Colby's Stars Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit organization that was formed in 2010. Named after Colby Simkovic, a Waynesburg, Pennsylvania native, the foundation serves families in southwestern Pennsylvania and neighboring communities who have children suffering from various forms of cancer.
After he was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, Colby and his mom, Carrie, spent several months at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Several fundraisers were held in Colby's honor to assist his family with the financial support needed during the time of his illness.
Because the small community came together for the Simkovics, Colby and his family vowed to "Pay it Forward". And the Colby's Stars Foundation was born! The Foundation was created to help others, specifically children, who are fighting this horrible disease.
Colby's Stars Foundation has raised over $100,000 through spaghetti dinners, auctions, and ticket sales. Volunteers have also participated in "Dancing with the Stars" type competitions where Colby's teachers, relatives, and friends danced on stage to raise money. In 2014 and 2016, adults and children from Colby's small community played in Kickball Tournaments to benefit local recipients battling cancer. This tournament has now become an annual event due to the high number of children currently suffering from cancer in this rural area.
Colby's Stars Foundation consists of a committee of volunteers who work in conjunction with local businesses to ensure that no family be left struggling financially during their child's illness. If you or someone you know has a child battling cancer, fill out and submit a referral application form to nominate them for consideration during our monthly meetings. Applications should be submitted to the address or email listed on our contact page.
Colby Simkovic is the reason and driving force behind this foundation. Colby enjoys fishing, hunting, riding quads, kayaking and spending time with his family and friends. He is very talented with this constriction skills and was recently offered a co –op while attending high school. Being a cancer survivor since 2010, Colby takes pride in helping others that are experiencing similar battles as his. Colby is very compassionate, mature, sincere and humble young man, who also serves as the Tri-State St. Jude Ambassador where he fundraises and shares his St. Jude journey.
“Colby's Stars will always have a special place in my heart. Colby and my husband had a special connection. They both understood what battling cancer was all about. I believe Colby showed by husband the strength and courage that was needed to fight this disease."
Carrie Bedilion Simkovic
Carrie Bedilion Simkovic is Colby’s mom and the proud founder of Colby’s Stars Foundation, Inc. When Colby was just 8 years old, he was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor that required extended stays at St. Jude’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. After server fundraisers were held locally to assist Carrie’s family, she and her husband Jerry and daughter Morgan vowed to “Pay it Forward” by helping others who found themselves in the same situation. This resulted in the formation of Colby’s Stars Foundation, Inc. in 2010. Carrie is considered an advocate for pediatric cancer and is frequently called upon to mentor others who are experiencing similar circumstances. She is the owner/operator of Addictive Hair Designs and enjoys spending time reading and vacationing with her family. She and Jerry recently celebrated 25 years of marriage and are the proud parents of Colby, a sophomore at Jefferson Morgan High School and Morgan, a sophomore at Slippery Rock University. Coincidentally, Morgan is a member of the board, SRU UP Til’2, which is a prominent supporter of St. Jude Research Hospital.
Tammy Bedilion Koratich is Colby’s aunt, Carrie’s older sister, and co-founder of Colby’s Stars Foundation, Inc., where she currently serves as the Secretary/ Treasurer. Tammy is no stranger to cancer herself, being a breast cancer survivor since 2007, and having watched several family members succumb to this horrible disease. Tammy vowed to help “Pay it Forward” when she witnessed the community come together during her treatments and through the curing of Colby. She spends countless hours advocating for and supporting others who are finding themselves in a similar fight. She is a Human Resource Officer for the Department of Corrections at SCI Greene in Waynesburg, PA., and enjoys spending time with her family. She and her husband Mike are the proud parents of Gavin, who is majoring in Psychology at W&J College.
Tammy Bedilion Koratich
Julie Venick is a 2nd grade teacher whose life has also been touched by cancer, losing her mom to this horrific disease in 2000. After her best friend Carrie’s son was cured of brain cancer, she too wanted to find a way to help others in the small community that came to the Simkovics' side. Teaming up with Carrie and Tammy, Julie handles the donations and correspondence for the foundations fundraisers. She and her husband Scott have three daughters, Emily, Kaylin and Riley and she enjoys the beach and watching sports.
Scott Orndoff, a Waynesburg native, is a professional football player who is currently a member of the Orlando Apollos football team from the Alliance of American Football League. Scott attended elementary & middle school within the Central Greene School District and would later attend high school at Seton La Salle in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, where he participated in football as well as track & field. Scott received much success in football during his high school career, twice earning all-state honors and receiving multiple Division 1 collegiate scholarship offers. He would eventually commit to the University of Pittsburgh. At the conclusion of his senior year at Pitt, he was invited and participated in the East-West Shrine Game, an all-star game for NFL prospects. Shortly after, he would compete at the NFL Scouting Combine. Scott was originally signed as a free agent to the Pittsburgh Steelers in April 2017 but was later released in training camp due to injury. He has since been a part of the Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars organizations.
Ron Headlee is a retired elementary physical education teacher from the Jeff-Morgan School District where he taught for 31 years. He is currently the Head wrestling and tennis coach at nearby Waynesburg University. Ron wanted to be a part of this board because he wanted to give back to the community that supported him for so many years. He resides in Waynesburg with his wife Karen. The couple has two sons, Drew and Ethan and recently became Grandparents to grandson Everette Headlee.