Chase Regester Memorial Scholarships awarded to two PSHS students

Courtney Guilliams and Raesha Ray have each been awarded the Chase Regester Memorial Scholarship and will each receive $1,100 for the 2009-10 academic year.

This scholarship is designed to honor the memory of Charles L. Regester III — “Chase” — (May 29, 1986-August 2, 2006), who was raised on a ranch and spent his childhood and youth involved in 4-H, rodeos and ranch life. He graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in May 2005, and was pursuing ranching as a career. Chase loved animals, the great outdoors, his friends and family and had a great sense of humor and a “whipping and spurring” approach to life. This scholarship was endowed by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lindner to honor Chase and his family for living and preserving the history and traditions of the American West. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Russell, Jr. also contributed to the endowment.

Courtney Guilliams spent her childhood in the outdoors with family and helping with the family’s outfitting business. Moving to Pagosa Springs in 2004, she joined 4-H and has excelled in the ranch horse, leather craft and outdoor cooking projects, competing and winning at the county and state fairs. “4-H has taught me so much; from leading others, to taking pride in your work, I have gained a lot as a person from 4-H,” stated Guilliams. Working on the family ranch and tending to animals has given her an appreciation for the agriculture community, a real sense of independence and a strong work ethic. “This ethic follows me to school, to work, and to anything I participate in, such as 4-H,” wrote Guilliams. It’s no wonder that she plans to pursue a college education to help her fulfill her dream of becoming a large animal veterinarian. Maintaining a 3.96 GPA, Guilliams has been active in band, varsity basketball and National Honor Society and has exhibited her leadership abilities in both 4-H and her school activities.

Raesha Ray is a second-generation, ranch-raised native of Pagosa Springs and got involved in 4-H when she was 8 years old. Annually, she has been involved in the 4-H livestock program, raising goat, lamb, pig and steer and winning many honors with the livestock and several top honors for her showmanship skills, both at the county and state levels. “4-H has helped me develop confidence and strong sense of self, through demonstrations and interviews,” stated Ray. Rodeo is a sport that Ray is passionate about and she has competed since she was 3 years old, winning her first buckle when she was 5. As a four-year member of the High School Rodeo Association, she has competed in barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, goat tying and team roping. “Learning to cope with stress and dealing with competitive pressure are proving to be priceless life lessons,” wrote Ray. She will be attending Black Hills State University in South Dakota and has just signed with the university’s Yellowjacket Rodeo Team. While being a student, traveling the rodeo circuit, working and volunteering, Ray maintains a 3.75 GPA and has been a member of the National Honor Society since junior high school.

The Western Heritage Event Center Board of Directors is pleased to support such fine young women who serve as role models for all teenagers and 4-H members. This scholarship is designed to support a student pursuing post-secondary education of any variety, which can include university, college, community college, technical, business, vocational, agricultural or ranch training program. The basic requirement for any scholarship applicant is that they have participated in rodeo, 4-H, FFA or have agriculture or ranching background and upbringing during their high school years.

Photo courtesy Lisa Scott
Courtney Guilliams and Raesha Ray are the recipients of the 2009 Chase Regester Memorial Scholarship.