Large estate funds new St. Marys High School band scholarship
The Pleasants Community Foundation reports it is the recipient of the estate of the late Lewis Jones valued at well over $1 million.
ST. MARYS, W.Va. (WTAP) - A large estate left in the will of the late Lewis Jones is resulting in a new scholarship for St. Marys High School seniors.
In 2013, Jones started the Ralph and Ida Mae Jones Memorial SMHS Band Fund with the Pleasants Community Foundation, but changes in IRS regulations in 2017 prevented the fund from continuing.
Foundation executive director Sheri Fleegle said Jones asked about reinstating a band scholarship prior to his death in 2022.
“Upon his passing, we learned that the Pleasants Community Foundation and in particular the Ralph and Ida Mae Jones Memorial SMHS Band Fund was the recipient of the entirety of his estate. It was significant enough, well over a million dollars, that we were able to spin off some of that money to create a scholarship fund to honor his last request.”
With the remaining funds, Fleegle said the foundation will expand music programs at the Middle and Elementary schools in St. Marys.
“Music in particular, arts especially across the board support academics. Academics succeed because of the arts. I’ve always said if you want to teach a child fractions, get them into music.”
The first Jones SMHS Band Scholarship will be awarded in 2024.
Fleegle said more than one scholarship could be awarded depending on the number of eligible seniors.
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