In 1943, the Staples High School PTA gave $100 to a group of Westporters. They in turn found a worthy recipient, who would otherwise be unable to attend college.
With that donation, Staples Tuition Grants was born.
In 2017 — nearly 75 years later — the organization provided $300,000 in assistance to over 100 recipients. They were graduating seniors, and college students who had received previous grants. They’re attending public and private universities, junior colleges and vocational schools.
They supplement their grants with jobs. They work hard. They’re grateful that college — exponentially more expensive than ever — can be a reality.
STG is rightfully proud that for three-quarters of a century, they’ve provided millions of dollars to tens of thousands of students.
So they’re throwing a party. The theme — naturally — is “75 years of college.”
Set for Saturday, March 10 (7 p.m., Branson Hall at Christ & Holy Trinity Church), the casual, fun event features college-ish food (pizza, burgers), drink (keg beer, wine) and music from (most) attendees’ college years. There could be ping pong and foosball too.
Party-goers are encouraged to wear their school colors or logowear. A 1955 recipient has already RSVP-ed. Organizers hope other former recipients will attend too.
The cost is $75. (It’s a fundraiser, obviously.) Organizers are soliciting 75 business sponsors, at $100 each (in honor of that first-ever grant).
Gault Energy and Melissa & Doug have signed on as lead sponsors.
Igor Pikayzen — a 2005 Staples grad, and STG recipient — will play. Westport filmmaker Doug Tirola — whose father was on the STG board — is making a special video. Former STG recipients Ned Batlin and Trevor Lally will give brief remarks. So will Miggs Burroughs, who designed the logo.
Everyone — Staples grads, and those of every other high school; college alumni and people who never went; anyone who ever got a scholarship, and anyone who did not — is invited to the 75th anniversary celebration.
Let’s make sure that Staples Tuition Grants is still doing great deeds in 2093 — 75 years from now.
(Click here for tickets to the 75th anniversary celebration, and more information. If you’re a former recipient and would like to be taped for a video, or are interested in helping sponsor the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)