PCHS alumni give back
October 7, 2008
Calling any and all Park City High School alumni, an event taking place on Friday, Oct. 10 is expected to be, "the reunion of all reunions," according to former PCHS teacher Tommy Tanzer. He said he expects to see over 25 years of Park City students and teachers at the event.
Harry O’s Nightclub will hold a fundraiser to support the Eileen Bailey Scholarship Fund, which was founded to provide scholarships for local students.
Bailey was an institution in the Park City academic community, teaching here for over 30 years. The scholarship fund is managed by a group of PCHS alumni. They started calling the movement Back to Our Roots, because they’re using resources and experiences from former students to come back and support the next generation of Park City students.
The group has been raising money to help PCHS students go to college or attend the Colby School. According to Tanzer, they’re especially keen on helping students who will be the first person in their family to go to college. Tanzer said that they target their efforts toward kids who are on the bubble, who want to go to college, but don’t have the resources.
Along with college tuition, says Brodie Pollard, active Back to Our Roots committee member, they also provide support for students once they get to college. Pollard explained that they help with everything that parents help with, including purchasing a computer, solving problems with teachers, providing homework help, and getting the student comfortably moved in.
Back to Our Roots will award a scholarship to a deserving PCHS senior this spring in the name of Dr. Darren Bean. Bean, a 1989 PCHS graduate, passed away this May in a helicopter crash while serving as a life flight physician in Wisconsin. Bean attended high school with many of the Back to Our Roots volunteers.
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According to Tanzer, they use same selection process set up by the Park City Education Foundation that is used to award most community scholarships. It’s a blind process, so they don’t know who the student is when they evaluate each application. Tanzer said that they want the recipient of the Dr. Darren Bean Scholarship to be someone whose personality is similar to that of Bean’s.
"Back to Our Roots is about more than what you receive monetarily," explained AJ Ardovino, 2008 scholarship recipient. Ardovino is a freshman at the University of Utah where he plans to double major in Mass Communication and International Business then getting his Masters Degree in Business.
He explained how the Back to Our Roots volunteers aren’t too much older than he is, so they know what college is like today and are easy to relate to. Ardovino said that, since he doesn’t have an older brother and his parents went to college a long time ago, it’s nice to have someone like the people at Back to Our Roots that he can look to for advice. He said that they’ve helped him figure out what classes to take and what he wants to major in.
Ardovino explained that, "you can’t get through college flipping burgers like you used to, now you need real financial backing." He continued by saying how the scholarship allows him to take the classes that interest him and afford housing and books.
The Oct. 10 fundraiser will include a musical performance from Bryon Friedman, who grew up in Park City. Bring your check book, because the night will also feature a live and silent auction. Auction items will include trips to Hawaii, the Napa Valley, and Cape Cod, explained Tanzer.
According to Tanzer, the foundation looks for the most economic way to send a student to college. So far, the foundation has raised over $100,000 and has helped 8 students go to the Colby School, and three students go to college, Tanzer explained.
Back to Our Roots is also working to offer scholarships in other avenues. They would like to start offering a scholarship that will go to an athlete, who can use the money to help pay tuition at the school of their choosing.
More information is available at http://www.parkcityroots.com .