Each year during the past several decades, Freedom has held a craft fair with the proceeds funding the Barney Jones Memorial Scholarship.
Barney Jones and his wife, Ruth moved to Freedom sometime after the 2nd World War. There was a grocery store located in the building across the street from the First Christian Church on Elm Street. It was owned by a group of investors and operated by various people. Ruth and Barney were the last proprietors of the store prior to its going out of business.
Ruth and Barney were very active in the community and the Community Club. Ruth was president of this organization and was also the Town Clerk.
Barney became the school bus driver for the Freedom Elementary School. He was well liked by the children, parents and school staff.
When Barney died in the 60’s, local residents and Community Club members wanted to do something in remembrance of the well-liked member of the community. It was decided to establish a scholarship fund in his name to help Freedom Elementary School children continue their education after graduating from high school. The Community Club generates and administers these funds.
In the first few years available funds limited the scholarship to $50. As time went on, various fundraiser projects were used and refined. Today, revenue from charges for vendor space at the Arts and Craft Fair held the last Friday of Old Home Week generates almost all of the money necessary to support two $750 scholarships each year.
Organizing and managing the Craft Fair is a major undertaking requiring many volunteers to advertise, administer, set up and take down equipment, assist vendors and obtain raffle prizes. But, providing scholarships for our children makes the effort very worthwhile.
Be sure to visit our Facebook page for more information and pictures about Freedom and Freedom Old Home Week events!