Christyaun Ware


The Abbott Memorial Fund was established by the family of Juan & Helen Abbott in honor of the community volunteer work they contributed to the City of Topeka. Helen Abbott was a member of the East Topeka Council on Aging, Volunteer of the Month, Organizer of the Lime Street Charity Club and one of the organizers of Topeka's Annual Thanksgiving Day dinner at the former fairgrounds currently on the grounds of the Capital Plaza Hotel.

Juan "Poppy" Abbott was born in Topeka, an army veteran, a guidance counselor, a youth counselor and the director of several community centers in Kansas City Kansas area. Juan became a member of the Topeka Police Athletic League, and NAACP member but was known as an advocate for youth services throughout the community in addition to chairing the local Black Cultural Society.


The family of Juan "Poppy" and Helen Abbott have established a $500 Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Topeka area Middle School, and High School age students. In order to qualify for this memorial fund, you must live in Shawnee County, and currently enrolled in a public or parochial school.

The 2023 scholarship theme is: "What Does the Juneteenth Celebration Mean to Me", and as a young person living in the Topeka Community, "What Have You Done to Make a Positive Change in Our Community".

Enclosed, is the application form, and the Cover Page, which you must include with your returned essay.

1.  Your completed application essay must be no less than 500 words.
2.  Essay must be typed written or printed legibly.

3.  Your application packet must be received by Saturday JUNE 1, 2024.

4.  Please mail to:

                     The Juan "Poppy" and Helen Abbott Memorial Fund

                     C/O Norma Avery
                     1904 SE Adams Ave.
                     Topeka, Kansas 66607

Please note that an incomplete or late application will render you ineligible for consideration for  the Memorial Fund. A final determination will be made by June 13, 2024.  

The Abbott Family will present one (1) memorial fund winner during the 2024 Topeka Family &  Friends Juneteenth Essay Banquet which will be held on Saturday, June 13, 2024 at St. John AME Church, 701 SW Topeka Blvd..  

For scholarship questions or application requirements please call Norma Avery at 785-231-3097. Sincerely,

Norma Avery
Topeka Family & Friends Juneteenth Celebration, Inc.

Liana Murphy


2024 Topeka Juneteenth Essay Contest


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