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Proceeds from oil change center to boost scholarship

August 27, 2001

Part of the proceeds from the Sept. 1 grand opening of a new Valvoline Instant Oil Change Center will go to the Matt Hallett Scholarship Fund at Austin Peay.

Doug and Vickie Wall, longtime friends of the Hallett family and owners of the Madison Street center, wanted to commemorate the life of the Matt Hallett as they celebrated the opening of their second center on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard.

Last May, after a two-decade, lifelong battle, young Hallett succumbed to the muscle-wasting effects of muscular dystrophy.

Standing tall among the mourners who filled the funeral chapel were a dozen or so Austin Peay basketball players who were there to say goodbye to their team manager and most devoted fan.

For 10 years, Hallett had cheered on the Govs from his wheelchair at the baseline, rarely missing a game.

After his death, Coach Dave Loos and the players set aside a special chair, representative of the empty spot Matt left behind.

His parents established the Matt Hallett Scholarship Fund, an endowed fund “created to preserve Matt's memory, and commemorate his love of Austin Peay basketball and mankind,” says Sears Hallett, Matt's dad. “It's to help a student who, like Matt, loves basketball but may not be able to play.”

Doug Wall, said, “We looked at several different ways we could give something back to the community, which has been very good to us. This seemed like a good way to do that.”

The Halletts are thrilled and amazed by the Walls' generosity. “It's just unbelievable,” says Sears Hallett, “such an incredibly nice thing for them to do.”

Funds will be divided equally between the scholarship fund and Hospice, the organization that assisted in Matt's care in the last months of his life.

For more information on the scholarship fund, telephone 7127.