For Immediate Release:
July 25, 2013
Majella Chube Hamilton, (205) 937-4154
Greg Hodges, (205) 328-4357
4 Little Girls Memorial Fund to Host
A 50-Year Commemorative Tribute Honoring
The Four Girls Killed in the 1963 Church Bombing
(Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley)
Birmingham, AL: The 4 Little Girls Memorial Fund, which provides college scholarships in memory of the four young girls killed in the heinous bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church on September 15th, 1963, will host a 50-Year Tribute Event at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute on Saturday, September 14, 2013, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Established in 1983 as a 501(c)3 private foundation by AmSouth Bank (now Regions) and The Birmingham News, the 4 Little Girls Memorial Fund strives to honor and preserve the memory of Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley whose young lives were extinguished in an instant by the infamous bombing of the church.
Growing out of that tragedy, the 4 Little Girls Memorial Fund has awarded more than $250,000 in scholarships to 69 exceptional students since the first grants were made for the 1984-85 school year. By raising funds and awarding scholarships annually, the Fund helps deserving students fulfill their dream of getting a college education – an opportunity swept away from Addie Mae, Denise, Carole and Cynthia in 1963.
The September 14th event is a fundraiser for scholarships with admission by invitation or ticket only, and space is limited. Special guests will include family members of the four little girls, former and current Memorial Fund scholarship recipients, as well as local, state and congressional dignitaries. Attorney Gail Pugh Gratton and Odessa Woolfolk serve as president and vice president of the board, respectively.
According to Ms. Gratton, who is a cousin of the late Carole Robertson, “The heartbreaking deaths of Addie Mae, Denise, Carole and Cynthia fifty years ago became the catalyst for landmark Civil Rights legislation intended to promote justice and equality for all. Over the ensuing years, the Memorial Fund has paid homage to the girls’ ultimate sacrifice by paving new pathways for opportunity and success through college scholarships.”
“It speaks volumes that one of the parents of each of the four little girls served on the initial Memorial Fund board and approved the awarding of scholarships as a living legacy to their beloved daughters,” Gratton added. “As Birmingham marks the 50th anniversary of September 15, 1963, we invite the public to join us in honoring the lives and memory of Addie Mae, Denise, Carole and Cynthia by making a contribution to the 4 Little Girls Memorial Fund.”
Lisa McNair, whose sister Denise also perished in the bomb blast, and Greg Hodges, long-time Memorial Fund board member, are serving as co-chairs of the 4 Little Girls Memorial Tribute. The September 14th event is part of the City of Birmingham’s 50 Years Forward celebration.
In commemoration of 50 Years Forward, individual tickets to the 4 Little Girls Memorial Tribute are $50 (of which $40 is tax deductible) and all proceeds will benefit the 4 Little Girls Memorial Fund. Patron tickets, and other sponsorship levels, are also available.
The goal of this College Scholarship Fund is simple and straightforward – that from the ashes of hatred and destruction might come tolerance, understanding and unity, modeled in lives of meaningful service to this community and world.
232 Scholarships Awarded to Students
Historically, the 4 Little Girls Memorial Fund (originally known as the Memorial Fund for the Four Children) has awarded a total of 232 scholarships – some for one year, most for multiple years – to students at numerous colleges and universities, including Agnes Scott College, University of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Auburn University, Birmingham-Southern College, Cumberland College, Dillard University, Florida A&M University, Georgetown University, Jefferson State Community College, Miles College, University of Montevallo, Talladega College, Tennessee State University and Tuskegee University.
The current scholarship program is targeted to students at Miles College and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) who apply through their school.
For more information, email Trust Officer Cara Gober at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (205) 264-7132. Find out more on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4littlegirlsfund. Online donations and ticket information will be posted soon.
Tax-deductible donations to the Memorial Fund are also welcomed by mail to:
4 Little Girls Memorial Fund
c/o Regions Bank, as Trustee
1900 5th Avenue North, Suite 2500
P. O. Box 1688
Birmingham, AL 35203
Attention: Cara Gober, Trust Officer
For more information or assistance, call Cara Gober at 205-264-7132.
All media are invited to cover interviews, which are available upon request.