The Division of Fire Safety salutes the service of Shawn Bice, a career Engineer/Firefighter with the West Plains Fire Department. His efforts to advance his community through work with young people is a shining example of personal commitment that will yield benefits for decades to come.
Shawn started his career with West Plains as a volunteer in 2000. He worked hard and earned full-time status in 2012. He currently works out of Station 2, and is the department’s lead safety officer.
In 2007, Shawn and his wife, Allison, established the Mynde N. Tarter Memorial Volleyball Tournament. This co-ed volleyball tournament was created as a remembrance of a wonderful young lady with a beautiful soul and a way to further the education and lives of other young people. Mynde Tarter grew up and lived in West Plains throughout her brief life. An outstanding student, Mynde also played basketball and softball, but her true love was volleyball.
Shawn and Allison knew Mynde through their involvement in West Plains sports teams. Mynde was the girl with the biggest smile before, during and after all of her games. When Mynde was 15, Shawn and Allison asked her to play on their co-ed city volleyball team. Mynde was slated to be a part of the Missouri State University – West Plains Grizzly volleyball team beginning the fall of 2006. Unfortunately, Mynde died in a single car crash just before the school year began in 2006.
All proceeds from the volleyball tournament go to endowed scholarship which Shawn and Allison created at MSU – West Plains in Mynde's name. The endowment is used for any Grizzly volleyball player who meets the need requirements of the scholarship. The first scholarship was awarded in time for the 2008 season. A total of 13 scholarships have been awarded since then, totaling just over $20,000.
The scholarship recipients continue to excel: a nurse in Nashville; the director of Athletic Performance at the LEMO Foundation in Belmont, Calif.; a co-head coach at Chabot College in Hayward, Calif.; a director of volleyball operations at Bethune - Cookman University in Daytona, Fla.; and a professional volleyball player in France.
The three most recent Grizzly scholarship recipients are continuing their studies and playing college volleyball. One is a senior at the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith, one is a junior at Hampton University and one is a freshman at MSU – West Plains.
The scholarship endowment is now more than $100,000. The one-day tournament typically includes 46 teams which come from across Missouri, as well as from Arkansas.
We salute Shawn and Allison for their vision and dedication, along with many hours of service in accomplishing this scholarship endowment, and carrying on the Mynde Tarter dream. This is a true example of serving others.
To learn more about the West Plain Fire Department, check out the department's Facebook page here.
Pictured above from left to right are: West Plains Fire Department Fire Chief Roy Sims; State Fire Marshal J. Tim Bean; Shawn Bice; Shawn’s wife, Allison Bice; and their daughter, Jaima (front center).