Nikki Ely, who marched in Phantom Regiment’s color guard from 1988-95, died unexpectedly Aug. 4. She was 33.

Nikki, who had been living in Miami, died of head injuries sustained after falling off a golf cart at Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla.

The Pekin, Ill., native earned a spot in the color guard as a 14-year-old and eventually would become the guard’s C.O.

Nikki’s mother, Dee, has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nikki Ely Scholarship Fund at Phantom Regiment. Please make checks payable to Phantom Regiment and put Nikki Ely on the note line and send to Phantom Regiment, 5050 E State St, Rockford, IL 61108. Or you can contribute online to the Nichole Ely Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Details about the how to apply for the scholarship will be forthcoming.