WEST PORTSMOUTH – Cancer is something that transcends all walks of life. No matter your race, class, socioeconomic status, gender, age, or any other earthly categorization, we all know someone in our lives that has had to suffer through this terrible disease. For the Arnett family, they know all too well about the toll cancer can take.
“My wife passed away of melanoma in 2014, and it was a surprise,” said Andy Arnett, husband to Angela and father of West graduate Alec Arnett and current West junior Austin Arnett. “We found out in May that she had melanoma, and she passed away the following January.”
Following the passing of Angela Arnett in 2014, the Arnett family was determined to continue her memory, even after she was taken due to that terrible disease. That is why they, along with the help of West softball coach Dani Coleman and other friends and family members, established the Angela Arnett Memorial Scholarship, a scholarship Portsmouth West students are eligible for upon their graduation to help fund their secondary education.
“It was something that Dani and I talked about to try and raise money for scholarships. Bringing the girls in the area and helping make them aware of melanoma. It’s something that we weren’t aware of, until it hit too close to home. We wanted to be able to do something to help spread melanoma awareness, and facts that we could find online about the disease and help raise money for our girls.”
Coleman, being a close family friend to the Arnett’s, naturally felt compelled to help increase the scholarship fund. That, and Angela’s love of softball, are two of the main reasons for why Coleman began the super scrimmage three years ago that the Senators hosted on Saturday at Doc Singleton Park that brings together 23 teams from all across Southern Ohio.
“We’re very close with their family,” said Coleman at Saturday’s event. “We thought it just made sense that we were all connected, and help to pass along the love of softball, and helping give back through scholarships that the Angela Arnett Memorial Scholarship provides for Portsmouth West students.”
“It means everything,” said Arnett. “It means a lot that Dani has put this together, specifically for her love of softball. It means a great deal to me and my family. Chris Norman, my brother-in-law, who’s also Angie’s brother, comes up and helps us all. It means a great deal to all of us the work they put in.”
Being able to hold Saturday’s event in memory of Arnett’s passing and to help raise money for the scholarship, while also being able to bring together southern Ohio’s best softball talent means the world to Coleman and the Arnett family.
“This tournament has grown over the past three years,” said Coleman. “We have teams from the OVC, SOC I and II, the SHAC, the TVC, and also two teams from Columbus. It really means a lot to us, we put a lot of time and effort into this, and we just want to make sure we have good ball.”
Donations were accepted from anyone who wished to attend the super scrimmage on Saturday, as well profits reaped from sales at the concession stand that will be given to the Angela Arnett Memorial Scholarship fund.
As for Coleman’s group of Senators, she fully expects a competitive team for the upcoming 2019 season after the hunger and desire to play she’s seen her girls exhibit in their scrimmages prior to the season.
“We’re very excited for the upcoming season,” said Coleman. “I have a very young team that is just really eager to play, they have a love of the game and are really passionate. We’re looking forward to a really great season.”
Donations to the Angela R. Arnett Memorial Scholarship fund to help financially assist Portsmouth West graduates who plan on attending college can be made at https://www.aradiamondscholarship.com/.