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 Theresa Anderson Puryear’s leadership, COO 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 before finalizing the plans. So, please let’s have unity, and start preparing to attend Reunion 2021 by paying on a layaway plan or saving monthly.

Charitable Seniority

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 a contributor to FSBHSAA, we hope that you feel we are good custodians of your money. And we hope you will not only continue to support us financially but also donate any extra you may have to the work of Sunshine Seniors.

Sudden Impact

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 well-being 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

[email protected]

770 654 9922