four months later, and from there the world was her oyster.
But that all ended on Nov. 10, 2009, when Alexis died unexpectedly. Her mother, Gibsonburg resident Consie Rickard-Taylor, is joining with her family and Woodmore to set up two Alexis Taylor Memorial Scholarships for Woodmore students.
“We are in the baby stages of setting them up,” Rickard-Taylor said. “We have to set up applications, and we haven't filed everything with the school. We want to have two scholarships with the school. They are both going to be Alexis Taylor Memorial Scholarships. We're trying to encompass everything Alexis was into.”
Rickard-Taylor, who also has a son, Ian, 12, said many people saw Alexis as her mother's twin.
“A lot of people said she was my clone,” Rickard-Taylor said. “She was about 5-foot-6, medium build, strong legs, brown eyes and brown hair. She was an honor student. She was an athlete. She was also into photography, arts, and ceramics. She loved to read and she loved soccer. She played ever since the first grade.”
Rickard-Taylor said one Alexis Taylor Memorial Scholarship will go to a Woodmore student based on grade-point average and financial need.
“One of those we want to go to a female athlete and one to any art student,” she said. “We haven't established all the criteria yet.”
Rickard-Taylor said she and her sisters, Jessica Avants and Rebecca Mullins, will be on a scholarship committee along with JoAnn Wegert, the mother of a Woodmore student whom Alexis played soccer with. She said Woodmore girls soccer coach Malcolm Edge and school guidance counselor Nancy Slotterbeck have also been involved in the committee planning.
Rickard-Taylor said she would like to have the school scholarships established by April or May. Each scholarship will be $1,500.
“I thought this would be a great way to honor Lex and help someone in her name who might not have the money they needed to go to school,” Rickard-Taylor said.
The Woodmore community held an ice cream social on Sept. 9 to help raise money for the scholarships.
“It was phenomenal,” Taylor-Rickard said. “It went much better than we expected. We were going to run it from 3-7 (p.m.) and we had to stay open until 7:30, and we were packed the whole time. Some people just came in to donate. Malcolm plans on doing some soccer goalie camps over the winter, and we're also going to have a spaghetti dinner, possibly in December. We're still talking with my church on that.
“I had wristbands made and we started selling those at the ice cream social. That went very well. We want to do this every year, but this year is important because this is the year she would have graduated and I wanted to do it this year.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the scholarship fund may send a check, cash or money order to P.O. Box 563, Elmore, Ohio, 43416. Make checks out to Alexis Taylor Memorial Scholarship. For more information, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rickard-Taylor said she wants the community to have fond memories of Alexis.
“She was beautiful and fun-loving and she loved being around people - her friends and family,” Rickard-Taylor said. “She always tried to make people happy.”