By ANGIE CARNATHAN
Family, friends and supporters are gathering Saturday at Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern for the seventh annual Del Rendon Foundation Music Festival to celebrate the life and memory of a man who impacted countless people through his art, music and friendship.
Del Rendon, former art teacher at Starkville High School and well-known local musician, died in 2005. Rendon’s brothers –– Andrew, Eddie and Martin –– along with his wife, Christy Healy Rendon, and the rest of their combined families decided to channel their grief into a positive opportunity for artists and a legacy for Rendon’s memory at Mississippi State University.
Martin Rendon said the goal of the foundation remains the same –– to spread awareness of Rendon’s life, art and music.
“The Del Rendon Foundation started as a way for Del’s family and friends to grieve his untimely death,” Martin Rendon said. “(It) has gone from a way for us to heal to a charitable foundation which has already benefited two college art students and continues to help raise money toward the benefit of the arts.”
Martin Rendon said the focus for the foundation is for it to one day be able to make it possible for an art student to go to college under a full scholarship.
“In seven years we have directed donors to give close to $50,000 to the MSU Foundation,” Martin Rendon said, “which in turn endows the Del Rendon Art Scholarship at the Mississippi State University College of Architecture, Art and Design.”
Martin Rendon said the foundation would like to start reaching younger children interested in the arts through out the local community who may one day benefit from the Del Rendon Foundation’s efforts.
“I spoke with a high school student at the Starkville High School Art Department who was interested in the scholarship,” Martin Rendon said. “She told me that she had some physical ailments that caused her to fall behind in putting her portfolio together, so she wasn’t able to present it for a scholarship. These are the types of students we would like to eventually be able to help out with the scholarship.”
The first recipient of the Del Rendon Scholarship was A.J. Meadows. The current recipient is Paige Elizabeth McDonnell.
Nate Pugh of Starkville built an amp last year for the fundraiser and donated it to be raffled off. Pugh was a good friend of Del Rendon’s and continues to be close to the family today.
“Saturday night is a celebration of friendship and Del Rendon’s artistic and musical abilities,” Pugh said. “There will be T-shirts, prints and CDs for sale. Everyone should come out to Dave’s and support this great cause and remember this great man.”
Martin Rendon said the scholarship recipient receives $1,500 per semester for the length of his or her undergraduate education at MSU. A new recipient will be chosen after McDonnell graduates.
Martin Rendon said his brother’s love for life and compassion for others touched many lives in a positive manner.
“Our current mission is to continue to raise funds for the Del Rendon Art Scholarship at the MSU College of Architecture, Art and Design,” Martin Rendon said.
Christy Healy Rendon said she is proud of everything her entire family –– both the Healys and the Rendons –– has done to honor the life of her late husband.
“Saturday night is going to be great; we’re going to have lots of friends and family in town to celebrate Del’s life and honor his memory,” Christy Healy Rendon said. “We hope everyone will come out and have fun, hear some great live music and support the Del Rendon Scholarship.”
This year’s musical lineup includes Kaley, John Cole, Hard Luck Chuck, Bill Cooke, Old Memphis Kings, Cicadas, Young Agent Jones and Sgt. Pepper. Dave Hood, Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern owner and close friend of the Rendon family, said he is looking forward to Saturday.
“Del’s music festival is always such a special night and it serves a positive purpose by funding an art scholarship at MSU,” Hood said.
Martin Rendon said his family would like to thank all of the contributors who have generously donated to the Del Rendon Art Scholarship through the years.
“(The) interest in Del has helped to keep his memory and his compassion alive in the hearts and minds of his friends, family and benefactors of the scholarship,” Martin Rendon said.
If interested in making a gift to the Del Rendon Art Scholarship visit http://www.msufoundation.com . Please specify the gift to go toward the Del Rendon Art Scholarship at the College of Architecture, Art and Design. Interested parties may also contact Nathan Moore at 662-325-2542 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org .