First Scholarship Awarded

First Scholarship Awarded


Houston, TX, April 18, 2011 – The board of The Smith-Phares Memorial Scholarship Fund announced the award of its first $1000 scholarship at its first annual fund-raising event on Thursday, March 31, 2011. The scholarship recipient, Brian Groce, is a senior at the University of Houston, Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, a double major in marketing and entrepreneurship.

The Smith-Phares Memorial Scholarship Fund, a Texas non-profit corporation, exists for the purpose of furthering education by extending opportunities for growth and development in a lasting impactful way to honor the memories of Reardon Smith and George Phares, two influential men in the Houston professional community. At the event, Joan Smith revealed the origin of the fund. “’I first heard about plans for establishing a Scholarship Fund in Reardon’s name at his Memorial Service. For the Smith Family, it was a bright spot in a very sad day, and we were thrilled that Reardon was to be honored in this way. It’s such a great tribute to a very special man; an idealist who was highly intelligent, kind, considerate, a great listener, chef extraordinaire possessed with a wonderful sense of humor, and an insatiable curiosity about the world around him.”

Gloria Rooney, Board President of The Smith-Phares Memorial Scholarship Fund says, “We believe that there is a positive benefit created by generosity, and by mentoring / nurturing the potential of others. Our first annual fund-raising event brought us one important step closer to our vision of providing scholarship funding to selected candidates demonstrating a strong work ethic, a passion for life and learning, and a commitment to better themselves and their community.”Over 40 attendees enjoyed an evening of fond remembrances, spectacular silent auction items donated by an incredible list of sponsors, and a smorgasbord of culinary delights provided by the Hess Club,, one of the many generous event sponsors.

The fund-raising event generated over $5400 to enable future scholarship awards to other deserving students such as the first year scholarship recipient, Brian Groce. “The Smith-Phares scholarship is so much more to me than money. This money is a major help, but the chance to experience the legacy of two great men and all of the support that the group gives is priceless. I’m honored to be chosen for this generous scholarship,” says Brian.

Debbie Phares was honored to be part of the event that evening and said, “The scholarship award presentation gave our family great pride. It is an honor to know that this board is working hard to pay forward the life purpose of George who was so generous and encouraged so many others in their own lives and careers.”

To learn more about the Smith-Phares Memorial Scholarship Fund or to make an online donation, please visit our website,

For more information, please contact Joan Smith, Treasurer, by email.

Event and Auction Sponsors

Many thanks to our generous sponsors:

The Alternative Board

Harless Benthul

Cornelius Nursery

Franzoni Law, PLLC

Joy Godding

Golf Club at Cinco Ranch/Michelle Connor

The HESS Club

Jill Hickman Companies

Ann Houston Associates

Nikky Lawell Photography

Lakeside Plumbing/ Jarrell Family

Johnson Fediw Associates

mABC Investment Advisors, LLC

Smith-Phares Board

The Phares family

S&R Resources, Inc

The Smith family

Paul Smith

Rusty Smith


The Houston Texans

Webb Gallery

David Wolf

Event Photographs