Locals give back to young locals. | ParkRecord.com

Locals give back to young locals.

Frank Fisher, of the Record staff

One big Parkite reunion will come down at Harry O’s August 24 with food, a live auction, a silent auction, music and dancing. The gala not only brings together alumni, teachers and new locals, but more importantly, revenue from the event provides scholarships for Park City students.

The second annual Back to Our Roots: The Eileen Bailey Scholarship Fundraiser is all about rewarding young residents who have overcome daunting challenges, helping them move on to academic excellence in local colleges. The added bonus: those awarded the scholarships also receive mentoring along the way .The Eileen Bailey Scholarship Fund honors the teacher who made a difference in the lives of Summit County residents for more than 30 years.

Jake Doilney, from the PCHS Class of 1989, and one of 10 or so members of the fund, never had Bailey as a teacher, but was a student in a classroom next to hers. "She had an amazing presence. You always heard music coming from her class," Doilney said. Tommy Tanzer, a Parley’s Park teacher, wanted to start an endowment in her honor several years ago, and soon, locals were talking.

This year’s recipients were Jeannine Atherton and Jose Santana, announced May 31, at the Park City High School Community Scholarship Awards ceremony, when they each found out they would receive $6,000 for their college educations.

But Doilney seemed even more excited by what came with the money.

"What’s unique about this is the mentoring that goes with it," he said, adding that the network of locals can help recipients with whatever their needs, and if they can’t, they will find someone who can.

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Doilney was one of the presenters of the award. "It was a lot more powerful than I thought. If I’d tried to talk, I would have cried."

Doilney discussed how the two were chosen. "We look for students who have been here at least for four years. We look for students who need this money students who have worked during school to help their families. Chances are good they will make it across the finish line." Students also have to be planning to attend local colleges.

Rain fell the evening of the first event last summer. "We hoped some would show up," Doilney said. They did. He estimated 250 attended.

Some of the auction items locals donated for the evening: A wine-tasting trip to Napa Valley, paintings by renowned local artists, lawn-care service for a year, Oakland Raider Barry Simms donated one of his jerseys "stuff I’d never seen at other auctions," said Park City High School community scholarship advisor Dana Ardovino, who hosted the Community Scholarship event.

More than $38,000 was raised at last year’s event. Much of the money is being held to establish an endowment.

"I’m blown away by how kind these young men and women are," Ardovino said… They are truly angels. They’re a group of cool, hip, young people lifting students up."

Ardovino is integral in helping PCHS students apply and get scholarships. "These kids are so deserving," she said of scholarship recipients.

"There’s a lot of pride," Doilney said. "It’s a network of friends. People understand what it used to be like here. In the process of reuniting they get to help new kids out. And, they reminisce about the Park City of the past." Harry O’s, he said, used to be a gymnasium.

The second-annual Back to Our Roots: The Eileen Bailey Scholarship Fundraiser will be held on August 24, 7 p.m. at Harry O’s with food, music and both live and silent auctions. For more information, or to donate auction items, call Jake Doilney at 640-5212, or e-mail him at jake.doilney@glenwild.com .