Below is a brief history of the Fort Gay High School Alumni Association. It briefly describes who we are, why we are, and what we do. At some time in the near future, I will post a more complete anecdotal history, naming some of the names of people who have had an influence in some manner that brought about the success of our pet project; The Fort Gay High School Memorial Scholarship. There are so many little side stories that will come out of such a project and I would welcome any input from alumni members or friends that would add to the history of the FGHSAA. The Board of Directors is a very unselfish group, giving of themselves, their time, and their resources. This is all done with one area of focus, aiding young people in the area in the pursuit of an advanced education.
FORT GAY HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
“GIVING SOMETHING BACK”
A few years ago, a group of former Fort Gay High School students that graduated during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s began gathering each year to renew old friendships established during their days at Fort Gay High School. This group would talk about the “old days”, fellowship, and reminiscence about times past. A committee was formed by a group of these former students to plan the annual banquet, keep up with a small amount of correspondence, and to keep the group together. They were a very seasoned group of individuals, having attended school during the great depression of the 30s, World War 2, and the turbulent post war years of the 50s and 60s. They all felt that they had learned something special during their high school years at Fort Gay that was denied students at larger schools. That elusive something that they had learned was a strong work ethic, the ability to be self-sufficient, a strong desire to succeed in life, and a desire to help those less fortunate than themselves.
This group grew each year and continued to celebrate via their annual banquet, however at some point they determined that something was missing. Everyone realized that without a long term purpose and goal that the organization was unlikely to survive. The group decided to give some thought to establishing a lasting memorial to the old Fort Gay High School so that, even though it no longer existed, its memory would be carried on forever. It was decided that what better memorial to an educational institution than an investment in the strongest resource of the area, the education of the areas youth. Thereby, was born “The Fort Gay High School Memorial Scholarship” and the group adopted the name, “The Fort Gay High School Alumni Association”.
In mid-year of 1998, the scholarship was established through “The Marshall University Foundation, Inc.” and became fully endowed in 1999. The first grant was given in 1999 and has been awarded annually thereafter. The recipient of this scholarship shall be a graduate of Tolsia High School who will enter his/her freshman year at Marshall University and maintain full time student status. The grant is given for eight semesters and assuming the student maintains scholarship standards, it then is automatically renewed at the beginning of each school year thereafter. Several goals have been set for the corpus of the scholarship, however, each year these goals have been surpassed. We are pleased to announce that during the spring of 2014, the market value of the scholarship and associated funds has reached an amount in excess of $300,000.00, far beyond the goal of $10,000.00 that was initially set in 1998. This means, currently, that $12.000.00 is divided among four students from Tolsia High School each year based on individual financial unmet need and academic performance.. This amount will continue to increase as the corpus of the scholarship increases, but in addition, the scholarship is endowed to last as long as Marshall University is in operation. It is our goal to not only grow the scholarship but to also grow the number of students it serves.
To enable continued growth of the scholarship, we actively solicit the assistance of all individuals and businesses, which, as are we, interested in investing in the future of the areas youth. Donations may take several forms. They may be made by direct donations of money or real property, through a memorial in memory of a loved one or friend in lieu of flowers, or through a will or bequeath. Many of our supporters choose to provide support through sponsorship of our Joe Damron Memorial Golf Tournament from which 100% of the funds are directed to the Fort Gay High School Memorial Scholarship
Anyone requiring additional information should contact: Richard A Plymale, Chairman, FGHS Alumni Association, 1468 Pine Meadow Rd., Lexington, KY 40504. Phone 859 255 5836. Email: email@example.com.
Membership in the FGHS Alumni Association is open to all who either attended or graduated from Fort Gay High School and there are no dues.