YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — The first recipients of a scholarship created in honor of a Tabb High student killed in a car crash last fall were announced Monday morning.
The scholarship honors 16-year-old Joseph Conner Williams Guido, aka “Gweedo,” one of three teens killed in the crash on October 26, 2019.
The “Gweedo Memorial Foundation” was created soon after, with funds raised by the foundation going toward educating teenage drivers and organizing soccer events. The foundation will also give out scholarships to graduating seniors each year. About $20,000 was raised for the scholarships as of May 19.
Friends, family and supporters gathered on the soccer field at Tabb for Monday’s ceremony.
“He is so … missed I can’t even tell you,” said Conner’s mom, Tammy Guido. “Conner touched so many people in his short 16 years of life and we hope that we will continue that each year through the work of the Gweedo Memorial Foundation.”
The top scholarship went to Conner’s teammate at Tabb, Owen Shifflett.
“Owen Shifflett’s essay just dropped me to my knees,” said Tammy. “I literally cried for hours just reading it. It was so symbolic of everything that I had been through with Conner.”
Losing Conner was incredibly painful for Owen and the entire soccer team.
“He was the goalie, so he was kinda like a quarterback,” explained Owen. “He controlled everybody and he controlled the mood. Without him, we didn’t really have a team. He just a really good person to be around. He would make you laugh a lot and he would always be smiling and really enjoyable to be around.”
Through community support they raised enough money to give out a scholarship to the runner up, Eddie Fioca, and seven smaller honorable scholarships.
State delegate Martha Mugler attended as well. She’s working with Tammy to pass legislation to make driving safer for teens.
Since losing her son, Tammy Guido has turned her grief into motivation to honor her son’s memory by making the world a better place.
“Conner was an amazing kid. He touched so many lives. There was just no way I could lie and take it,” said Tammy. “I knew I had to do something for other people. I needed to know that conner didn’t lose his life in vain. That his life is going to be remembered.”
The Gweedo Memorial Soccer Tournament was originally scheduled for March, but postponed because of the the coronavirus. It will now take place July 31 to Aug. 2. Money raised at the tournament will go toward funding next year’s scholarships.
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