The Tournament of Stars Scholarship was founded by Harold McReynolds in memory of his father, Israel McReynolds Sr. Israel McReynolds Sr. had a passion for helping young people. By the age of nine, he had lost both of his parents. He was the youngest of four children and was taken in and raised by a family friend.
Mr. McReynolds attended Parker High School in Birmingham, Alabama and became a track star. According to people who knew him, he was one of the fastest humans alive. After his junior year of high school, he decided to serve his country. At the age of 23, he returned from the Army, got married, and took in his sister and her four children. Mr. McReynolds was hired as a waiter at one of Birmingham’s most prestigious country clubs. In 1971, Mr. McReynolds and his wife opened their own restaurant. The earnings he made from his job as a waiter as well as his restaurant made it possible for him to take care of his immediate family as well as his extended family.
Aside from taking in young people who needed help, Mr. McReynolds also raised two sons of his own. Without fanfare, Mr. McReynolds took in and changed the lives of hundreds of youth in need of help and guidance. He did this with no public recognition.
In today’s society, someone with such compassion for our youth would have undoubtedly had a book or movie written about them. Israel McReynolds helped so many people not for recognition or public praise. He did it because it was in his heart. Mr McReynolds continued helping people until his death in 1991.