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April 2001

Release Date: April 26, 2001

'Gift from the Heart' to Benefit Women's Athletics at ASU

The love of a mother and her daughter for women's basketball and volleyball at Angelo State University will benefit future Rambelles through a $200,000 scholarship bequest by the late Melba Edenbaum of San Angelo.

Mrs. Edenbaum along with her daughter, Sherri had been a fixture at Rambelle games for more than a quarter of a century before her death Sept. 26. Those athletic events provided many special shared moments for her and for Sherri.

In gratitude for the many hours of pleasure she and her daughter derived from attending Rambelle events, Mrs. Edenbaum in her will established the Melba and Sherri Edenbaum Women's Athletic Scholarship Endowment. The endowment will provide scholarships for ASU women athletes in perpetuity.

"This was truly a gift from the heart," said Women's Athletic Director and Volleyball Coach Kathleen Brasfield, who observed the Edenbaums in the stands at basketball games when she first arrived at ASU in 1978.

"I remember how much they seemed to enjoy the games, and I kept seeing them at basketball games," said Brasfield. "Finally, I introduced myself and eventually they started attending volleyball matches, too. They were always here, always smiling, always cheering, regardless of how good our teams were.

"Through the years, we became good friends, and I always felt better when I'd see them in the stands at games," she said. "With this bequest, they will always be supporting our women athletes, even when they are not in the stands."

Local Certified Public Accountant Vernon L. Pruett, who is trustee for the trust fund established by Mrs. Edenbaum to provide for her daughter's long-term care, said Sherri is a sports fanatic, who gets the greatest enjoyment out of Rambelle athletics.

Pruett and San Angelo Attorney Stanley F. Joynton worked with Mrs. Edenbaum to establish the scholarship endowment at ASU.

Mrs. Edenbaum was well known in San Angelo for her 50-year association with Nathan's Jewelers. She began work with Nathan's as a distributive education student her junior year in high school and continued to work for the store until her 1998 retirement when she was vice president and credit manager.

Nathan Donsky, who owned the jewelry store, was a major supporter of ASU athletics as well as local junior high and high school sports programs. Because of the company support for athletics, Mrs. Edenbaum got involved with sports programs as well and shared her love for women's athletics with her daughter.

Since Mrs. Edenbaum's death, Brasfield has arranged transportation for Sherri to attend Rambelle basketball and volleyball games. This past basketball season was especially exciting when the women's team shared the Lone Star Conference's South Division Title.

"Sherri continues to be our most loyal fan and attends our events," Brasfield said. "This past basketball season brought her joy in the success of our team. She can tell you scores and plays that happened 10 years ago. She truly loves the games."

Pruett said by the time Mrs. Edenbaum's estate is fully settled, the endowment will likely rise to $250,000.

For Brasfield, the gift was truly a surprise and only deepens her affection for Melba and Sherri.

"I enjoyed Melba and Sherri's pleasure in the events," Brasfield said. "They made them more fun for me too. I miss Melba very much. I can't believe her foresight and her generosity, but I am eternally grateful for her and for Sherri. They have truly made a difference for our young women athletes, not only now but for many years to come."