Memorial sought by Hampton alumni for deceased classmates
By Bethany Hofstetter
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Hampton High School alumni are coming together to establish a memorial for classmates who no longer are with them.
Earlier this month, Scott Docherty, a 1974 graduate of Hampton High School, represented his graduating class in asking the school district administration for permission to begin the planning and funding of a memorial garden for classmates who have died.
“This could be such a beautiful thing to bring Hampton alumni together for a single cause and purpose,” Docherty said. “We want to remember our classmates.”
The Class of 1974 already has raised $4,000 to purchase a bronze statue named “Fly Away” from Randolph Rose Collection, based out of Yonkers, N.Y., as the cornerstone of the garden. The statue depicts a girl with her hand outstretched, releasing a butterfly or dove.
“This statue symbolizes that we had to let go of our deceased classmates,” Docherty said. “But the girl has a happy face, which represents the good memories of the time spent in Hampton's esteemed halls that we shared with those who are now gone.”
The Class of 1974 was the first graduating class to complete all four years at the current high school. Of the class' 274 graduates, 15 alumni have died.
Docherty met with district administrators and Rick Farino, buildings and ground supervisor, to discuss possible locations and visions for the garden before presenting a master plan to the school board in November.
Donna Merrit, a 1973 Hampton graduate, offered to donate her architectural and design skills to create a proposed master plan for the garden.
School board members said they foresee a garden that can be added to — with walkways, benches or a fountain — by other graduating classes and requested only a plan for the total cost, maintenance, installation and location before making a final decision.
“It's a really nice gesture,” said David Gurwin, school board president.
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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