FREEPORT, Maine — Sandy Allen watched proudly Wednesday night as Regional School Unit 5 authorized a scholarship fund in the name of his brother, Richard.
The Richard P. Allen Scholarship will be awarded annually to a Freeport High School graduate “whose four high school years demonstrate a consistent pattern of scholastic achievement, extracurricular determination and school/community citizenship.”
Allen, a 1963 Freeport High graduate, was an outstanding baseball player and captain of the basketball team, as well as a distinguished student. He passed away on Sept. 4, 2010.
A Freeport High School graduating senior will earn the first Allen Memorial Scholarship in June.
Prior to Wednesday night’s unanimous approval of the scholarship, Sandy Allen, who still lives in Freeport, said the family is proud.
“We thought by honoring Rick, it also would be a remembrance of my mother, Elizabeth Phelps Allen, who was a teacher here,” Sandy Allen said. “I’m thrilled with it. We going to try to continue to enlarge the fund.”
Presently, Allen said, the Allen Scholarship Fund stands at around $20,000. A schoolmate of Richard Allen, Bob Small, and another schoolmate, Jane Grant, were instrumental in getting the fund started, Sandy Allen said.
Allen said that his brother graduated from Bowdoin College in 1967, then earned a master’s in geophysics at Boston University. After service with the Army in Vietnam, he lived for some time in Cumberland, and resided in Connecticut in his final years, Allen said.
Small penned a letter to the board, fondly remembering his old friend.
“Rick was an outstanding athlete, an exceptional musician and a wonderful friend and person,” Small wrote. “That sets the bar very high for the recipient of this scholarship, who will be a young man or woman who best exemplified these characteristics during their four years at Freeport High School.”
Small continued: “I met Rick in the first grade and was fortunate that he was such a fine first baseman and was always able to scoop up my infield throws from Little League through high school. We started playing one-on-one basketball in his parents’ kitchen (until they kicked us out to the garage), and then as Freeport Falcons. We sat together in band and rode our bikes ridiculously fast down Porter’s Landing Hill in order to make it up the driveway to his house. After college, we both joined the Army, and as we got older, shared Vietnam stories.”
After the vote, Board Chairman Nelson Larkins thanked the Allen family for its contributions to Freeport High.