By Derek Tyson, The Welch News Editor
William (Bud) Facello is a graduate of Welch High School, class of 1954, who believes in paying it forward. While now residing in Wilmington, NC, his heart is still home, seeking to help students on their way to college.
Working alongside his fellow alumni and wife, Grace Elizabeth (Sweatnam) Facello, the two established a scholarship fund for Mount View High School students, granting them a full-ride to Concord University.
“Why Concord University?” said Facello. “Our first decision was to let any student be eligible regardless of where they wanted to attend college, but one of the first responses we received was from a former member of the Concord University Foundation Board and Welch High School.”
He asked Facello to look at the faculty members, seeing that they were now and then graduates of Concord.
“If that wasn’t enough, he pledged to start this endeavor with a $20,000 donation, getting the scholarship off the ground,” said Facello.
To date, over 20 students have studied at Concord University with a full-ride scholarship. The fund continued to grow as Facello called upon former alumni from various schools across McDowell County, receiving pledges of $100 a year for life.
The students also committed a pledge of their own, to return to McDowell County during summer break for a free community service project of at least 40 hours while maintaining a “B” average in school. According to Facello, they’ve lived up to their pledge.
After losing his wife Grace, Facello sought to continue their work, now working to establish a similar fund for students at River View High School.
“It’s nice to know you have helped another deserving student from those areas of your old high school , helping them fulfill their dream of a better life for themselves and family members,” said Facello.
Anyone wishing to learn more about the new River View High School Scholarship Fund or current Mount View High School Fund is urged to give Bud Facello a call at (910) 547-1416 or an email at [email protected].