ASHLAND -- The names that make up the Ashland community are being permanently tacked to Ashland City Schools through a commemorative brick campaign on the “Walk of Champions.”
The “Walk of Champions,” a pathway located next to Ashland Community Stadium, includes a row of brick pillars. The Ashland City Schools Foundation has begun selling bricks for $250 each to fundraise for future sports and recreational equipment for the Keith Wygant Memorial Field House.
The Ashland City Schools Foundation is an independent foundation that generates and endows funds to promote academics, the arts, athletics and educational opportunities for students and educators.
The ACSF and ACS initially came up with the brick concept years ago but started fundraising in earnest at the start of the 2021-22 school year, said ACSF board member Greg Gorrell, a 1963 ACS graduate.
“There’s really a double benefit to this,” Gorrell said. “The first benefit is it’s leaving a legacy for a son or daughter or mom or dad who has participated in or is close to the Ashland City School system. The second benefit is it helps outfit (the fieldhouse).
“It’s not just about buying a brick.”
ACSF has sold more than 50 bricks thus far, with 24 currently engraved and 30 plus engravings in the works. The goal is to sell 600, and specifically raise an excess of $100,000, Gorrell said.
Currently, bricks have been engraved to honor graduates, teachers, community organizations, deceased loved ones and families.
ACSF partnered with the Ashland Monument Company to do the stencils and engravings, Gorrell said. Major donors that contributed to the fieldhouse are also featured on plaques on the brick pillars. The brick campaign does not have an end date.
“Whatever it takes,” Gorrell said. “The objective is to have as many organizations and groups, both school and non-school alike, to participate.”
Over the last few months, ACSF has been advertising the campaign at sporting events and reaching out to alumni at class reunions, said ACSF board member Barb Queer and 1977 Ashland graduate.
“I just hope we do reach our goal and that we do assist the Ashland City Schools and the athletics program with having their equipment needs met now, and into the future,” Queer said.
While the goal is to raise in excess of $100,000 specifically for sport-related needs, Queer and Gorrell see the possibility for the campaign to continue to evolve.
“I think overtime this is a program that can just naturally continue,” Gorrell said, adding that the selling of bricks could eventually be used to fundraise for other district needs. “The mechanism will already be in place.”
If the bricks on the pillars fill up, there is an opportunity to engrave the bricks on the fieldhouse as well, Gorrell said.
“We’re on the beginning end of this,” Gorrell said.
More information on how to purchase a brick can be found here.