On the September night that eight-year-old Kamryn Lambert died of radiation complications, her grandmother, Debi Katzenberger, made two promises.
“The first was to her, that I would make sure her memory was honored and that I did something good in her name to remember her everyday,” Katzenberger said. “The second promise I made was to her father, because his fear was she would be forgotten since people would never get to know her.”
A month later, on what would have been Kamryn’s ninth birthday, Katzenberger decided to start a scholarship fund in Kamryn’s name. They gave out their first scholarship in 2008.
Since Katzenberger gave out the first scholarship, the foundation in Kamryn's name has given out more than $45,000. .
“Each year the scholarship goes to a student who plans to pursue a career in nursing because that’s what Kamryn wanted to do,” Katzenberger said. “Most critically ill children who spend a lot of time in hospitals want to be doctors or nurses.”
When the foundation first started giving out scholarships in 2008, they gave one scholarship to a student at , where Kamryn would have gone and where her family members went. Now they give out three scholarships a year.
“It started out just going to a Northeast student for the first two years,” said Kamryn’s mother, Danielle Lambert. “The third year it went to Northeast and Chesapeake. Last year and this year, it has been Northeast and two other schools in Maryland.”
The foundation also has what they call a cookie jar, which allows former scholarship winners to come back and get more money to further their education.
“What makes our scholarship a bit different is that past winners can come back the next year and dip into Kamryn’s cookie jar to get money so they can continue in school,” said Katzenberger. “Our scholarships are $3,000 each, which is a big investment in a student’s education and we don’t want them to not return to school due to lack of money.”
In order to raise the funds for the scholarships, the foundation holds several events. Their biggest events are a crab feast and a bull and oyster roast held each year in Glen Burnie. However, this year they are sponsoring a new event—a mini golf tournament on June 17, which is Father’s Day.
“I really want people to know it is on Father’s Day and a family event,” said Lambert.
The mini golf tournament will be held at Arundel Golf Park in Glen Burnie and will include breakfast and lunch. The cost is $60 per foursome with all proceeds going to the scholarship fund's cookie jar.
“A scholarship is always a good way to memorialize someone…It is all based on the promises I made the night she died,” said Katzenberger.
The mini golf tournament will feature a DJ, face painting and an exotic animal show. Participants can tee off at 8 a.m. or 10 a.m.
Anyone interested in getting tickets for the tournament should call Katzenberger at 443-852-0480 or email her at Dkatzenberger@kamrynlambert.com