By AMANDA & AMARA KIMBLE
ERATH COUNTY (June 5, 2016) — The Lingleville community celebrated graduation last weekend and the life of one of the Class of 2016’s classmates Sunday with a concert. According to concert organizers, the more than $12,ooo raised will go to help the Bart VanKranenberg Foundation with its many projects.
Bart VanKranenberg had an infectious attitude. He loved life. He had many friends.
“He was such a happy-go-lucky person,” Madison Mobley, a classmate, said. “He was always smiling, and he was always singing in class. Music was one of his favorite things.”
Less than two years after his death, Bart’s love of music is taking flight. The Fly High Fest, a family-friendly Texas Music festival and silent auction, was held Sunday, June 5, at Melody Mountain Ranch. VanKranenberg’s life was cut short December 21, 2014.
His memory lives in the tight-knit community of Lingleville and across Erath County. Anita Welch sees love for her son everywhere she goes.
“He loved music, that’s very true and the perfect way to honor his life,” a tearful Anita said, adding she never expected the event to be held at Melody Mountain Ranch or to include artists from outside of the community.
About the Bart VanKranenberg Foundation
Lingleville is a community built on farming, dairies and a rural way of life. It’s only fitting that a livestock show could give birth to a legacy.
Bart put a lot of work into caring for his heifer. He was excited about showing it at the Erath County Junior Livestock Show. He never got the chance to walk into the arena with that final animal at his side, but in Janary 2015, his friend and classmate, Marley Wood, showed the heifer in memory of Bart.
“His brothers asked what we would do with the money if the heifer made it to auction,” Anita recalled. “It was going to be Bart’s money, so I decided we would use it to do good for other people since they had been so good to us. I never knew until he was gone how many lives he touched, but the support we received was – and still is – overwhelming.”
The family expected the heifer to raise about $3,000. Anita decided the money would be used for small gestures, acts of kindness like sending flowers to families who lost a loved one.
But a loving community once again exceeded her expectations. The heifer sold for $30,000, and Anita decided a foundation should be formed.
The Bart VanKranenberg Foundation awarded its first scholarship to the Class of 2015. This year, one of Bart’s classmates will be the recipient.