Scholarships from the Mike Brown Jr. Memorial Golf Outing were awarded to Crown Point
High School graduates Brian Murphy, Nicole Smoljan, Matthew Maloney, Lauren Angel,
Allison Isailovich, Wendy Kurcz and (not pictured) Megan Reid. Pictured with the
scholarship recipients are Ryan, Kendall, Kim and Mike Brown Sr.

An emotional round

Friends, family memorialize fallen Crown Point High grad through scholarship golf outing

By JOHN BURBRIDGE, Times Community Sports Editor

CROWN POINT -- Mike Brown Sr. recently played an emotional round of golf.

His foursome consisted of his 16-year-old son Ryan, and several family friends. But Brown couldn't help but be reminded of the absence of a familiar playing partner.

"He was starting to get the hang of golf," Brown said. "He was already a heck of a hitter."

Brown was referring to his older son, Mike Jr., who died at the age of 18 in an automobile accident last September. On July 13 at Pheasant Valley Country Club, the Crown Point High School graduate's family and friends held the Mike Brown Jr. Memorial Golf Outing in his honor.

Proceeds from the event went to form scholarships for seven CPHS graduates.

"It's something Mike would have wanted us to do," Brown said. "He was always active in the community and he was involved in so many things, even at his age."

Mike Jr. was a criminal justice major at Indiana University Northwest at the time of his death. He was aspiring to become an FBI agent, and he was even preparing himself outside the classroom to attain his goal.

He was a member of the Crown Point Civil Defense and, showing his willingness to maintain order amid sometimes hostile situations, he was the youngest baseball umpire in District 1 and an IHSAA basketball official.

The recipients of the scholarships were Brian Murphy, Megan Reid, Nicole Smoljan, Matthew Maloney, Lauren Angel, Allison Isailovich and Wendy Kurcz. They formally received their scholarships July 22 at Pheasant Valley.

"We had a committee review the applicants and vote among themselves who should get them," Mike Jr.'s mother Kim said of the $1,000 and $500 awards. "We (she and her husband) didn't want to get involved in the selection process."

Mike and Kim Brown decided to hold the outing in their son's honor in January, and credited support from others for being able to pull it off.

"Our son knew so many people, so a lot of people were willing to get involved," Kim said. "It was tough in the weeks prior to the outing because it was coming up so fast. But everything turned out great, and we're hoping to make this an annual event."

Although the pain from the tragedy remains -- as evidence by Kim fighting back tears before awarding the scholarships -- Kim says that the venture has helped the family cope.

"This has been very therapeutic for us," she said.

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