Mary Beth Sallee
Hart Co. News-Herald
Carpe diem. Seize the day.
Those were the words that Laura Jolly’s mom, Marsha, said her daughter always spoke each morning as she left for school.
“That was her passion for life,” Marsha said of her daughter. “I will forever hear those two words for the rest of my life, and in her honor and memory, I try to do just that.”
Laura, who was a junior at Hart County High School, passed away in a single car accident on March 20, 1997. She was 17-years-old.
A month later in April of 1997, Laura’s parents, Marsha and James, founded the Laura Nicole Jolly Memorial Scholarship in her memory.
The scholarship fund was originally established by employees at Caverna Memorial Hospital where Laura worked in registration.
The first Laura Nicole Jolly Memorial Scholarship was award in 1998, the year Laura would have graduated from HCHS. At first it was only awarded to students at HCHS, but has since grown to other schools that impacted Laura’s life. This has included Caverna where Marsha graduated from and where Laura attended elementary school for five years; Metcalfe County where James attended all 12 years; and of course HCHS where not only Laura but her brother, Daniel Jolly, attended and graduated. The scholarship is now also awarded to students at Barren County where Daniel’s wife, Jessica, graduated from and where Laura’s niece and nephew, Kelsey and Nicholas, now attend.
Thanks to family, friends, and private donations, the scholarship has been maintained through the years. Ranging from $250 up to $1,000 in monetary value, to date there has been 36 Laura Nicole Jolly Memorial Scholarships awarded to students from across the area.
Requirements for the scholarship include that the student is committed to starting and finishing college.
“We actually look at the student’s outlook on their career,” Marsha explained. “Having good grades is a plus.”
For Marsha and her family, it is not only their goal to help others in Laura’s memory but also to cherish the words that she so often spoke: Carpe diem. Sieze the day.
“I know that for those who knew Laura, her memory will never fade, but it gives us a purpose to help others in her memory. I know that would please her,” Marsha said. “She loved God, her family, friends, and animals. To her, school was a social adventure she loved.”
For anyone interested in donating to the Laura Nicole Jolly Memorial Scholarship, you can do so by mailing donations to Marsha Church Jolly at 3235 Charles Moran Hwy., Horse Cave, KY 42749. Donations can also be sent to German American Bank, but please call Marsha at 270-537-5021 for the correct information and/or for any questions.