HEALY— Nineteen teams raised an estimated $11,000 this month for the Scott Menke Memorial Fund at the annual Healy Tundra Challenge. They did it in style, dressed in zany costumes and in good spirits.

The fundraiser is held every year at the nine-hole Black Diamond Golf Course. The day always includes lots of fun socializing, but it also has a serious purpose. The tournament raises money for youth programs through the Denali Education Center and for scholarships for high schoolers headed to college.

Scott Menke was a teen-ager from Healy who avidly participated in Denali Discovery Camp and advocated for the creation of Denali Backcountry Adventures for high school students. He died in a four-wheeler accident.

In 2004, the Denali Education Center and the Menke family created the Scott Menke Memorial Fund to raise money for the youth programs Scott loved. Since its inception, it has provided more than 100 students will full scholarships to Denali Education Center camps and expeditions and has awarded more than $40,000 in scholarships to post-secondary education for more than 20 Denali Borough graduates.

“This amazing community made a direct investment in the kids who live here, benefitting our community, Alaska and the world,” said the Denali Education Center. “We believe this is a future that Scott Menke would have imagined and that he is proud of us.”

Donations can be made at https://www.denali.org/donate and click on the PayPal link. There is a “donation designation” space where you can write in “Scott Menke Memorial Fund.” 

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at kcapps@newsminer.com. Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris.

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