Lincoln High grads raising money for wall


Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 3:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 3:04 p.m.

Lincoln High School graduates often talk about the rich history of the school and the legacy of the former all-black school in Gainesville that closed its doors in early 1970.

Facts

LINCOLN BALL

What: A ball to raise money for a memorial wall to honor Lincoln High School graduates.
When: July 27; ball from 8-11 p.m., reception from 7-8 p.m.
Where: Last Chance Banquet Hall, 219 NW 10th Ave.
Tickets: $25 in advance only.
Information: Call 352-374-9680.

And with perpetually preserving the legacy of the graduates of the school in mind, the school's alumni association is embarking on a capital campaign to raise $75,000 to build a memorial wall engraved with the names of the students in each graduating class.

The campaign will begin with the Lincoln High School Association Inc. hosting the "Mid-Summer's Night Ball and Memorial Wall Kick-Off Celebration from 8-11 p.m. July 27, with a reception from 7-8 p.m. at Last Chance Banquet Hall at 219 NW 10th Ave. Tickets are $25, and can be purchased at Susie's Beauty Salon at 928 NE 17th Drive and Ruby's "A Great Place to Eat" at 308 NW 5th Ave. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

"The ball is going to feature good food, fellowshipping and a lot of boogying down," said Albert White, president of the association.

White said he got the idea for the wall after his pastor, the Rev. Adrian S. Taylor, told him about the memorial wall at Middleton High School in Tampa, a former all-black high school that used to be a Lincoln rival.

Tampa resident Fred Hearns, a 1966 graduate of Middleton, said the graphite wall at Middleton with 1,720 names engraved on it was unveiled in 2002 on the same day the new Middleton school building was dedicated. He said the school served as a middle school for nearly 30 years before the old Middleton was replaced with the new Middleton.

White said the Lincoln memorial wall will be made of graphite, too, and will be engraved with the names of Lincoln's 2,863 graduates in senior classes from 1925 to 1970. He estimated that half of Lincoln's graduates are still living. White said the wall area, which will be erected by the flag pole in front of the school at what is now Lincoln Middle School, also will include the history of Lincoln High and a plaque honoring A. Quinn Jones, the school's first principal.

White said the project, which will hopefully begin next year, is receiving technical help from Scherers Construction, geotechnology firm GSE and consulting firm Jones Edmunds & Associates, all located in Gainesville.

White said the ball will not be the only fundraiser. Pledge cards have been mailed to all known living Lincoln graduates. He also said funds are being sought from corporate donors.

White said Lincoln graduates have responded to the project positively and with a lot of excitement.

"The wall will make a statement and get people's attention," White said. "Our mission is to take Lincoln High School into perpetuity, and we are doing that."

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