Foundation names first scholarship in honor of golf coach during birthday bash

Park in Woodlands Hills will also be named after Coach Peacock

photo or infographic by Emily Meachen
115 YEARS STRONG. The Education Foundation celebrates over a century of being a Wildkat at the Birthday Bash, Saturday, September 18.

The 115th Birthday Bash was about more than a century of educating Wildkats.

It was about family. It was about community. It was about making a difference.

The event was held at The Woodlands Hills activity center, Saturday Sept. 25. The evening was filled with food, fun and fundraising for the Willis Education Foundation.

We held the event to celebrate the monumental birthday of our district,” community involvement liaison Michelle Bishof said. “That is a LOT of years of educational excellence.

The foundation made two big announcements at the end of the evening. The first, the creation of the Les Peacock Memorial Scholarship in memory of golf coach Les Peacock who recently lost his battle with cancer.

The fund was created by selling a cake during the fundraising part of the evening. The cake was donated by John and Gwyn Sebastian and featured golf clubs as decoration and a small peacock figurine in honor of the coach who meant so much to so many people. 

“My daughter played golf for two years,” Gwen Sebastian said

It will be the first year for the foundation to provide student scholarships. Naming the first one after Peacock seemed to be a logical and emotional choice. 

“This year will be our first year to provide student scholarships,” Bioshof said. “The first one is in memory of Coach Les Peacock. He made such an impact on Willis Kids it just seemed natural to honor him in this way. The Sebastian family had the cake made and donated it to raise money specifically for that scholarship.

The foundation also had another big announcement. The Woodlands Development Corporation honored Willis Education Foundation gifted naming rights to a part in the Woodlands Hills subdivision. The foundation chose to honor the contribution of Peacock to the community by naming the park after him.  Members of Peacock’s family were present to receive the honor. 

“It was awesome to have his family there to present the scholarship and the park naming, Bishof said. 

Community members, foundation members and Wildkat alumni attended the event. Some of the people present have been Wildkats for multiple generations. Foundation member Gentry Scott’s roots go very deep in Willis.

“My family started attending Willis schools right after they started,” Scott said. “My grandfather was on the school board for years. I just wish more people would have come to the party so we could have raised more money.”

Around $20,000 was raised for the foundation with a corn hole tournament, split the pot raffle and the cake sale. The foundation uses the funds to fund grants for teachers in the district. They will also host a gold tournament in October to add to the coffers. 

“It was a great evening to celebrate being a Wildkat,” Bishof said.