Download and complete the form to register for Reunion 2019. Send the form and payment before midnight August 15, 2019 to:
Mr. Nathaniel Shelton
PO Box 871
Gainesville, GA 30501
WHAT WE ARE DOING
By John W. Harris
The New Abnormal
We are resetting priorities and changing to fit in the new world due to COVID-19. This pandemic is not a hurricane, tornado, or other short-lived tragedy: it’s a global game-changer. Under the leadership of Theresa Anderson Puryear, COO, we have negotiated a contract with Atlanta Airport Marriott for Reunion 2021. As I addressed at Reunion 2019, we would love to bring Reunion 2021 back to Hall County, but it just will not work. Theresa and her team have evaluated every possible option. Each one was either unfeasible, unsafe, or undoable. To keep the cost as low as possible, the BOD decided to raise $8,000 to subsidize the cost. Without the subsidy, the prices would be $250 and $540 for singles and couples, respectively. Instead, the new estimates are $200/$360. Of course, we must wait to see the long-term impact of the pandemic, to finalize the plans. So, please let’s have unity, and start preparing to attend Reunion 2021 by paying on a layaway plan or saving monthly.
The tagline of the FS-BH Schools Alumni is “Protect Our Legacy While Providing for Our Future.” However, in this current Covid-19 existence, we have decided to also provide for those to whom we owe our legacy. We feel that the survival of people in Gainesville-Hall County is an absolute higher priority than dealing with the uncertainty of post-high school training and education today. So, we are donating the funds to a productive, competent, and fruitful organization: The Sunshine Seniors.
We will try to double the money dedicated to scholarships in the future, with your additional financial support. But we are delighted to help this 501(c) 3 charter Food Pantry thrive since their clientele has doubled, but their funding remains unchanged. Since this is YOUR money as contributors to FSBHSAA, we hope that you feel we are good custodians of your money. And we hope you will not only continue to support financially but also donate any extra you may have to the work of the Sunshine Seniors.
Below is an impact statement from Ms. Belinda Hailey Dickey, President of Sunshine Seniors. She welcomes your support, and we ask for your feedback.
“The Sunshine Seniors are grateful for our partnership with Fair Street Butler High Alumni Association. Over the last seven years, we have assisted our target groups of senior citizens, families with children, veterans, and the homeless. We also partner with the Georgia Mountain Food Bank, which supplies our food and goods and keeps our costs low. Due to COVID-19, many more people are facing hardships, illness, death, unemployment, insecurity, and the lack of food. The FS-BH Alumni Association has donated an additional $2,000. This donation will allow us to serve the increased number of families and individuals who come to us for food. With the epidemic, our client base has more than doubled this year compared to last year. Our normal distribution was 125 families a week, and now we are serving 280 families. We expect that number to increase to more than 300 people in the coming weeks. This generous donation provides meats, proteins, dairy, personal hygiene, and household items, in addition to the fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, and pastries we already offer. The members of The Sunshine Senior staff are all volunteers. With no overhead, every dime of assistance goes toward helping our clients. We dedicated ourselves to the health and wellbeing of the families that we serve. It is our pleasure to give back and to serve the Gainesville -Hall County Community. If you want to help care for families in this time of overwhelming need, mail your donations to the address below or contact us. Thank you.”
Belinda Dickey, President
2165 Sunrise Drive
Gainesville, GA 30507
770 654 9922
But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt.’ And God said. ‘I will be with you.’ (Exodus 3:11)”
Have you noticed the dimples covering the surface of a golf ball? Some people may suggest that these dimples make the ball look imperfect. So, what is their purpose?
An aeronautical engineer who designs golf balls says a perfectly smooth golf ball will travel only 130 yards off the tea after being struck by a club. But the same golf ball with dimples on its surface takes flight and travels 260 yards, twice as far as it would without dimples.
It is clear that dimples, which appear to be flawed on the ball, actually minimize the ball’s air resistance and allow it to travel further than it otherwise would.
Most of us can identify the physical characteristic of our bodies. Even the things we wish didn’t exist. We don’t like flaws, which are part of who we are, and it is difficult for us to accept our imperfections.
Whatever imperfections you and I have, they are nothing but an unusual shape of uniqueness that God’s divine hand-formed when he molded and shaped us. In writing about the glorious power of creation, the psalmist in Psalm 139 wrote, “You created my inmost being: you knit my unformed body…Your eyes saw my unformed body, and I will praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
I don’t know if you are aware of it or not, but there’s a modeling agency that uses people who are considered ugly as models. Listen to what “Ugly Models” say on their web site: “We like our women fat and our men geeky. We like the extremely tall and the
shockingly small. No one is too abstract for our books! We are ugly. And we are the leaders in character modeling.” But in our society, the emphasis is placed on physical beauty. If someone wants to pursue a career in movies or television, they are expected to possess a certain look. They’re expected to be a certain height, to have perfect teeth, and come from a particular race.
I was surprised when I learned about this agency that specializes in using ugly people. But all too often, we find cause or reason to criticize ourselves. Some people hate the color of their skin. Some hate the size of their nose or the texture of their hair. They may not know it, but they are self-haters. Seeing fault in oneself is saying that God didn’t know what He was doing when He made me. Nothing is further from the truth.
What God created is good!
