Shelton Connecticut Gaels Alumni Fund
Shelton High School's first alumni association was organized in 1900, when 24 graduates met on October 12 at the old Ferry School. That original SHS Alumni Association remained active through 1926 with Dorthea Verrette as its President.
Years passed - 61 to be exact - until Shelton High School graduate Karen Tomko-McGovern revived the organization. "I got the idea when SHS teacher and alumna Kathy Kelley invited a group of former cheerleaders to perform at the annual homecoming football game. I had so much fun that I wanted other alums - parents and children - to be able to come together to celebrate being a Shelton High School graduate."
In 1986, the new Association held its first meeting, which was conducted according to the original Bylaws created by their predecessors back in 1900. What began with about 20 members now has a membership of more than 600, who have been of great help to their Alma Mater. SHS Alum and retired Superintendent of Shelton Public Schools Leon Sylvester said "As a former educator, I can honestly say that the Shelton Alumni Association has made a significant and positive impact on many youngsters' lives. I am proud to be one of their staunch supporters."
The current goal of the group has been to raise funds for two annual $1,000 scholarships for graduating students who participate in school activities, take pride in their school, show consistent effort in their academic achievements, and rank in the top one-third of the class.
So why establish a Fund with VCF?
"We had done a tremendous amount of fund-raising over the years," said Mrs. Tomko-McGovern, "and were able to build our nest egg to almost $30,000. However, late last year we learned that we were no longer able to continue to use SHS's non-profit tax exempt status for donations. We were also getting a very low Bank savings interest rate on our existing funds, and it just made sense to seek out a better way to manage this money. Several of or alumni spoke highly of VCF, and after hearing what services they could provide, we decided to create this Fund."
The SHS Alumni Association is committed to building this Fund over time to the point where the amount necessary for the annual scholarship awards will be produced from the income of the Fund. In that way, the Fund can grow and continue in perpetuity.
"It is really for the benefit for all Shelton High School alumni to help these most deserving students," said Mrs. Tomko-McGovern. "For us, it means coming full circle. We've had our time at Shelton High School, and have gone on to make our own ways in the world. Now we want to help those who are about to start on their way. We encourage all alumni to join us as we keep this support growing through the SHS Alumni Fund."