Last updated: March 11. 2014 6:45PM -
Register Staff PPRnews@civitasmedia.com

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MASON COUNTY — The Andrea Bailes Honorary Scholarship Fund has been established at Our Community’s Foundation-Mason County.

Created by her family, the scholarship fund serves as a legacy to Andrea’s life.

Andrea Lynn Nicole Bailes lost her life on Nov. 18, 2011, at 14. Andrea was the daughter of Jody Bailes and Jason Spaulding, and Deana Nibert Spaulding.

“My daughter’s life was cut short because someone made a bad decision to drink and drive,” said Deana Nibert Spaulding, Andrea’s mother.

Andrea was an eighth grader at Point Pleasant Jr/Sr High School, where she excelled in academics and athletics. She was a member of the soccer team and maintained a 3.5 grade point average. Andrea was a dedicated gymnast and devoted 20-24 hours a week to practice as a competing member of Southern Ohio Gymnastics Academy in Gallipolis. She was a two-time state champion on the uneven bars. In addition her to own practice schedule, she also mentored younger gymnasts and had planned to coach gymnastics when she turned 16. She was the youngest of three children and attended church at Wyoma Pentecostal Church.

“Andrea loved people and had a smile that would light up the room. She was a hard worker who was dedicated to things that mattered most to her. Andrea raised most of the money needed for gymnastics competitions through business sponsors so the cost would not be a hardship for her family,” Deanna Nibert Spaulding said. “She used her charismatic personality to contact businesses with mailings, help organize fundraisers and work odd jobs to generate the funding needed for gymnastics camps and competitions. She was always willing to give to those who were in need. Andrea loved spending time with her grandparents. She was lucky to have seven grandparents who were an active part of her life.

“I want this scholarship to be a constant reminder of the kind of person my daughter was,” Deanna Nibert Spaulding continued. “She was a very giving and loving person. There were many times in her life when people helped make my daughter’s dreams come true. My hope is that through scholarship support, we will be able to help give others the opportunity to go college — a dream that Andrea was not able to fulfill. By creating a permanent fund at the community foundation, we, like Andrea, will be able to help others forever in her memory.”

Mrs. Spaulding and Andrea’s brothers, Trenton and Jesse, and family friends have formed a group called Andrea’s Army and have been working over the past two years to educate the community about the hazards of drinking and driving. The members of Andrea’s Army share Andrea’s story in the hope that they may prevent this tragedy from happening to another family.

Andrea’s family will be working over the next three years to build the scholarship fund to endowment. Donations to build this scholarship fund can be mailed to the Andrea Bailes Scholarship Fund, MCCF, P.O. Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102. All donations to the scholarship fund will be acknowledged by the community foundation as a charitable tax deduction. The family hopes to have the scholarship fund endowed by 2016 so it can provide a scholarship to a graduating senior in the year that Andrea Bailes would have graduated from high school.

Questions regarding gifts to this fund or any of the community foundation funds are directed to email at jane.winters@pacfwv.com or phone (304) 428-4438. The Mason County Community Foundation is a regional affiliate of Our Community‘s Foundation, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and the regional affiliates of Doddridge, Jackson, Mason, and Ritchie Counties and the Little Kanawha Area (Wirt, Gilmer and Calhoun counties).

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