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Scholarship Awards: Your efforts at work

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Each year, The Fair Street-Butler High Schools Alumni Association, Inc. awards two scholarships to Gainesville-Hall County seniors, who will continue their education or training post high school. We strive to select young people who reflect the reflect and enhance the legacy of our community. Joanne Ramsey, a retired educator, has chaired this committee since its inception. James Wimpye now leads this effort, supported by his wife Bernice Harbin Wimpye, Joanne Ramsey and Theresa Anderson Puryear. Our goal is to increase the number and amount of these awards. We need your help and support to do so. Promoting education is one, if not THE primary objective in Preserving our Legacy while Preparing for our future. Our young people embody that future.

For 2018, FSBHSAA, Inc. is thrilled and proud to award Tyrone Goss, Jr, and Rentavious Buffington, each a $1,000.00 academic scholarship. May the graduates continue to strive for excellence and flourish in their God-given talents.

Rentavious Buffington, a senior at Gainesville High School, is the son of Tonika Camp and Quincy Buffington. Through high school, he has been involved in many clubs such as A.W.A.R.E Leadership Team, GHS Theatre Troupe Secretary, as well as being the shift leader at Chick-Fil-A. On top of being active in school, he has maintained a 3.5 GPA and honors such as being elected as a GA State Thespian Officer. Within his four years as a student at Gainesville High School he has been selected as Student of the Year twice (2015/2017). After Graduation, Rentavious will study at the Young American School of the Arts in California. One said, “It is my strong belief that Rentavious will flourish in the college setting and will make many positive contributions to his community as a scholar, citizen and role model for future generations.”

Tyron Goss Jr, a senior at Gainesville High School, is the son of Syretta Goss. During his enrollment, Tyron has been active with many clubs and activities, such as tennis and singing in the gospel choir. Tyrone has not only achieved Straight an Honor Roll but also maintained perfect attendance since 2004. His perfect attendance and involvement contribute to his 3.6 GPA that completely reflects his work ethic. After graduation, Tyrone plans to attend college. He has been accepted into Fort Valley State University. In college, Tyrone intends to major in Physical Education. Tyrone is described to be, “a compassionate, respectful, thoughtful, and intelligent young man.”

Join us in congratulating these two young men knowing they will succeed and contribute much.

Scholarships Awarded: Your contributions at work

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The Fair Street-Butler High Schools Alumni Association, Inc. is thrilled and proud to award Tyrone Goss, Jr, and Rentavious Buffington each a $1,000.00 academic scholarship. May the graduates continue to strive for excellence and flourish in their God-given talents.

 

Rentavious Buffington, a senior at Gainesville High School, is the son of Tonika Camp and Quincy Buffington. Through his enrollment, he has been involved in many clubs such as A.W.A.R.E Leadership Team, GHS Theatre Troupe Secretary,  as well as being the shift leader at Chick-Fil-A. On top of being active in school, he has maintained a 3.5 GPA and honors such as being elected as a GA State Thespian Officer. Within his four years as a student at Gainesville High School he has been selected as Student of the Year twice (2015/2017). After Graduation, Rentavious will study at the Young American School of the Arts in California. One said, “It is my strong belief that Rentavious will flourish in the college setting and will make many positive contributions to his community as a scholar, citizen and role model for future generations.”

 

Tyron Goss Jr, a senior at Gainesville High School, is the son of Syretta Goss. During his studies, he has participated in many clubs and activities, such as tennis and singing in the gospel choir. Tyrone has not only achieved Straight A Honor Roll but also maintained perfect attendance since 2004. His perfect attendance and involvement contribute to his 3.6 GPA that completely reflects his work ethic. After graduation, Tyrone plans to attend college. He has already been accepted into Fort Valley State University. In college, Tyrone intends to major in Physical Education. Tyrone is described to be, “a compassionate, respectful, thoughtful, and intelligent young man.”

