Colby's Stars Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit organization that was formed in 2010. Named after the late 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 or other life threatening illnesses.
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 and other catastrophic health issues.
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. Beginning in 2014, adults and children from Colby's small community played in a Kickball Tournament 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'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 my husband the strength and courage that was needed to fight this disease."
Colby Simkovic is the reason and driving force behind this foundation. In 2019, Colby was diagnosed with a secondary cancer caused from his earlier treatment. He continued to fight, all while being a superior marksman on his school's rifle team. He also enjoyed fishing, hunting, riding quads, kayaking and spending time with his family and friends. He was a 2020 graduate of Jefferson Morgan High School, where he continued to be very a compassionate, sincere and humble young man. He was very talented with his construction skills and was offered a co–op while attending high school. While continuing treatment, he obtained his CDL license and harvested an antelope in Montana and a trophy mule deer in Oregon. Colby took pride in helping others that were experiencing similar battles as his. Sadly, in March of 2021, Colby gained his angel wings as he was welcomed into eternal light by those who had gone before him.
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 Morgan Lee and the late Colby Grant Simkovic.
Carrie Bedilion Simkovic
Morgan Simkovic is the proud sister and daughter of founders Colby & Carrie Simkovic. Being touched first hand by the support from the community over the years, Morgan has developed a strong passion to giving back to others in any capacity. She feels there is no other honor than to help play a role in carrying out her brother’s legacy. She is a current student in Seton Hill University’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program and enjoys spending time with her family or being at the beach with a book in her hand.
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 a teacher in West Virginia.
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. She enjoys the beach and watching sports.
James Hoy, is a resident Carmichaels, Pennsylvania. Jim is the Regional Director for The Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis for the Pittsburgh Chapter since 1997, for which he holds a Golf Outing each year to raise funds. Plus, he’s involved with Mission For Miracles which has an event each year called the All American Grand Bash. He was the former owner of Overtime On The Mon, in Fredericktown, Pa. While retired, he enjoys giving back to the community, boating and playing Texas Hold’em. Jimmy is truly honored to be a member of Colby’s Stars Foundation because of how they help so many families in the community.
Ron Headlee is a retired elementary physical education teacher from the Jeff-Morgan School District where he taught for 31 years. He recently retired as the Head wrestling and tennis coach at nearby Waynesburg University. Ron wanted to be a part of Colby's Stars Foundation 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 three grandchildren, Everette, Maren, and Malcom.