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GIVING TUESDAY: 'Be good' scholarship in memory of deputy to help Fremont County kids

Posted at 7:38 PM, Nov 28, 2023
  • Sgt. Ashton Luke talks about his colleague and friend, the late Dep. Melvin Richardson, who was killed in a crash in 2022. Richardson was a 37-year-old father who loved helping kids.
  • In Richardson's memory, a scholarship fund has been established through the Community Foundation of Western Iowa.
  • It's one of many causes that people can support during Giving Tuesday, through Share Iowa and and community foundation.
  • Learn more at


The death of Fremont County Deputy Melvin Richardson was heartbreaking for his community last year.

I’m southwest Iowa reporter Katrina Markel and, just in time for Giving Tuesday, his family and colleagues have announced a new scholarship fund in his memory.

Thirty-seven-year-old Deputy Richardson was killed in a crash on Highway 275 in June of 2022.

Sgt. Ashton Luke was a friend and colleague: “One thing that he always told us, no matter what we were doing, the last thing he would end a conversation with was ‘be good.’ So over the last year and a half since his death, that’s really been our rallying cry and our support system is the ‘be good...'"

On Monday night, Sgt. Luke and Richardson’s widow, Jennifer, presented a check for more than $10,500 for the Deputy Melvin Richardson ‘Be Good’ Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Donna Dostal is the president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Western Iowa.

“It was just very touching to see the hard work that they’ve put into raising the money to go into the scholarship and every year they plan on doing more…" said Dostal.

The scholarship is for Fremont County students planning on law enforcement careers.

“He was an amazing father, amazing mentor, so any time there was any type of school event he was always around. So we couldn’t think of a better way to honor his memory than to give back to the kids he always wanted to give back to,” said Luke.

It’s one of more than 250 causes folks can support through Share Iowa, an initiative of the community foundation.

“So, what we talk about through the community foundation is what philanthropy really means – it’s a love for humanity,” said Dostal.

“I think he would probably be a little embarrassed that we were all honoring him, but it was truly amazing to see. Not only the amount of money that we raised but the impact that money is going to have on future generations of kids from Fremont County and future law enforcement officers,” said Luke.

Those interested in donating to any Share Iowa cause can visit at any time.