James & Bernice Harbin Wimpye

Scholarship Committee

High School Blues By Rev. Dr. J. Douglas Childers

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In his letter to the church at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul writes, “Let all bitterness and
wrath, and anger, and clamor and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice
(Ephesian 4:31).”
Most of us will agree high school is a high water-mark in the progression of our lives.
As a student studies, encounters social relationships and participates in sports they are
better prepared to become productive citizens, but an immature emotional student
cripples their goal of acquiring significant growth. Petty rivalries between students lead to
the development of irrational conflict. It creates what I would call the high school blues.
High School most certainly is a time when individual personalities can clash. For
example, on a high school football team, two young players compete for the highly sought

after quarterback position; however, only one player can win the prize. The
the announcement of a winner can have negative results as emotions arise from the youth
who becomes angry and jealous of his rival.
Another example is that of two female students with an infatuation of the same young
man. He shows little interest to either one of them and conflict finds its way into the lives
of the three.
Unresolved issues allow anger and negative emotions to develop, that inhibits the
ability to forgive. Without forgiveness, unforgiveness turns into emotional stress. An
individual can best achieve spiritual growth when they are willing to face their challenges.
It may not be comfortable to stand before one with whom you have a problem and ask for
forgiveness, but trying to avoid the pain by walking away makes you the loser.
We struggle with forgiveness because we want to avoid pain, but in this season of the
The Christian year, it is helpful if we remember that Jesus not only died on a cross, he
embraced His divine objective by carrying his cross to the place of his crucifixion, and
then He died on the cross. Christians believe Jesus resurrected from the dead. I think the
same Holy Spirit that resurrected Jesus can empower you and me to rise above petty
issues that otherwise would hold us shackled to emotional, psychological and sociological
burdens.
Twenty or thirty perhaps even forty years from now, if one’s anger has not subsided
and forgiveness remains unaccounted for, the venom of unforgiveness can reap havoc
and destruction to anyone who refuses to forgive. Unforgiveness is dangerous because of the
the person who welcomes unforgiveness prevents themselves from fully developing into the
person God desires for them to become.
Conflict arises from opposing agendas. Several years ago, when my daughters were
little girls, I carried one of them to the Pediatrician to be treated for a severe Cold. At
that time, the doctor’s office had toys on the floor in the waiting area, and though sick
some of the children tried playing with these toys. I watched as two children had to find a
way to avoid selfishness as they played with these toys. I don’t know how they did it, but
the children worked it out. They resolved their differences without intervention from
adults. The Bible says “Out of the mouth of babes, and sucklings hast thou ordained
strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger
(Psalm 8:2).”
It is unfortunate, but some of us–who are very grown, have not found the ability to
offer forgiveness. Instead, some hold on to old stuff for so many years that have gone
but in essence, this holding on causes us to hold ourselves in captivity. Full maturity
comes when we can relate such juvenile behavior in contrast to the words Paul wrote in
his letter to the church of Ephesus and “Let all bitterness and wrath, and anger, and
clamor and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice (Ephesian 4:31).”
Have you witnessed behavior like this? Was it a friend who won’t come to the Reunion
because of an incident in the 8th grade? Was it you? Life is too short to be controlled by
the past.

Success is All in the Family: The Rucker Family Story

 

 

 

 

The union of Benjamin (“Mr. Bennie”) and Johnnie (“Miss Johnnie”) Lucille Deadwyler Rucker produced five children who thrived against all odds in five different fields. I, Linda Delores, the oldest retired after three decades of helping our children succeed. My siblings are Benjamin Lavar, a prominent Augusta physician; Bobbie Jean, a summa cum laude Psychology/ Health Sciences graduate and insurance career retiree; Walter James, a highly respected Gainesville attorney; Jonathan Lowell, a Georgia Tech trained engineer and owner of an Engineering Consultancy.

I have often been asked why and how we were able to excel. Since I have been asked to write an article, this is a summary of our story of success.

I believe that our accomplishments can be attributed to the following basic factors:

  1. God our Creator, who through His grace blessed us with certain academic abilities and

skills.

  1. A non-negotiable set of morals and values instilled in us by parents who loved and supported us.
  2. A home, school and community environment which nurtured, developed and promoted our talents and abilities.

