Greetings ’70 Classmates and Friends,
I write to you as a member of the 50th Reunion Leadership Scholarship Board. In the year that I have served on the Board, I have learned much from my co-members, Penny (Shook) Estopare, Steve Grinnell, Jim Niswander, and Mike Hughes, about the origination of this scholarship as well as how tremendously successful the fundraising efforts have been. I didn’t realize just how much I valued my own experience in the Yellow Springs Schools until I’ve had my life and career since. Therefore I am so happy to support this scholarship as a way to give back.
Over the previous 5 years we have awarded the following increasing Scholarship amounts:
2017 – $1,000
2018 – $1,000
2019 – $2,000
2020 – $4,000
2021 – $7,500
The Scholarship Board of Directors (Chairperson Steve Grinnell, ‘69 and Members Penny Estopare, ‘66, Jim Niswander, ‘66, Mike Hughes, ‘66, and I have raised the 2022 award to $10,000.
Back on September 5, 2016, none of us anticipated how our Scholarship would grow exponentially over the coming years. The 50th Reunion Leadership Scholarship is the largest local award currently offered to a graduating Yellow Springs High School senior. It is nearly twice the next highest local scholarship award. Our Scholarship has taken on the lofty position that the Vernay Scholarship held for several decades. The current balance of our Scholarship Fund is $61,453.18.
Over 150 alumni from the Bryan classes of ’62 and ’63 in addition to Yellow Springs H.S. classes ’64, ’65, ’66, ’68, ’69, ’70 and ’71 are active donors to our Scholarship. We know that our alumni ranks are dwindling with each passing year and eventually only Yellow Springs H.S. alumni will carry on reunion observances. (Sadly, we just lost one of our eldest Bryan alumni from the class of ’42, Harold “Grinny” Grinnell). Although all of us are beyond our 50th reunion year, I think it is accurate to say that we all have a “debt of gratitude” to our hometown school system which prepared us to become productive and caring citizens. Now all of us, Bryan and Yellow Springs alumni alike, have an opportunity to express our gratitude in a tangible way.
During the month of November, we are continuing our tradition of observing what our Board Chairperson, Steve Grinnell, has termed an opportunity to express “Gratitude” which includes Thanksgiving and “Giving Tuesday” (observed nationally on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving). I, for one, feel so fortunate to have grown up in Yellow Springs, a community which understands the value of education in reaching our full potential. For that and more I am forever grateful. Our goal is to raise at least $7,000 by November 30, 2021. We have raised about $10,000 to $15,000 annually since we started our fund drives in 2017. Originally, April was our only month for raising funds. We continue that tradition since it is the period we are involved in receiving student Scholarship applications and communicate frequently with our donors regarding our Scholarship Award Winner selection process. Our winner is then announced in May at the Yellow Springs High School Awards Assembly.
Yellow Springs Community Foundation
We are also fortunate to have a wonderful foundation which serves the needs of all Yellow Springs residents – the Yellow Springs Community Foundation (YSCF), which serves as our non-profit 501(c)(3) platform. The YSCF has an easy to use website which has detailed information regarding the 50th Reunion Leadership Scholarship.
If you want to join our efforts to help a YSHS senior leader reach his/her full potential in college and beyond, we welcome your generosity. We appreciate any amount you donate during November, our month of “Gratitude” or any time you want to support our growing Scholarship efforts.
I wish I’d been able to travel to Yellow Springs over Labor Day to join others in the delayed 50th reunion for our class of ’70. I hope we can gather next July for our 70th year for the class of ’70. Here’s hoping all are safe and well and that we’ll meet again soon.
What a great opportunity to help a deserving YSHS student. COVID19 is taking away many of our plans for a 50th Class Reunion but not our ability to “pay it forward” and help a student’s future.
Mary Beth (Grote) Stave
YSHS Class of 1970