Bricks from the now-demolished West Jefferson High School now have a new purpose, following the erection of the West Jefferson High School Alumni Veterans Memorial.
The memorial was dedicated June 28 during the 130th annual West Jefferson Alumni Association’s reunion banquet.
The bricks were used among other materials to construct the new memorial. Within the memorial is a plaque that was mounted at the main lobby in the former high school at Frey and Fellows Avenue. The inscription reads, “We Respect You, We Honor You, We Thank You.”
Representatives from the VFW and American Legion posted the colors and performed a 21-gun salute. Pat Dillion played “Taps.”
The West Jefferson Alumni Association raised about $1,800 to pay for the memorial, said Skeeter Nelson, president.
The memorial’s corporate donors include Home Depot, which supplied lumber and rental fee for the concrete saw, Columbus Coal & Lime Company, for its donation of mortar and other materials, Buckeye Ready-Mix and Vern Flowers for furnishing concrete, Victor Stanley and Rep. Aaron Chew for shipping the bench, Sunset Cemetery for restoring the bronze plaque, Roby Monuments for engraving and delivering the monument and the VFW Men’s Auxiliary for its cash donation.
Current superintendent William Mullet, high school principal Dave Metz and school board president Dave Harper aided in providing the bricks to be used for the memorial.
Nelson said he’s hoping to add a flag pole and lights to the memorial in the future.
More than 200 people attended the alumni banquet. The evening began with a social hour from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner, which was catered by Elegant Eats Catering.
Elected as officers for next year were: Nelson, president; Roger Jester, vice president; Beverly Hockenberry Hall, secretary; Jeanne Arganbright Golden, treasurer; Keith Collins, historian; David Holland, adviser and scholarship committee member.
Classes receiving special recognition were the class of 1964, celebrating its 50th reunion, and the class of 1989, celebrating its 25th reunion.
Alumni scholarship recipients are Emily Davis and Logan Hoenie. The scholarship, originating in 1989, is an award of $1,000 given to two graduating seniors each year.
Receiving the Friends of Alumni Association/Community Service Award was Bob Harper.
Valerie Newton Murry received the Teacher’s Meritorious Service Award.
Denny Gates, retired West Jefferson chief of police, was given the Citizenship Award. The award recognizes someone for possessing high personal, moral and ethical values who gives back to their community.
There are now 6,445 members of West Jefferson High School alumni. Ninety members of the class of 2014 were formally inducted during the banquet’s business portion.
Andrea Chaffin can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1619 or via Twitter @AndeeWrites.