This article explains how God, our parents, and our community brought us this far.

None of us can create ourselves or select our parents. Therefore, we cannot take credit for any of the attributes, talents or abilities we possess. It is true that we often inherit various traits from our parents, but they too were created beings and not the original creator of life. We were blessed with academic abilities and good parents. We are grateful and thank God for both blessings.

Both of our parents graduated from Fair Street High School. Daddy graduated as the valedictorian of his 1940 class. Our mom graduated in 1946. Both had their aspirations of attaining higher educations interrupted by life. Like many young men, Daddy served in the Pacific during World War II. Upon being discharged, he enrolled in Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia through the G.I. Bill as a business major. Momma’s secretarial training at National Business College in Nashville, Tennessee was cut short as she returned to care for her ill mother… So when my future daddy returned from Morehouse, he and my future momma met, fell in love and married in 1947. Daddy returned to Morehouse as a sophomore. As fate stepped in, I was born on June 6, 1948. My paternal grandmother became ill and my dad gave up his Morehouse dream and a college degree to support and provide for his new family.

Yet, a great foundation was laid for that family’s future. Although our parents put aside their career dreams, they began to pass those dreams and expectations on to us, their children. One of my first memories as a child of three is of my father saying, “My girls will go to Spelman and my boys will go to Morehouse.” Dr. Benjamin Mays, then president of Morehouse College had made an indelible impression on daddy and he sometimes quoted and talked about him.  It is ironic that all of us graduated from college, but none of us ever attended Morehouse or Spelman.

Daddy and Momma had a few ironclad rules. One of these rules was that if you remained in their household or under their roof, you would finish high school. You would not be given a choice. They also made it clear that their preference was for you to attend college following high school. They did not demand that you attend college, but they made sure to plant the seeds of expectations deeply within us.

I don’t ever remember Momma or Daddy ever discussing how we would pay for college educations. As children, we were naïve enough to believe that if they said we could and would go to college, then we could and would go. Although our parents didn’t always attend their membership churches regularly, they were believers and had faith in God. Momma always said, “The Lord will make a way.”

In 1952, when we were small children and Green Hunter Homes (Atlanta Street Projects) were new, we lived in them. We attended Green Hunter Nursery. Mrs. Imogene Morrow Scott, Mrs. Margaret Greenlee, and others provided us with a good pre-school education. Our mom supplemented what we learned in nursery school by frequently telling us stories as she prepared our dinner and reading to us from “Little Golden Books”. The children of the family that momma worked for often passed their books on to us. We also received books as Christmas gifts.

By 1958, we had lived in several areas:  Athens Highway (out the road), High Street, Lula, and finally Cloverdale Street in Newtown. As we grew older, we observed our parents modeling behavior which reflected their attitudes toward learning and education. Both of our parents were avid readers. Daddy always subscribed to the “Daily Times”. In addition, he often sent us on errands to the store to buy a copy of the “Atlanta Journal-Constitution”. Paperback books were abundant in our home. As a result, Bobbie Jean and I developed a love for books. During summer vacations, one of our favorite places to visit was the McCrary Branch of the Hall County Library. Miss McCrary and Mrs. Ella Rucker always encouraged us and we often received “Summer Reading Certificates”. One of Momma’s favorite past-times was to complete the newspaper’s crossword puzzle. She seldom left one incomplete.

We were blessed with parents who sacrificed for us and planted a seed in us. Join us for the next edition, as Benjamin and I begin High School.

The Prez’ Corner: More Attitude of Gratitude = Happiness

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I have communicated with this changing audience since I began this Newsletter through articles, commentaries, comments and editing all content. Most often, my contribution was unknown to you. In this edition, I introduce myself as the official leader of this changing organization. In recent times we have forgotten that a leader is a servant, not a boss. That’s why we used to say, he is serving in Congress, or the military, or President. I hold this position because no one else wanted to serve in this capacity, and someone must.  Please be mindful of this attitude, as you read my contributions, and witness my actions. I am proud to serve an organization that has morphed into a force that brings joy to its members and guests; while honoring the community and people that produced all of us.

