POINT PLEASANT —The seeds sown by a young girl gone too soon are taking root.
Andrea Bailes lost her life in an accident involving a drunk driver on Nov. 18, 2011, at the age of 14 and since then, friends and family have worked hard to maintain her legacy - including establishing the Andrea Bailes Honorary Scholarship Fund at Our Community’s Foundation-Mason County.
Recently, Deana Nibert Spaulding, Andrea’s mother and Jesse Bailes, one of Andrea’s brothers, received a donation to the scholarship fund from the Mason County Vocational FFA organization. FFA members hope the donation will challenge others to give to the newly formed scholarship which will first be awarded in 2016, the year Andrea would’ve graduated from high school.
Spaulding said right now, the family is trying to build the scholarship and grow it so it can be given out annually to seniors at Point Pleasant High School. The criteria for the scholarship won’t only have to do with a student’s GPA but their record of community service and extracurricular activities, like being in FFA.
Many of Andrea’s friends were also on hand for the check presentation from FFA members this week with several sporting t-shirts promoting “Andrea’s Law” which encourages tougher penalties for drunk driving offenses. These efforts to make a difference are important to Spaulding who said at the end of the day, it matters to her if even one person rethinks their decision to drink and drive because of Andrea’s story.
Again, Andrea’s family will be working over the next couple of 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.
Questions regarding gifts to this fund or any of the community foundation funds are directed to email at firstname.lastname@example.org 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).