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Founding Members

This group is the original Fair St.-Butler High Reunion Commitee f(FSBH) formed in 1991. It includes Mary Render Acree, who first envisioned a reunion. The gathering has allowed Fair Street and Butler High alums to reminisce, reflect, and fellowship continuously biennially since the 1991 reunion. As I researched to prepare this article (meaning I asked my wife Janie!), we found a pamphlet summarizing the history of the FSBH Reunions. I will spare you the boring details and provide highlights: Again, Mary Render Acree envisioned the two schools’ classmates, teachers, and staff someday joining with other friends to remember and celebrate their high school days, friendships, and the school’s legacy. For most of the twenty years, I lived in Cleveland, Ohio,” said Acree at the ninth biennial Reunion program. “I often thought of the fond memories and good times of my years at Fair Street. I wanted to relive my memories so much that I packed my bags and moved back to Gainesville. Upon returning home, I invited a few of my high school friends to my place. I showed them an outline of my idea for a reunion and asked if they would help make this dream real.” And from Mrs. Acree’s foresight, the first Fair Street – Butler Reunion was born. The first committee members were: Dora Nell Randolph Cantrell, Charrie Morrow Goudelock, Barbara Jean Price Grant, Patricia Brown Hudson, Linda Rucker Hutchens, Betty Ivory Hailey, Thomas Hailey, Wanda Ann Smith Hale, Robert Lee Hale, Berlinda Turner Lipscomb, Deborah Keith Mack, Alton Mattox, Frances Jenkins Meadows, Alma Jane Hunter Shelton, and Blondine Summerour. Mrs. Acree stated, “We had no funds, so we paid approximately $25.00 dues monthly. We had a couple of fundraisers to help fund the event. The Reunion was remarkably successful, with over 500 Alumni from all across the country attending. What a fantastic group!” Mrs. Acree had a dream and moved back home to make it a joyous reality. Remarkably, her aspirations continue to evolve and touch many lives. The Reunion existed for 28 years, or 14 biennial events through 2019. Due to the Pandemic, we had a one-day outing in 2021, a two-day format on September 3-4, 2022, and a Labor Day Southside Celebration event in 2023. We are preparing to return to the original format with a grand event on Labor Day weekend in 2025. Thomas Hailey, who has held nearly every position, including President, is currently the Parliamentarian and Leader of the Fundraising team. Deborah Keith Mack, President from 1993-2001, was appointed President Emeritus at Reunion 2019 and serves as a member of the Executive Leadership Team. Linda Rucker Hutchens remains our Historian and Protector of memorabilia. Barbara Price Grant led the Metro Atlanta-Gainesville Connection Organization, supporting us until the organization dissolved. Some former group members continue to assist us by participating and contributing financially. Though her health restricts her participation, Barbara Price Grant advises FSBH BOD on many issues today. The Fair St-Butler High School Alumni Association, Inc. has changed in many ways. We are now a corporation with a 501(C) 3 Charter that supports the Gainesville-Hall County area in many ways. The Reunions are smaller than the first one as members age. However, younger and non-FSBH graduatesserve on the BOD. They encourage those who did not attend the historically Black High Schools to help keep the flame burning. We encourage you to contact us at [email protected] to volunteer or select the Donate option above to contribute financially.