– The following appeared in The Floyd Press on December 26, 2013.
Blue Mountain Elementary School (BMS) recently conducted one of its best fundraisers yet. The fundraiser concluded on Tuesday, December 3, with a combined Thankful Celebration and a Room Naming Ceremony, with naming rights awarded in memory of deceased individuals whose family and friends made substantial donations in their names.
In an effort to accommodate growing enrollment, the school began a 10K in 30 Days Growing Pains Campaign to raise money for a new classroom trailer. Headed-up by BMS Board Vice President Jamie Reygle, the online campaign was kicked off in August and raised nearly $8,000 from more than 60 donors.
Several donors contributed sizable amounts in the name of loved ones who recently passed away. The school’s new trailer, which makes a total of four classroom structures on the grounds, was dually dedicated to Jerryanne Taber Bier and Doug Terrill, who were active community members that died of cancer this year.
Jerryanne and Doug’s spouses, Jim Bier and Inge Terrill, participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony that was attended by a crowd of students, parents, friends and teachers. Standing on the trailer deck, next to a wooden plaque engraved with the names of honor, Jim Bier spoke, saying that Jerryanne and Doug would be remembered for their integrity and their service.
“It will be a nice reminder of the lives they lived, the love they gave and the love they continue to receive,” said Inge Terrill about the trailer dedication.
Another sign of the school’s growth is the expanded office space, where BMS director Shelly Emmett and office manager Carol Volker work. Created in the school’s main building, the office was named and dedicated to Grandma Swokle, Volker’s grandmother. Volker’s mother made a generous donation to the Growing Pains Campaign in memory of her mother (Grandma Swokle), who passed away last year.
Following the dedications, refreshments were enjoyed and attendees gathered outside for a Thankful Circle. Students performed an original song and dance to thank the donors.
On a separate occasion, at the Blue Mountain High School (located at the EcoVillage) a student lounge/computer lab was dedicated to the late Tom Ryan. Pine Tavern owners, Reed and Jane Embrey wanted to do something to honor Ryan, who tended bar at one time and promoted music events at the tavern. They donated the proceeds from this year’s Annual Family Dysfunctional Picnic to the school and were awarded naming rights in Ryan’s honor.
The Annual Family Dysfunctional Picnic, founded by Ryan, took place in August in memory of Ryan, who died in January. Ryan’s college roommate and his roommate’s band, Sound Wave, traveled from Alabama to play for the occasion, which was a generous donation of time and money, Reed Embrey said.
The BMS Mardi Gras, a successful yearly masquerade party fundraiser, was Ryan’s idea, and he was crowned the event’s first Mardi Gras King. Past Mardi Gras Kings, Luke Staengl, Joe Klein, and Will Griffin, accompanied the Reeds, along with Mardi Gras organizer and Growing Pains fundraiser Jamie Reygle, at the Tom Ryan room ribbon cutting ceremony.
Inside the newly dubbed Tom Ryan room, the group reminisced about Ryan’s humor, his generosity to the community and his business ventures. They admired the limited print portrait of Ryan, donated by artist Greg Ward, which now hangs in the room.