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Update, July 2015: During the 2015 Reunion in Dallas, several young people received recognition, giving renewed hope that the scholarship tradition would continue.  Funds were provided by the Dallas Chapter.

Update, July 2014: No one applied for scholarship recognition prior to the 2014 Reunion in North Carolina.

Update, July 2013: The status of the Synnia Solomon Scholarship Fund, founded in 1984 and maintained through the 2012 Reunion in Atlanta, is currently undetermined.  Please see explanation beneath the video.
-1988 Family Reunion in Cleveland, Ohio -

- You may also view the letter below in PDF Format by Clicking Here! -
Friday, July 19, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

July 11-14 the family celebrated the 40th Annual Reunion in grand style.  Thank you to the Cleveland Chapter and to all who attended this historic event.  I have received many positive comments from those who attended and those who have seen photos, videos, the newsletter, or spoken with others.

I have also received several inquiries regarding the absence of scholarship awards for the first time since 1984.  I hope to alleviate some confusion by addressing that issue here.  If you attended the Friday Evening Banquet you probably recall my message from the lectern entitled Dreams Do Not Die.  The message, hastily prepared in my mind as I was handed the microphone, was meant to explain the absence of the awards while cushioning the impact of that absence.

The priorities and needs of our young people include education, inspiration, financial assistance and the acknowledgement of others, particularly family.  That is why in 1984, using personal funds, I established the Synnia Solomon Scholarship Fund, giving full recognition to our reunion founder Synnia Solomon, who many of us recognize as The Dreamer, because, Dreams Do Not Die.

Understanding the needs of our young people and recognizing that none of us are here forever, in 1988, the Detroit Chapter, in their preparation for hosting the 1989 Reunion, graciously agreed to fund the scholarship awards at the 1989 reunion.  Recorded on videotape as a cherished moment in our history, that bold and positive move occurred each year for the next twenty-four years, through the 2012 Reunion in Atlanta, because, Dreams Do Not Die.

When I was asked to present the scholarship awards at the 2013 Reunion in Cleveland, I accepted that invitation as an honor to continue the long standing tradition of presenting chapter awards to deserving young people, because, Dreams Do Not Die

I discovered at 2:30 PM on Friday that no funds had been allocated for scholarships to be presented during the 2013 Reunion.  Many years ago, I decided that I could best serve the family not by being a member of the local chapter, but by promoting the use of technology, maintaining web sites, blogs, a Family Facebook Page, publishing a family newsletter, and paying the costs of those and similar efforts; because, Dreams Do Not Die.

The Bertram & Willie Gardner Citizenship Awards that were handed out at the Friday Banquet were originally planned for distribution privately on the following day.  The reason for that privacy was to respect the planning and work of the Cleveland Chapter.  The reunion was to be their moment.  The citizenship awards were privately funded and had nothing to do with the reunion.  Many have asked me about the future of the Synnia Solomon Scholarship Awards.  As has been the accepted practice for twenty-four years, that question can best be answered by the hosting chapter.

I close by thanking God for causing me to create and fund the Bertram & Willie Gardner Citizenship Awards at such a time as I did and for such a time as was needed, so that in spite of the circumstances; recognition, inspiration and financial support flowed on Friday evening as further evidence that Dreams Do Not Die!

Yours truly,

Henry Ford

BELOW: Video announcing the absence of the Synnia Solomon Scholarship Awards for 2013 and Presentation of the Bertram & Willie Gardner Citizenship Awards.


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