Patapsco alumni group seeks to stay active after 50th
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 11:01

Looking to add alumni band and scholarship

by Ben Boehl

    When the Patapsco High School Alumni Association (PHSAA) was created in 2012, its main focus was the school’s 50th anniversary celebration. Now that the school’s anniversary has come and gone, the alumni association remains — and is looking to do more.
    Jay Walton, new president of the association, said his group is just getting started.
    “I would like to thank everyone that came out to Martin’s [for the 50th anniversary celebration] to honor our past, celebrate our present and to envision our future, but we are looking into many more events,” Walton said.
   

One proposal is the creation of an alumni marching band. This new band is scheduled to play the school’s alma mater at halftime during the Patapsco football team’s homecoming game at CCBC Dundalk on Oct. 4.
    Walton said that there will be no practice and a band member does not have to sign up, as the band will congregate from the sidelines during halftime.
    “It is open to any alumni who play an instrument currently or for those who have to wipe off the dust off their old instrument,” Walton said. “We do not have uniforms yet, but they can wear a Patapsco Alumni T-shirt if they want to.”
    The alumni band is also scheduled to play “Sleigh Ride” at the Patapsco instrumental Christmas concert and plans to perform in the Dundalk 4th of July parade next year.
    The PHSAA is also looking to give out its first scholarship to a Patapsco  graduating senior this year. Walton is hoping that the scholarship becomes an annual event, but said that money must be raised to help the scholarship fund stay alive.
    There is no specific goal as to how much money will be given in the scholarship, but Walton said it will be based on alumni dues and contributions.
    “We are always looking for volunteers, but membership dues and contributions will go towards our scholarship fund,” Walton said.
    Melissa Geigley, who is now vice president after starting off as president and founder of the PHSAA, said she heard stories of how past alumni tried to start an association at Patapsco, but it never materialized.
    “[This group has] been around for a year and a half and it was started for the 50th anniversary, but we now have that interest,” Geigley said. “We need to establish it with other activities.”
    One of those activities is to create the scholarship fund. In addition to membership dues and contributions, Geigley would like to see PHSAA put on other events similar to the 50th anniversary gala, but on a smaller scale.
    “If we can throw together a 50th celebration, we can throw together a little fundraiser,” she said.            Walton said he noticed an interest in PHSAA when he set up a booth at the Heritage Fair and received positive response from fellow alums.
    “They were happy to see us. I can tell you that there is an interest in Patapsco, and we are happy to be a vehicle to connect them to the school,” Walton said. “We are the official alumni association. We are in the school and working with the school administration.” 
    Walton said he is happy that new Patapsco principal Craig Reed has given PHSAA its own mailbox at the school so alumni can drop off membership dues.
    PHSAA dues are $10 per year — or an alum can pay $50 for a lifetime membership.
    The group also meets at the school library at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month; Walton said all alumni of the school are welcome and encouraged to attend.
    Walton added that he hopes one day that the PHSAA will have its own classroom like the alumni associations at Dundalk and Sparrows Point high schools, which he said have model associations.
    “Dundalk High School has an excellent alumni association and so does Sparrows Point,” Walton noted. “We would be lucky if we can get ours like Dundalk and Sparrows Point.”
    For more information on the Patapsco High School alumni group, visit www.patriotalumnimd.org.