Using The Dash Mantra to Give Back to Others
To Live Your Dash means to make the most out of your life, to live with purpose, and to take advantage of today. After two young men passed away in such a short time span, the Parrish and Boehling families want to make sure that their community always remembers that each day is special; that we never know what tomorrow could bring.
George and Alex’s Story:
George Parrish and Alex Boehling grew up in Edenton, North Carolina. They were one grade apart in school and were very close friends. These two young men enjoyed living life, excelled in the classroom, and were team players both in sports and with their friends and families. They both had larger than life personalities. George passed away at the age of 20 in 2007, and Alex passed away at the age of 22 in 2011.
George Parrish (left) and Alex Boehling (right) as Tennis Partners at John A. Holmes High School
Losing a loved one is always one of the most difficult things anyone will ever have to experience, but losing someone so young makes it that much harder to handle. For a parent, losing a child is something most never have to experience. Although George and Alex’s deaths were unrelated, the families were close and wanted to honor these two boys together.
The George and Alex Memorial Foundation:
A group of young professionals in Edenton approached these families with an idea to start a foundation in honor of the two young men who passed away far too early. The foundation was officially started in 2012. The mission of the George & Alex Memorial Foundation is to honor the extraordinary lives and genuine character of George Hoskins Parrish (1/27/87 – 6/7/2007) and Alexander Thomas Boehling (6/20/1988 – 3/7/2011) through the Live Your Dash 8k road race and the George & Alex Memorial Scholarship.
Through the foundation, the group found a new purpose and passion and now hosts an annual “Live Your Dash” race in Edenton. This year was the 7th year the event has been held, and the Foundation is happy to see the amount of participants continue to increase year after year.
The Foundation members design custom t-shirts each year, as well as awards that participants can win. One week before the race, the Foundation board members get together and hand paint the awards. They like to add this special and unique touch to the event.
The George and Alex Memorial Fund:
Not only do they put on a race, but the funds that are raised go towards the George and Alex Memorial Fund. With this fund, they are able to provide a scholarship to a high school senior at John A. Holmes High School each year.
“The scholarship was created to honor the memory of George and Alex and to continue their passion to inspire and lead others to be the best they can be.” In 2014, the Foundation awarded the first scholarship to a student for $3,500. Since then, it has grown to a $5,000 scholarship. The Foundation looks for a local student who has similar traits to George and Alex such as leadership, integrity, scholastic achievement, and community service.
The meaning of “living your dash” has affected the Parrish and Boehling families in so many ways, and now they are able to share this meaning with the rest of their community. It can be easy to forget how short life really is—people often get caught up in their day-to-day lives and forget what truly matters: relationships, being present, family, and experiences. Always remember to seize the day, and never stop living your dash.
“Though far too short, they lived their lives on earth beautifully and enthusiastically; undoubtedly they now soar among the stars.”
– The George and Alex Memorial Foundation
In loving memory of Alex Boehling and George Parrish.