Class of 1961 FHS Scholarship Announced

Freddie Bird on school

The FHS Alumni Association is pleased to announce that a fully endowed scholarship has been established by the Class of 1961 that will be awarded annually beginning in 2017.

To date, the Class of 1961 has donated $14,681 to the Scholarship fund and along the way created some interesting history on how they became involved in supporting Freddie Scholarships. The Class was searching for a way to make a meaningful gift to FHS on the occasion of their 50th Class Reunion in 2011.  Among several suggestions that were made, the idea surfaced that the FHS Alumni Scholarship Fund could really use a boost. At the time, the Scholarship Fund had a balance of only $3,000 and was awarding $1,800 a year in scholarships. Without a serious increase in support, the scholarships were in danger of going unfunded after being awarded continuously for almost 20 years.

The Class quickly agreed that this was just the right cause for them and called their drive the “$19.61 Campaign”. Each class member was asked to consider making a gift of $19.61 or more to help future Freddies grads. Their main goal was to get 100% class participation and perhaps raise $1,800 to fund all Freddie Scholarships for one year.  When the final results were in 52 class members (91%) had donated $6,000 to the Scholarship Fund! The class members were really proud of the results and pleased with camaraderie developed during the campaign; all agreed that this is “best thing we ever did as a Class”.

But the story did not end there. In 2015 the “Freddies Helping Freddies” campaign was launched with the goal of endowing all the Freddie scholarships. One of the incentives provided by the campaign was the right to “Name” a scholarship with a cumulative donation of $10,000 or more. The Class decided to take on that challenge with their 55th Class reunion gift and over $7,000 of additional funding was raised; and many Class members continue to donate $19.61 or more each year to the fund.

At the 55th Reunion in 2016, the Class voted to name their FHS Alumni Scholarship “Class of 1961”. The rationale was that so many different people played major roles in their development during their school years that it was impossible to put just one name on the award.

The Class of 1961 says “we hit the trifecta- “Born in the USA; grew up in Fredericktown and had each other as classmates! We hope that this small scholarship will inspire and help many other Freddies as they develop their skills and pursue their dreams. We are very pleased to see so many other FHS Classes pulling together to make a donation on their Reunion years- we hope that every Class will join the fun and pay it forward”.