Hamilton Memorial brings in more than $30K


It was supposed to be a one-day event, but it turned into a two-day outing last weekend because local residents wanted to help a hurting family and others. In the end, the golf event held at the Hillsboro Elks raised a little more than $30,000 for the Kolton Hamilton Memorial Fund.

Kolton Hamilton was a 16-year-old freshman at Whiteoak High School who lost his life in a single-vehicle accident last September on his way to school. He was the only occupant of a Honda Civic.

“We wanted to celebrate and show our gratitude to the community,” said Katie Knoblauch, Kolton’s mother. “They rallied behind us and supported us so much. We want it to be a huge thank you to the community; and I don’t even know if thank you is a big enough word. We had so many people volunteering and reaching out to us, and there were so many business and individuals that supported us and made this all possible.”

The plan, Knoblauch said, is to use the money for scholarships that will be given away each year to Bright Local School District students and other surrounding school districts. This year four $400 scholarships will be given to Whiteoak students and in following years the number and amount of scholarships will be determined by a committee with applications available in the Whiteoak guidance counselor’s office.

While students in other school districts will be eligible for the scholarships after this year, one will always to go a Whiteoak student.

Knoblauch said Kolton’s accident took place one month after his 16th birthday. She said he played basketball, baseball, cross country and golf. He was involved in FFA and worked at Lerch’s Barn Lot in Hillsboro, but his true passion was athletics.

The weekend’s events also saw a tree planted near hole No. 3 at the Elks in Kolton’s honor with a plaque identifying him near the base of the tree. The tree was donated by Larry’s Party shop and by planted Brad Rhodes.

“He always wanted to beat his brother at something. Well, now he has a tree planted in his honor,” Knoblauch said. “He was so into sports; he could have made a sport out of kicking rocks.”

Kolton was a vivacious kid who liked to spend time with his family and friends and was a jokester. He liked shoes, his Oakley sunglasses, the number 4 and the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals. And he liked people.

“It did not matter who you were — Kolton never met a stranger — he was going to be your friend,” Knoblauch said.

Next year, Knoblauch said, the tournament will remain at the Hillsboro Elks but will likely be held on a different weekend so it doesn’t interfere with the state fair or the Rumble in Hills hydroplane races that were held last weekend at Rocky Fork State Park.

“We need to thank a lot of people, and especially the Elks,” Knoblauch said. “They helped us with everything.”

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