Picture it. Jamestown, NY 1950.
A gallon of milk at 82 cents is four times the cost of a gallon of gas, 20 cents. The Stow Ferry was the only way to cross Chautauqua Lake. Jamestown Community College opened and was the first community college in the State University of New York system. Sidewalk plows were horse drawn.
A group of high school seniors are about to graduate and start the next chapter in their life. For some it means joining the military. For others, starting a family and entering the workforce. And for a different group, going to college.
Over the next fifty years, members of the class of 1950 remained in touch and up to date with what was happening in their hometown through correspondence with their Class Advisory Council.
In 2002, the council shared an idea of creating a scholarship fund to benefit future Jamestown High School students at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
At their annual summer picnic in 2003, the idea became a reality and the class voted to allocate a portion of their class treasury to the scholarship, making all 265 class members a part of establishing The Jamestown High School Class of 1950 Scholarship Fund.
“This is our gift to (our) hometown that we all share,” said a letter from the council in 2010.
Over the past 16 years, the Jamestown High School Class of 1950 Scholarship Fund has awarded 26 scholarships to graduating JHS seniors totaling over $24,000.
One of those students was 2010 Jamestown High School graduate, Sabeth Gardiner.
“It truly is an honor to receive a scholarship like this because I know many others had applied for it as well,” Gardiner wrote in a thank you letter. “I appreciate (the JHS Class of 1950’s) efforts to make a stranger’s life better.”
The Class of 1950 continues to support their scholarship and embrace the class motto they adopted nearly 70 years ago, “Benefit yourself by helping others. Are we proud? Indeed, we are!”
Every gift creates a story. This story was inspired by gifts to The Jamestown High School Class of 1950 Scholarship Fund.
For 40 years, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has worked together with its inspiring donors, selfless volunteers and grateful community organizations to share their stories for enriching the quality of life for all who live here.