The biblical text that I’ve quoted above tells the story of a man who closed his eyes to his uniqueness. His name was Moses. God called Moses to go to Egypt to perform a special job. God could have chosen any man or woman to do this job, but God chose Moses. When a job has to be done, someone with special qualities, someone unique, is called to step up to the plate. All of us are different, and God speaks differently to all of us. Although we’re different, we are all sons and daughters of God. We have relatives who may be similar to us in some respects, because of DNA, but we all have different fingerprints. Moses was educated by the Egyptian School System. I imagine Egypt’s schools were unique. During the time of Moses, no other nation could compete with Egypt. In many ways, we can say the same about the United States. But even in this great Country, we emulate Egypt’s glorious past. The practice of preserving the dead through the process of mummification has allowed us to study ancient Egypt and learn of its uniqueness.
We don’t know how Pyramids—constructions of stones Weighing thousands of tons, were hauled and put in places to be erected into these ancient structures. However, we do know these mysterious constructions share a similar geographical grid. They are unique in their position of longitude and latitude on this celestial globe we call earth. Although we understand Egypt’s uniqueness, a study of scripture suggests that Moses didn’t realize his personal uniqueness. Though he struggled with an acceptance of his uniqueness, Moses nevertheless understood something within him, within his inner self, was different. One difference was his hidden but unique confidence. One day this confidence surfaced in the face of two unusual situations. The first was learning he was not an Egyptian by blood, but adopted. Secondly, his anger led to murder when he killed an Egyptian man and buried him in the sand. A witness observed his deed, and Moses was forced to leave Egypt.
After relocating, Moses married one of Jethro’s daughters and became a shepherd.
His unique confidence came out again when he approached a bush that burned but was not consumed. In other words, in the face of complicated problems, one has to make good decisions by knowing how to respond in the face of unusual situations.
Our present president and governors of various states face a great challenge as COVID-19 stumps across the world and leaves havoc in its wake. We need leadership. We need leaders who will succeed despite their personal flaws. Leaders who can look beyond themselves, who can use their deficiencies as a tool to help solve problems. It is a destructive behavior if a leader’s flaws cause him (her) to be controlled by the problem rather than controlling the problem. Just as Moses was commanded to “take off your shoes from your feet, because you’re standing on holy ground,” we need leaders who can do what needs to be done to accomplish a goal, despite their flaws. Leaders of this type understand their unusual shape of uniqueness empowers them to get the job done.
The Rev. Dr. J. Douglas Childers is a member of the E. E. Butler class of 1968.
Tiger Nation, how are you doing in our “sheltering in place” mode? Are you finding new ways to do things? Are you baking, knitting, reading more, thinking of a better time? Remember, in all you do, Be Safe, and Stay Mindful.
Walk with me down memory lane to the school reunions of yesteryear. Every other year, the Fair Street Butler High Alumni Board hosts a school reunion. The Board diligently plans and implements the event to ensure that each attendee has an enjoyable and exciting Reunion weekend.
The journey begins with an Opening Ceremony where the alumni can meet, greet, and reacquaint themselves. Later that evening, the Prom, a formal dress-up affair with a band, gets everyone in the mood to dance the night away. Many young ladies receive a corsage from that very special person.
Saturday takes us on a tour of historical places in the Atlanta area. As the afternoon looms, it is time for an old fashioned Cookout that we call “Family Day.” The food and the DJ do not disappoint. There are prizes given throughout each event. The Ambassadors of Fun created an atmosphere of excitement and generated by a variety of games and trivia questions. As the name implies, we celebrate with our children, grandchildren, and other family and friends. They learn more about us as teenagers, as we have family fun.
Later that evening, the fun continues at the Jazz, Blues & Throwback Party. We are dressed to the nines, as the band or DJ plays oldies but goodies of three music genres. Oh my, excitement engulfs the room as we announce the raffle winners!
The Sunday morning non-denominational Worship Service is so uplifting and inspiring. Singing, praying, and scripture prepares us to hear an inspirational message delivered by the Reverend of the Hour. The Holy Communion is given to all, followed by the Benediction and hugs (Pre COVID19, I mean.)
The Closing Ceremony and the Biennial Corporate Meeting brings a beautiful weekend to its climax. A speaker, usually from the recognized Class, is the Sunday highlight. For instance, Kaye Poole Myles was the keynote speaker, representing the Class of 1969 at Reunion 2019. Click here to read her informative, inspirational, and entertaining message.
Nathaniel Shelton, our CFO, and our lifetime mentor reviewed our corporation’s financial position, followed by The State of the Tiger Nation message, by our President, John W. Harris. A signature Marriott dinner served between speakers is probably the real pearl of the weekend. Did I mention that there is excellent food served throughout the entire weekend?
My weekend overview does not do justice to our three day reunion weekend. The Golf Tournament on Friday morning kicks off the fun and funds the scholarships and community programs that we sponsor. Also, a professional photographer is on duty throughout the weekend to document our memories on film.
Yet, I hope this gives you a sense of the weekend respite. From my perspective, it reminds you that the Reunions let us create new memories every two years that we cherish forever. All pictures in this edition display groups, not individuals, to relate the theme of this edition, “Though we are apart, we are always together.”
The Fair Street -Butler High Schools Alumni Association, Inc. strives to provide the best reunion possible every two years. We all are unpaid volunteers and who take our duties seriously. We hope that you will continue to support us in the coming years. Why not commit to joining us at Reunion 2021, by making layaway payments, or regular deposits to a savings account. We need and want to see you too!
Theresa Anderson Puryear
Class of 1967