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Broadcasters mourn loss of TAB Chairman Jason Hightower

TAB Chairman Jason Hightower, owner of KMOO Mineola, died March 20. He was 37.

Hightower was fighting a recurrence of brain cancer.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 28 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Gilmer.

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"Jason's passing is an extraordinary loss and we offer our deepest sympathies to his wife, Ingrid, and their three children," said TAB President Ann Arnold.

"He was much loved as a husband, father, Aggie - and, of course, as the epitome of a small-market radio broadcaster.

"The community of Mineola and entire state of Texas are richer for Jason's contributions to civic life and are forever grateful to have been blessed with his dynamic leadership."

E-mail remembrances and sympathies here.

More information will be posted at as it becomes available.

Fundraising efforts ** Update **

The Mineola Community Bank is looking for country musicians who would be willing to donate memorabilia for auction during a golf tournament to benefit the Hightower family. The tournament is set for the weekend of April 4.

Interested parties should contact:

Olivia Thompson/Hightower Golf Tournament
P.O. Box 318, Golden, Texas 75444-0318
(903) 850-4000 CELL

Mineola residents held a fundraising event for the Hightower family on March 2.

Former TAB Chairman Jerry Bobo and his wife Mary Lou attended the fundraiser in Mineola. They were joined by TAB Board Member Dan Bell and his wife Sara.

"First of all, it was a great example of what a Broadcaster means to his community," Bobo said.

"The standing room only Mineola Civic Center was jammed with local people who obviously love Jason, his family and the KMOO staff. I estimate approximately 600 people attended and participated.

"Some people spoke on what Jason and KMOO have done for their communities and that it was their turn to give back. Give back they did! Over $50,000 and counting just last night," Bobo said.

The current amount raised was approximately $60,000, according to David Chenault, KMOO news director.

"People were donating items for the auction all the way up until the actual event," Chenault said.  "We received everything from books to a 1990 Buick."

Reps. Bryan Hughes, R-Marshall, and Dan Flynn, R-Canton, also attended the event. Their donation of a chair from the Capitol raised $4,000.

"There was one story that was particularly heartwarming," Bobo said.

"An eight year old boy heard about Jason's situation and told his parents that he wanted to help raise money. So he set up a lemonade stand in front of the local bank last Friday. At the end of the day, he had raised $3,800."

View video of the lemonade stand (courtesy of KLTV-TV).

"In my 40 years of Broadcasting, I have seen and participated in just about every kind of promotional event you can think of, but I have never experienced the love and appreciation I saw and felt last night at this fundraiser," Bobo said.

"The small staff at KMOO was absolutely wonderful. They organized the event, secured donated items for the auction, brought their communities together and over reached their goal of paying for Jason's medical expense while in Mexico. This staff deserves some special recognition."

Jason's battle with cancer was waged with the support of many other friends and admirers far beyond the Mineola city limits.

Ben Downs, general manager of Bryan Broadcasting and a member of TAB's Board of Directors, established a website ( last month to help raise money to defray the escalating medical costs of Hightower's treatment.

"There are many thanks to be conveyed for the help that was provided and the prayers and good thoughts that were offered on Jason's behalf," Downs said.

"I leave the reflection about Jason's passing to all of us individually. We experienced Jason's uniqueness in different ways, in different venues. We know best what his death means to us, privately, as his friends."

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