Class of 1988 donates $3,000  to South Aiken High for new courtyard furniture 1

Representatives of South Aiken High School’s Class of 1988 presented a check for $3,000 to the school’s PTO on Monday. The money will be used to purchase furniture for South Aiken’s courtyard. Pictured, front row from left, are Laura Hendrick, Barbara Gassman, Laurie Heath and Angie Osbon; second row from left, are T’mya Brown, Chris Ulmer, Sabrina Quarles, T’Meira Brown, William Hudson, Joan Grief, Brad Green, Alexis Harrington and Colonel Davis.

Because of a generous gift from its Class of 1988, South Aiken High School will be able to get new furniture for its courtyard. On Monday, the group of former students presented a check for $3,000 to the South Aiken PTO.

The money is enough to pay for a sunshade and three tables with benches.

“Our class’s 30th reunion was held during the weekend of October 12, 2018,” wrote Class of 1988 President Barbara Gassman in an email to the Aiken Standard. “The reunion planning committee wanted to give South Aiken a gift to show our appreciation for our high school experience and to make that experience more special for today’s students.

“We reached out to the principal, Mr. Samuel Fuller, in early September for guidance on an appropriate gift,” Gassman continued. “South Aiken was working to beautify a courtyard, and Mr. Fuller said the school would appreciate a gift of metal benches and a sunshade.”

The week after the reunion, the event’s planning committee began asking Class of 1988 members for donations on Facebook. Within a week, they had given more than $500.

And amount contributed continued to grow.

Later in the fundraising process, a classmate offered to match any future gifts, which helped the effort reach the final $3,000 figure.

The Class of 1988 gave the money for the courtyard furniture in honor of nine class members who have died since graduation: Seana Barnes, Robert Berry, Brad Clark, Marcia Gaddy Hall, Yolanda Johnson, Bruce Murray, Michael Quarles, Doug Smith and Doug Townsend.

“Since the reunion, we have seen classmates re-establish friendships and make new connections,” Gassman wrote. “On Dec. 29, classmates will meet for a holiday potluck. We understand that we don’t need the occasion of a reunion in order to get together to celebrate the friendships we made while students at South Aiken. With the benefit of time, we look back on our high school years fondly, with appreciation for the teachers, administrators, and staff who gave us the gift of our education and our high school experience. We are grateful to have the opportunity to give something back to the school.”