Decades-long legacy of supporting Center High grads continues

The third annual Catherine Davis Pinkston Roughrider Scholarship Dinner is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11
“The goal of the Roughrider Scholarship Foundation is to enable every graduate of Center High School, who chooses to do so, to continue his or her education in college or trade school of their choice,” — fundraiser organizers said.

A fundraising tradition that has roots dating back more than half a century will continue on Monday with a fundraising dinner benefiting Center High School students wanting to further their education after graduation.

The third annual Catherine Davis Pinkston Roughrider Scholarship Dinner is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, providing “an evening of culinary cuisine, wine and friends” at 130 Nacogdoches St. Tickets are $250 per person with seating limited to 80 people.

Reservations may be made by contacting Don Walker via email at donwalker@hotmail.com or by calling (936) 591-2352.

While this is only the third scholarship dinner held in Mrs. Pinkston's name, organizers said the effort leading to this fund to provide scholarship monies dates back to the mid-1960s. The Pinkston Roughrider Scholarship Foundation has roots in a real estate transaction in 1965 when the Shelby County Fair Association donated 3.4 acres where the present day Center City Hall is located.

After receiving the land, Alvis Howard and Frank E. Parker raised $36,000 from local businesses and interested citizens to build the Center Youth Center.

“In 1988, the Roughrider Scholarship Foundation was started with funds from the sale of the Center Youth Center Foundation building and land to the City of Center for the sum of $57,000,” a history of the organization said. “The trustees of the Youth Center had the foresight to establish a Roughrider Scholarship Fund that would be invested whereby only the income would be used for future scholarship for graduating seniors of the Center Independent School District.”

Making up the trustees are the mayor, president of the CISD board of and president of the chamber of commerce. The foundation was established and a savings account with $36,000 was donated to the foundation by the Riders Roost Group that Catherine Pinkston started and worked with over the years beginning in 1956.

Organizers of Monday's dinner said the foundation today serves as an umbrella group allowing individuals, families, civic clubs and other organizations to contribute $5,000 or more in money or property and have a scholarship or scholarships given in someone's memory or honor.

In 1991 the then 23-year-old F.L. Moffett Scholarship Fund assets were transferred to this umbrella organization, which is an IRS approved tax exempt organization.

“The goal of the Roughrider Scholarship Foundation is to enable every graduate of Center High School, who chooses to do so, to continue his or her education in college or trade school of their choice,” organizers said.

The doors for Monday's event open at 6:30 p.m., with a gourmet dinner with wine pairings starting at 7 p.m.