First EFHS Foundation dinner raises $20,000

Apr. 25—FAIRMONT — Officials with the East Fairmont High School Foundation Inc. say their inaugural Fundraising Scholarship and Recognition Dinner was a success.

Over 120 guests, includinh alumni, faculty and family members gathered at the school for the dinner, which had been in the works for years. The foundation's goal for the year is to raise $23,000 and they raised $20,000 at the dinner.

EFHS Foundation board member director and fundraising supervisor Mary Jo Thomas said guests ranged in age from their early 20s to 80s. She said she was excited to see the dinner come to fruition and it went better than she expected.

"The highlight was seeing the scholarship recipients return and share what the opportunity meant. Seeing the families that came together was nice. I mean, you had three generations of graduates at some of the tables.

"Seeing everybody being so comfortable, so friendly, so generous, and so dedicated to making things different for future generations was wonderful," Thomas said.

Delbert "Butch" Phillips, former EFHS Foundation President and current board member director, shared similar sentiments and said counting the money raised was the most rewarding part of the dinner.

Annually, the foundation provides $45,000 in scholarships, educational mini grants and school support to East Fairmont. Since the foundation's inception in 1993, they have provided $1,283,000. EFHS Foundation President David Nuzum said their goal is to just give back to the community.

"Getting friends and alumni of East Fairmont High School together and talking about the support we've been able to give students and the school over the years was really nice. ... We are blessed to have a community and alumni that love our school and want to help the kids," Nuzum said.

At dinner, EFHS Principal Mary Lynn Westfall welcomed guests, Nuzum introduced guests, and Tyler and Michael McCutchan talked about the impact of scholarships and recognized board members, emeritus board members and past scholarship recipients. Phillips spoke about planned giving and Thomas talked about the "Bee Week of Giving," which took place the week of the dinner.

The emeritus board members included Archie Cain, class of 1941; Clyde Dodd, class of 1954; Rebecca Ford Phillips, class of 1961; Elton Slusser, class of 1953. They remembered the life of Cain, who recently passed away at 99 years old.

EFHS Foundation board member director Tyler McCutchan was an EFHS graduate and scholarship recipient. He shared his perspective, as the youngest board member, on how the foundation works as an outreach resource. McCutchan said when he received his scholarship, he was thankful someone had confidence in him.

"Ultimately and hopefully, I want to bring some of that back to the community, that's kind of how I always viewed it. You know, when somebody helps myself, my business, my family, I always think what can we do to give back and return the favor?" McCutchan said.

Tyler and Michael McCutchan own and operate McCutchan's Heating and Cooling and host the annual McCutchan Car Show fundraiser, which is held at East Fairmont during Labor Day Weekend.

For more information on the EFHS Foundation, visit their Facebook page.

Reach me at or 304-367-2549.