The local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 358 has donated $2,000 to a fund named for late local historian and World War II veteran Maurice “Chris” Morley.
The donation was made to the Ballston Spa Central School District’s Maurice “Christopher” Morley Literacy Fund. Post Commander Earl Manning presented the check at a recent Board of Education meeting.
Morley attended Ballston Spa High School when it was located at what is now Malta Avenue Elementary School, but he struggled with dyslexia and left school early to join the Marines and serve in World War II.
Morley later became known for his deep knowledge of local history, storytelling and interest in making wooden toys. However, he did not receive his diploma from Ballston Spa High School until half a century after he left school, when he participated in the Operation Graduation program. In his honor, the Ballston Spa Rotary Club established the literacy award in 2008.
Morley, a member of the VFW for nearly 70 years, died in 2011 at the age of 89.
The awards are presented annually in June to a fifth-grade student from each of the district’s four elementary schools who “demonstrate exceptional determination and perseverance on the road to reading.”
The $2,000 VFW donation was raised during a recent Salute to Literacy benefit hosted by the post and its auxiliaries that included a spaghetti dinner, a bake sale, a 50-50 raffle and a silent auction.
The Morley award is administered through the Ballston Spa School District’s Partnership for Innovation in Education Fund, part of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, which supports programs and initiatives that include: Sponsor-A-Scholar, STEM enrichment programs, Fine & Performing Arts, the Alumni Network and the Clean Technologies & Sustainable Industries Early College High School.