Family of Carolyn Fairbanks awards two scholarships


Carolyn Fairbanks Memorial Scholarship recipients Cassidy Gardner, left, and Madison O’Neil stand with Skipper Fairbanks.

The grandchildren of Carolyn Fairbanks have chosen two recipients for the Carolyn Fairbanks Memorial Scholarship this year, the fourth in which the scholarship has been awarded.

“She’s such a great person, we were trying to figure out a way to remember her best,” said Skipper Fairbanks of his late wife.

Each year one recipient is chosen each from Central High School and Red Bank High School.

Carolyn Fairbanks attended Central, while Skipper Fairbanks and all her children and grandchildren attended RBHS.

“We decided to limit it to Central and Red Bank because both were very important to our family,” said Wendy Lyness, Fairbanks’ daughter. “We wanted a way to honor her memory.”

Each recipient received $750 to put toward their college tuition.

The candidates had to go through an interview process and fill out an application, said Lyness. The five grandchildren: Kell Harvey, Drew Lyness, Blair Ballard, Ben O’Neal and Bailey Lyness, decided on the recipients.

“I’m so impressed with the seniors at Red Bank and Central,” said Wendy Lyness, adding that grades and SAT scores counted less than the candidates’ goals, personalities and thoughts about the future. “They try to pick people my mother would have been pleased with.”

CHS recipient Madison O’Neil said she plans to attend UTC next year and major in early childhood education in order to become an elementary school teacher in the Chattanooga area.

RBHS graduate Cassidy Gardner will attend Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tenn., and will major in nursing. She said she may continue her studies at the graduate level, perhaps in anesthesia.

“My grandfather always told me I need to be a doctor,” she laughed.