The family of a well-known and loved Philipsburg-Osceola athlete has taken steps to ensure her legacy by setting up a scholarship in her name.
On Dec. 26, Taylor “T-Harp” Harpster died after a car accident on U.S. Route 322 in Philipsburg. She was only 27-years-old.
Taylor described by her father, John Harpster, as “happy go-lucky” was successful in three different sports while in high school.
She made all-star status in softball as a catcher for three straight years and was on the 2007 PIAA championship team, led the volleyball team to a District 6 title and scored over 1,300 point in basketball.
Playing sports taught her how to deal with people and when to accept a loss and move on, he said.
As for the scholarship, she would want to continue to help others, he said.
“The requirements are minimal,” John said. “You don’t have to be the smartest or most athletic.”
The first of the scholarships will be given out this semester. The hope is that they will be able to give out two $1,000 scholarships every year for the unforeseeable future.
The Taylor Harpster “T-Harp” Memorial Scholarship was established through the Clearfield County Charitable Foundation which made it easy, John said.
“They were already set up for it and we didn’t have to go through all the red tape.”
According to the requirements listed for the award on the Web site clearfieldcharitablefoundation.org, “this scholarship is intended for those individuals whose choices and passions reflect those of T-Harp. She was a team leader and cheerleader. She was always positive in life and beyond.”
John noted that the scholarship is not limited to colleges but can be used for a trade or nursing school as well.
“This scholarship is something we feel she would want,” John said.
This notion is seconded by her former softball coach Jim Gonder, who hopes those who are awarded the scholarship will want to learn more about Taylor.
“She was a great friend, great student and great teammate. She was special,” he said.
In addition to her sports success, she was a “stellar student” who graduated third in her class in 2010. She went on to graduate summa cum laude from Lock Haven University in 2014 with an accounting degree.
Some of the things she learned (and taught others) by playing sports, helped her in life and to become a “responsible young lady.”
Jim recalled a time that his daughter had problems with another student. Taylor “stepped in and took care of it,” he said.
“If you were her friend, you were always her friend and she stuck up for you. We won’t soon forget her.”
Another step to keep her memory alive was taken when John and his wife, Bobbi, added a special bench honoring their daughter at the Lady Mountie Softball Complex in Philipsburg on March 29.
“It will stir fond memories and I know people will sit on it and talk about her,” Jim said.
Both the scholarship and the bench should keep people thinking about T-Harp for years to come, ensuring that the memory of this special woman will live on.
Donations for the scholarship can be made via PayPal at the Web site clearfieldcharitablefoundation.org by going to “our funds” and choosing the scholarship fund list. Checks can also be sent to the CCCF, P.O. Box 1442, Clearfield, PA 16830.
The CCCF is a local charitable endowment that funds charities within Clearfield County allowing them to grow and benefit the local community forever.
The CCCF has 46 different funds including many local charitable groups and 14 scholarship funds. As of April, the CCCF’s assets are over $6 million.
Anyone interested in starting a fund can call 814-592-7331.