Fund Name: Joshua Palke Scholarship
Fund Established: May 17, 2004
Community Foundation(s): Willmar Area
Fourteen-year-old Josh Palke was an “outdoors kid.” No matter the season, he loved nothing more than to be outside snowmobling, skiing, four-wheeling, running or playing golf.
Unfortunately, it was this love of outdoors that led to his death in a four-wheeling accident on June 6, 2002.
While his preference was to be outside, he also excelled in school and played piano and trumpet—he played both a trumpet and piano solo in his last jazz band concert the spring before his death.
Even as the pain from their grief seemed almost unbearable, Josh’s parents, Tom and Kathy, and older sister, Brittni, knew they wanted to do something that would benefit others and keep the memory of their beloved Joshua alive.
During the summer of 2004, with the help of many friends and family, they conducted the first golf tournament fundraiser. The event was very successful and with the money raised, the family was able to establish the Joshua Palke Scholarship Fund at the Willmar Area Community Foundation.
His family established this fund not only to keep his memory alive but also to support students who exemplify the kind of character Josh had. Scholarships are given to students pursuing a secondary education with special consideration given to those students attending MACCRAY High School in Clara City.