When his father passed in the fall of 2000, Terry Smid knew that he would eventually establish a scholarship fund for Leslie High School. His father had been a School Board Member and President for a few years, while Terry, his older brother, Jan, and younger sister, Debbie were students in the Leslie Public School System. Terry’s family moved to Leslie when he was just 4 to 6 years old and his father immediately fell in love with the small town that raised and educated children with the importance of self-respect and community in mind.
In the spring of 2013, after Terry was diagnosed with Stage IV esophageal cancer and his own mortality came in to question, he thought again about those plans for a scholarship fund. He decided he wanted to hold a 1/2 marathon in Leslie as the fundraiser for the scholarship. His family would set up the endowment fund and the non-profit organization. The marathon would act each year as the fundraising source. What better way to bring together his own passion for running with his father’s passion for educating the young residents of the Leslie Community.
When Terry sat down with this wife, Pam, his two daughters, Martha and Sarah, and his son-in-law, Dewey – he told them of his wishes. Martha – having fallen not far from the same planning branch as Terry – began with the planning. Before the week was out the 1/2 marathon was named THE HALLOWED HALF. The entire concept was three generations of interests tied into one. Martha’s love for Halloween, combined with Terry’s love of running, combined with John’s love of education in a small town – it was perfect. Add in Pam and Sarah’s love of organization and making sure everyone is having a good time – and we have a pretty sweet event ahead of us!
The family originally planned on holding the first 1/2 marathon in October of 2014, while Terry was still alive – so he could be a part of the process AND enjoy the benefits of his family’s hard work – being there to award the first scholarship on a graduating Leslie senior from the Class of 2015 – the same class that his oldest grandchild – Zach Owen – would be graduating in. Little did the family know – Terry would not be there for the first marathon. However, knowing that he has high expectations of his girls and the rest of his family – they decided to move forward and hold the first marathon in the fall of 2014 – just 14 years after Terry had the original plan to honor his father. The first scholarship was given out in the spring of 2015 – the same day that Terry’s oldest grandson attended his Honors Night – officially marking three generations of Leslie High School graduates for the Smid family.
The scholarship has been named THE JAFTICA SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION. JAFTICA was the name of Terry and Pam’s sailboat and it’s a reminder that with a great foundation, hard work, and motivation any Leslie High graduate has the opportunity for a satisfying career AND the ability to live the good life with some fun toys.