Chautauqua Region Community Foundation Announces Wilcox Scholarship Fund


Article Contributed by
Chautauqua Region Community Foundation

What do you do when, within twenty-four hours, you unimaginably lose a son, a brother, a best friend? This horrible reality was faced by Barry, Gayle, and Benton Wilcox in October 2003 when they lost Bearach, age 13.

Not feeling well and tired after a busy weekend, Bearach began running a high fever. Rushed to the hospital, he was taken by STARFLIGHT to Buffalo where his condition worsened. Despite everyone’s best efforts, unthinkably, he passed away.

Bear, as he was known, was full of life – everyday was an adventure for him. He especially loved the outdoors, hunting with his father and brother and imagined himself one day becoming a game warden in Alaska.

Junior drag racing was his other passion. Beginning at age five, Bear raced quads, go-carts, and dirt bikes. He received his IHRA Junior Dragster license and was the NYIRP Junior Track Champion in 2001 and 2002.

In his short life, Bear touched many people, transferring his infectious smile and joyous energy to them. To honor him, his parents and brother established the Bearach Wilcox Scholarship Fund, now being administered at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

Open to graduating Cassadaga Valley High School senior(s) who support the preservation of hunting traditions and who actively participate in the sport, preference is given to those pursuing a career in environmental conservation, wildlife management, golf course management, or any field related to these disciplines.

Bear’s scholarship is a way to pay tribute to his legacy and help fulfill his dreams. For more information on the application process or to contribute to the fund, visit