Periodically, I take time out to remind myself that I have reasons to be grateful, not dissatisfied. I think of all the positive things and refuse to allow negatives to disrupt that exercise. This is my way to forget to feel sorry for myself constantly, forcing me to be empathetic with someone else instead of always being self-focused.

The Directors and staff of our Alumni Organization should show up on our Appreciation Lists. They serve us, at no cost; do all the work of planning, executing and cleaning up; and listen to our constant criticisms; while paying the same reunion fees as everyone else, much earlier than you. Did you know that they paid part of your 2017 Reunion fees?  They worked hard to raise money to subsidize our participant fees. For Reunion 2017, you were charged $165 as a single or $295 ($147.50 each), as a couple, producing over $17,250 in reunion fees. However, Reunion 2017 cost $28,500. So, the Staff paid the gap of over $ 11,000$11,000 subsidies, each reunion participant would have paid $260 instead of $165 as a Single, or $147.50 each, as a Couple. The purpose of the Couple’s Discount was to ease the burden on families, but it also encouraged singles to pair up as couples, thus further reducing the revenue we collected to defray reunion expenses significantly. So, your BOD & Staff funded the $11,000 deficit, so more friends could afford to participate.  Please appreciate them and what they do unselfishly for each of us.

The BOD works incessantly to keep the fees low. We know our members are primarily retired seniors on fixed and low incomes. We want as many friends as possible to participate. But unless you are The United States Government, you cannot continue to spend more $$$ than you have in the bank.  So, we are forced to change, and our plan to allow you to participate at the lowest fees possible, is outlined below:

  1. We have negotiated a contract with the Marriott Airport Hotel that reduces our 2019 hotel costs by $700 over 2017 hotel costs.
  2. Your hotel room expense is only $102 per night, just $10 more than 2017 and significantly less than Lanier Islands rooms.
  3. Your BOD will subsidize up to $8,000 of the total Reunion 2019 expenses through efforts by our Fundraising Committee.
  4. The Entertainment Committee is working with potential entertainers that will provide the quality our members expect, at prices, we can afford.
  5. We must have a price increase for the first time since Reunion 2011. What else can you buy at 2011 prices in 2019? The Board has approved the following 2019 Pricing Structure:
    1. Full Package for Singles = $185 vs. $165. Couples $350 vs. $295
      • At $165/$295, each person buying a Full Couple Package received a 10.6% discount of Single Rate
      • At $185/$350, each person buying a Full Couple Package receives a 5.4% discount of Single Rate
      • A modest increase for singles and couples pay their fare, yet still get significant.
      • Singles may still pair up to qualify for The Couples Rate.
    2. Individual Events Pricing
      • Jazz, Blues & Throwback Party $60 vs. $50
      • Prom, Sunday Lunch $65 vs. $55 & $50
      • Family Day (Picnic) Adult $50 vs. $40
      • Family Day (Picnic) Child $$25 vs. $20

Some of you are now concerned that the Couple fees increased more than the Singles Rates. That’s because historically, the couples’ rate was set arbitrarily and somewhat unfairly, reducing total fees collected substantially.  As a couple, each person will now pay $$175, your fair share, but still, $10 less than each Single contributes. Some of you, however, will be grateful that most of this increase is being funded by the Staff of your BOD, contributing $8,000 to reduce your fees to $185 or $175, instead of $260. Said differently, the BOD is paying $75 or $85 of your reunion fees. We will work hard on multiple projects to ensure that our friends may participate in Reunion 2019. I appreciate our staff for caring and giving! Don’t you? If so, see this change positively, and start preparing for Reunion 2019 now, like us. How? Put your Reunion 2019 Holiday on a Lay-Away Plan, like your Mama did with Gallant-Belk or Mr. Hardy. Then put something on it every week. Also, support our fundraising efforts when the staff asks you to contribute by buying a ticket or volunteering to assist when asked.

Thank you for allowing us to serve, and for supporting all we do. See you at the Marriott in September 2019!

 

 

John W. Harris, CBO & President

Class of 1965

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