Foundation’s Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship fund to support LHS’s Air Force JROTC Cadets
Julie Anderson Washburn, Lexington One Educational Foundation Executive Director
NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2021, Lexington, S.C. – On Wednesday afternoon, December 8, 2021, the Lexington One Educational Foundation presented a check for $2,794.42 to the Lexington High School Air Force Junior ROTC that was made possible by the 1st Lt. Almar L. Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship Fund.
This Educational Foundation fund was established in 2006 in loving memory of a former graduate of Lexington High School (2000) and The Citadel (2004), 1st Lt. Almar L. Fitzgerald, by his family, friends, and many others who participated in local fundraisers to benefit this scholarship fund.
After graduating from college with a degree in Criminal Justice, Almar enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a Commissioned Officer and trained at Quantico, Virginia. He was assigned to a Weapons Company as an Infantry Platoon Commander with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division in California. In September of 2005, Almar’s unit was sent to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. While serving he was seriously injured and then tragically died on February 21, 2006, at the young age of 23, as a result of his severe wounds. Soon after his passing the U.S. Marine Corps posthumously promoted Almar to the rank of 1st Lieutenant.
From its inception, the Educational Foundation awarded 32 1st Lt. Almar L. Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship awards, which totaled $16,000, to deserving Lexington High School graduates who followed in Almar’s footsteps by attending The Citadel. Since the fund was not originally established as an endowed account, the family decided to commit the currently remaining funds towards benefiting the cadets in the LHS AF JROTC. This Educational Foundation gift given in memory of 1st Lt. Almar L. Fitzgerald will provide scholarships to the cadets who will attend the week-long Citadel Leadership Course during the summer of 2022. Typically, LHS sends 10 to 20 cadets per year, so such kind support enables cadets to attend with no concerns of the financial costs of the enriching experience.
Lt. Col. Daemon E. Hobbs, USAF (ret), is the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor who leads the Air Force Junior ROTC SC-871 for Lexington High School. The mission of the program is to develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community. The program instills values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility and sense of accomplishment. Lt. Col. Hobbs stated, ” The Citadel Leadership Course is a week-long leadership course and every year we must work hard to raise funds so cadets can attend regardless of their family’s financial status. Cadets who graduate from it have noticeably better self-confidence and ability to lead. We truly appreciate the gift to the LHS AFJROTC from the Educational Foundation and 1st Lt. Fitzgerald’s family in support of our cadets.”
Lexington One Educational Foundation Executive Director Julie Anderson Washburn shared, “We are so very grateful to the Fitzgerald family for creating this fund years ago in memory of Almar to support Lexington District One students. Almar was obviously a beloved individual in the Lexington community and was greatly admired by his LHS and Citadel classmates. This support of the LHS cadets hopefully will inspire them and instill important leadership skills in all who attend the program. This final gift is also a wonderful way to remember what an amazing individual 1st Lt. Almar L. Fitzgerald was during his short but impactful life.”
About Lexington County School District One Educational Foundation
Established in 1994 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Lexington One Educational Foundation is a source of growth and support for Lexington County School District One. Our mission is to support the district’s educational programs and enrich the quality of life in our community by raising and managing funds. Annually, the Foundation works to build partnerships with individuals and corporations in order to benefit our students, teachers, and schools. We plant seeds in our district that bloom into amazing educational opportunities for our students! To learn more about our mission and how to give, visit: www.lex1EdFound.org.
Photo: MSgt. Eddie Blue, USAF (Ret.); Lt. Col. Daemon Hobbs, USAF (Ret.); Lexington High School Principal Ryan Pool; Lexington One Educational Foundation Executive Director Julie Anderson Washburn; and LHS Air Force JROTC Cadets