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Zach Elliott

Zach Elliott, a 2012 graduate of Nipomo High School, died in March 2018 from a rare heart disorder. Proceeds from a fundraiser Thursday at the Great American Melodrama in Oceano will benefit a scholarship established this year in his name.

A group of volunteers and the Great American Melodrama in Oceano are teaming up for a performance to benefit a scholarship in memory of a Nipomo High School graduate who died in March 2018 from a rare heart disorder.

Proceeds from the Melodrama’s special fundraising performance of “Drac in the Saddle” at 7 p.m. Thursday will benefit the Zach Elliott Memorial Scholarship given annually to an NHS student who shares Elliott’s love of the performing arts and a passion for helping others, an event spokewoman said.

The Melodrama fundraiser also will include brief performances from current and former NHS drama students as well as raffles, a silent auction and a dessert auction.

Elliott, a graduate of NHS in 2012 and California State University, Chico, in 2017, has been described as “a bright light, a true friend to all who looked for the good in every situation and gave love unconditionally to those around him,” the spokeswoman said.

He discovered his love of the stage while participating in Destination ImagiNation in elementary school and went on to star in many drama performances in middle school and high school.

Elliott was also an accomplished athlete, playing varsity volleyball for four years at Nipomo High School.

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He was embarking on a marketing career in the Los Angeles area when he died unexpectedly.

The scholarship in his name was established this year by his grandfather, Richard Stabile.

“The family’s hope is that Zach’s joyful spirit will continue to live on through the students supported by this scholarship, and that the recipients will be inspired to make a difference in the lives of others in the spirit of how Zach lived,” the spokeswoman said.

Tickets for the special Melodrama performance at $35 per person can be reserved at www.americanmelodrama.com or by calling the box office at 805-489-2499.

Anyone interested in contributing to the Zach Elliott Memorial Scholarship fund may do so by visiting www.gofundme.com/zach-elliott-memorial-scholarship.

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This report was compiled by Mike Hodgson, associate editor for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. He can be reached at mhodgson@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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County Reporter/Associate Editor

Lee Central Coast Newspapers associate editor Mike Hodgson covers Santa Barbara County government and events and issues in Santa Ynez Valley. Follow him on Twitter @MHodgsonSYVNews.