The Ossining High School Class of 1971 has started a college scholarship fund for graduating seniors and presented a check this week to the Board of Education. Read below for more information from the Ossining school district on the gift:
The Ossining High School Class of ’71 is giving back to the school district that gave its members their start in life with the creation of a scholarship fund for graduating seniors. Class members presented a check for $15,071 to the Board of Education at its meeting Wednesday night.
The fund was created after the Class of 71 celebrated its 40th Reunion earlier this year, and marks the second gesture this group of alumni has made to today’s students. During the Reunion Week, several members of the Class of ’71 presented “Leadership Panels”at the high school for students to hear firsthand about life in the tumultuous 1960s and early 70s.
Each panel included 10 Class of ‘71 graduates who spoke to several groups of senior students about life after graduating from OHS, their careers, the choices they made and various issues that they dealt with along the way. This was a very successful program that was coordinated by Madeline Reamy and written about in The Journal News and Patch.com.
The alumni group, spearheaded by Janice Luck O’Connor, also created the “Ossining High School Class of 1971 Scholarship Fund” for students applying to accredited colleges after high school. The ‘71 classmates felt strongly that they wanted to give back some of their own success in the form of direct financial support to deserving students.
The appeal for donations went out to all the people invited to the reunion, which ultimately included other classes as well. The donations started to trickle in along with people’s responses to the reunion invitation. But as the reunion committee enhanced their presence and efforts to reach their classmates through Facebook and ultimately their own website, created by Mary Taylor Ditson, the donations for the Scholarship Fund began to increase in number and size.
At the reunion dinner on September 24th, so many people came to the party that the reunion committee was able to offer a rebate on the ticket price, but then an amazing thing happened – inspired by Tom Strauss, the treasurer of the reunion committee, almost everyone at the dinner party contributed their rebate to the scholarship fund! And then, an anonymous and very generous classmate offered to give a matching donation for whatever was raised!
Ultimately, the Class of ‘71 reunion committee raised $15,071. The first awards will go to two graduating OHS seniors. One award will be a $2,000 scholarship payable to the college where the student matriculates in the fall. The second award will be a laptop computer. Applications have already gone out to the students and will be reviewed in the spring.
The fund raising was so successful, that the OHS Scholarship Fund Committee, which is chaired by Susan Knell, is planning to extend the scholarship for 5 years and then begin another major fundraiser to coincide with the 45th reunion in 2016. Also on the committee are Madeline Reamy, Tom Strauss, Rosalie Marcus, Linda Matthews and Mike Wile.
For more information about the OHS Class of 1971 Scholarship Fund, please contact: Rosalie Marcus, AcmeRose2@gmail.com, 845-628-6095.