Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
A recent benefit to boost the war chest toward more reward money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those possibly responsible for the death of a local teen raised $8,000.
According to Tracy Stine, mother of Kolby Bowers, the 18-year-old who died July 27 while at a party north of Fargo, more than 150 people showed up at a benefit held at The Stables in Freedom to find answers to his mysterious death.
The addition of that money with $30,000 raised earlier by many concerned individuals, brings the reward total to $38,000.
Bowers was found unresponsive by friends at the party July 27 and was driven to Woodward Regional Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
According to Woodward County 911 call logs that night, Bowers’ case was entered as an assault.
The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner has not issued a final report of the cause of death, said Oklahoma Medical Examiners Public Information Officer Amy Elliot.
Questions swirling around Bowers death, including a possible assault, are still under an active investigation, according to Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation Public Information Officer Jessica Brown.
The benefit event for Bowers, a Cornhole Tournament, boasted 30 teams and included an auction for the Cornhole boards, built and painted by Ryan Layman of Woodward, said tournament organizer Nancy Curry of Mooreland.
Cornhole is a game like bean bag toss, Curry said.
“I brought the game with me from Kentucky and they really kinda wanted me to change the name but it’s still Cornhole,”she said
Curry agreed to help organize the tournament because she believes answers should be found regarding the cause of Bowers’ death.
“Well Tracy is a really good friend and her and John are friends with my husband,” Curry said. “It is a really good cause and it just makes sense. We need to find answers to give her closure.”
As Stine continues to work toward finding answers in her son’s death, she said she is bolstered by the number of people who have offered their support.
There were also many who came to watch the tournament as well as participate in the fish fry, Stine said.
The fish fry was organized by The Stables owner Rose Truesdale, Stine said.
“I cried like a baby because they made some commemorative Cornhole boards to auction off. Well they sold like three times and the guy that bought them the last time said give them to Tracy,” Stine said. “It’s just was unbelievable. They ended up bringing $4,450 altogether. People are all wanting to help get justice for Kolby. It is just very tributary to Northwest Oklahoma folks.”
Stine has also decided to offer a $1,000 scholarship in her son’s name.
“We are going to be offering a $1,000 scholarship in Kolby’s name through the Mooreland Schools to a graduating senior on an anti-bullying platform who plans to further their education either through a university or a technical school,” Stine said. “Most scholarships are only awarded to people going to college, but Kolby was big into diesel mechanics and so I wanted to include a technical school as well. Those kids need financial assistance too.”