Banks High School Alumni Foundation
A History of the Banks High School Alumni Foundation
Around the middle of the 1980s there was a group of Banks High School Alumni who would gather for an annual dinner at the Brown Derby Restaurant in Banks, Oregon, and later at the St. Francis Elementary School in Roy. Many of these people graduated from Banks High School in the middle to late 1930s. It grew each year by inviting people who would celebrate their 50-year reunion. This dinner came to be affectionately called the Gold Timers dinner.
It was at one of these early dinners that Norman Bud Stanton '36 started a discussion. Bud and a few others wanted to do something as kind of a payback for the years they had enjoyed growing up in the Banks area and attending Banks High School. Among those having a voice in this discussion were Don Spiering '37, Irwin Schlegel '34, Wilma '34 and Albert Stafford '32, Oris Maller '32 and Irene Hickman '36. These alumni are considered the Founders of the Banks High School Alumni Foundation.
The wheels started to spin and the law firm of Stoel Rives Boley Jones & Grey was engaged to establish the Banks High School Alumni Foundation. In March of 1988, the Alumni Foundation Inc. was incorporated as an Oregon nonprofit corporation.
More alumni joined the effort. Alums Nancy Lyda '61, Bill Tolke '48, Elaine Hermens '53, Lillian Shafer '47, Georgeina Howell '68, Ken Ackerman '68, Gene Kelly '60, Norma Stewart '62, and Don Caldwell '53 started to take leadership rolls in the organization. That same year Banks High School was contacted and under the guidance of then Principal Bob Schlegel '65, criteria for an Alumni Scholarship were developed and addresses and mailing lists were created. Fundraisers were planned including raffling off log truck loads of firewood, selling mums at homecoming, a hide-a-bed raffle, concession stand proceeds, and general mailings asking for donations. Then President Irwin Schlegel stated at one of these planning meetings that his fundraising goal was $100,000. On this announcement, there was a collective inhale in the room, as people immediately understood the immensity of this number. Many hours of volunteer labor were logged during these early years in pursuit of this goal.
In the late 1990s a series of events occurred that changed the fundraising focus of the Foundation. Starting with the Louise Larson Family, several people with community ties began donating money to the Foundation. Other families that came forward during this period including the Rufener and Schlegel families. In about 2004, Dallas Weber passed away and left the foundation $320,000. Dallas was a local farmer and good friend of then Foundation President Bill Tolke. It was said Dallas first got the idea to donate when he saw Bills name as President of the Foundation on a letterhead he had received in the mail. In addition, over the course of the life of this organization, Bud Stanton would donate nearly $5,000 yearly to the Foundation with that total in the $100,000 neighborhood today.
The first Alumni Foundation Scholarship was awarded in 1988. Over the past several years the Foundation has grown to the point were we have been awarding several scholarships a year and since 1988 has awarded over 148 scholarships totaling $217,000 to graduates of Banks High School.
If you have any questions concerning the foundation, please contact:
Chairman Mark Ward
Treasurer Bill Schlegel at 503.647.0933
View the Bill Tolke Alumni Article