In 1946, when the senior class of Horace Greeley High School gave $300 to start a fund for students who needed help paying for college, the seeds for the Horace Greeley Education Fund were planted.
Wanting to encourage the students in their efforts, Donald Miles, then the school principal, and Mrs. Lester Marasco, a member of the Board of Education, asked community groups to add to the fund. One of the main contributors was the Chappaqua PTA, though other groups including “The Dad’s Club,” the performing Arts Group and the Lions Club made donations.
Over the years, the money available to Greeley graduates varied, depending on the success of each years fund raisers. By 1964, with college costs increasing and the student body growing, community leaders grew concerned about the informal administration of the fund as well as the lack of continuity for planning. An ad hoc committee met to discuss establishing a formal organization with the specific task of coordinating existing efforts and seeking new ones to insure enough money each year to meet the growing needs of students.
In January of 1965, a proposal was adopted to incorporate as the Horace Greeley Education Fund, “…to provide financial assistance… for the purpose of enabling students to pursue their education in institutions of higher learning…” The first slate of officers was also presented and elected.
Each year since 1966, the volunteers at the fund have led an annual drive to solicit community support through a mailing to Chappaqua residents. By 1972, the fund was raising just under $20,000 a year. But it was the financial gift of Edwin Barlow, a long time Greeley teacher, which tripled the Horace Greeley Education Fund and provided the principle of the fund which continues to serve Greeley graduates today.
Mr. Barlow died on December 17, 1990. He left the Horace Greeley Education Fund roughly $500,000 – most of which came from his school district insurance policy, his state retirement death benefits and the retirement system annuity.
In 2003, the membership of the Horace Greeley Education Fund voted to change its name to the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund (HGSF) and create a more informational and useful Web site (www.hgsf.org) in order to better reflect its mission.
The Board hopes that in the future, no qualified Greeley graduate who needs financial assistance for college will be turned away and with your support we will continue to be able to “Make up the difference.”