The enduring legacy of Kenny Elgert – dubbed the Severna Park High School Falcons’ No. 1 fan – continues on as the Falcon Athletic Boosters Club honors him with a $1,000 annual scholarship in his name.
“Kenny has done a lot for every sport,” said Kris Dean, head coach for the Severna Park girls varsity basketball team and co-creator of the new scholarship. “He’s been at all of our basketball and softball games for many years and we definitely want to keep his name around.”
Dean said Deidre Murphy, the team representative, initially devised the idea of a scholarship shortly after Elgert’s death in March 2018 and pitched it to parents who overwhelmingly supported it. Murphy enlisted Dean’s help to gather support from the boosters club and to help write the scholarship’s guidelines and requirements. The boosters club unanimously approved the proposal at its first meeting of the school year this past September.
To be considered for the scholarship, applicants must be a graduating senior at Severna Park High; have two years of participation as an athlete or volunteer with the school’s Unified Sports, Special Olympics or other sports organization; and must be a current Falcon Athletic Booster member. An essay or video submission will also be required. As is the case with the other four athletic booster scholarships, applications for this scholarship will be solicited in the spring and due in April. Winners will be announced at the senior awards ceremony in May.
Elgert was 35 years old when he passed away unexpectedly but peacefully in his sleep while on a cruise with his family. Born in Baltimore, he moved to Severna Park at age 4 and attended Oak Hill Elementary, Severna Park Middle and Severna Park High schools. Elgert was part of Bello Machre, worked at the Providence Center, and was a proud employee of the Severna Park Giant Food store for nearly 20 years.
Elgert was a team manager for Severna Park’s football, boys basketball, and lacrosse teams during his time at Severna Park, and he competed in the Special Olympics in softball, bowling, bocce and soccer. He graduated from Severna Park High in 2005.
Earlier this spring, the boosters inducted Elgert into the school’s Hall of Fame. Elgert passed away just days after learning he would be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
This past June, Bello Machre’s annual fundraiser event, Every Step Counts, honored Elgert’s memory. The event is organized for people to walk, run, bike, rollerblade and even ride motorized wheelchairs, and it raised more than $206,000.
In 2012, Elgert successfully underwent brain surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center, where doctors removed a tumor.
Over the years, Elgert enjoyed the Earleigh Heights carnival, Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival, going on cruises, and keeping up with his police and firefighter friends. He also loved going to Severna Park and other athletic events, listening to music and dancing. Even after graduation, Elgert continued to attend Severna Park High School games, walking from his parents’ home to the school, making sure he was always the first person to arrive. He was well-known to the school’s coaches, administrators and teachers, both at Severna Park and other area schools. He never missed a Falcons game, home or away.
“We wanted to do as much as we could,” stressed Dean, adding that the school is hoping to get a plaque installed at his seat at basketball games and patches made in his name for the team’s warmup suits. “The whole season will be dedicated to Kenny and his family.”