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W.H.S. Alumni Scholarship Fund
By Jamie Hull / April 23, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...
“Traditionally, graduating classes of Westerly High School celebrating their 50th anniversary give a gift to the school. Past gifts have been benches, flag poles, trees, or other things of that nature. The Class of 1964 wanted to do something different,” says Charles Taylor, president of the W.H.S. Alumni Scholarship Fund and member of the Westerly High School Class of 1964. “We wanted to do something for the school that would benefit students for years to come.”

In 2009, the reunion organization committee of the Class of 1964 began to solicit classmates for money to provide scholarships to students of the school, thus creating the W.H.S. Alumni Scholarship Fund, an incorporated 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-exempt organization.

Over the next five years, the W.H.S. Alumni Scholarship Fund amassed more than $64,000 and opened the W.H.S. Alumni Scholarship Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation. “Dubbed ‘Scholarships for the Trades’, it gives preference to those who want to study the trades, but it certainly does not exclude anyone who wants to attend college or university,” says Charles.

“It’s important to us that all W.H.S. alumni classes join this scholarship fund as well. Even though the Class of 1964 founded it, we want other alumni classes to feel as though it’s something they can be a part of too,” adds Ray Capalbo, corporate secretary of the W.H.S. Alumni Scholarship Fund. “For example, the Class of 1963 made a significant contribution to the Alumni Scholarship Fund as did the Class of 1939. Our vision is that in 10 years the endowment will be worth $250,000 to $300,000, we just need one benefactor that will get on board with us.”

“We chose the Rhode Island Foundation to manage the endowment so the fund’s purpose will continue to live on in perpetuity, even after the original committee members are gone,” relates Charles.

“Had this fund been around when Ray and I were in school, we would have benefited greatly from it. I know there are kids out there who would definitely take advantage of this scholarship opportunity because there will always be a need for those skilled in the trades,” concludes Charles.
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