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The Montee J. Hoke Memorial Wrestling Scholarship
To honor Coach Hoke (Williamston's first wrestling coach), to give back, to encourage young people to try wrestling and to help graduating seniors with educational expenses beyond high school, I have decided to donate a total of $50,000 dollars to establish and maintain the Montee J. Hoke Memorial Wrestling Scholarship at WHS. It will be an endowed scholarship, so only the interest will be used for a yearly scholarship, ensuring that it will go on for as long as there is a wrestling program at WHS. It would be great if others also donated to the scholarship to share in its ownership. When I mentioned the scholarship at our 60th high school class reunion, Harold Whittemore immediately spoke up to ask if he could contribute.
The idea of establishing a scholarship has been in the back of my mind for a long time. Late in May, 2017, I decided it was time to move forward with the idea. After discussions with my attorney and accountant to gain an understanding of the legal and financial aspects of establishing an endowed scholarship, I decided it was time to make contact with WHS and the wrestling program.
In June, two of my classmates, Dick and Barb Cole, contacted Brad Johnson and I was soon having phone contacts with Athletic Director, Tom Hampton, Wrestling Coach, George Manson and Brad. After George, Brad and I discussed the scholarship idea via phone and email for several weeks; we concluded that the Annual Booster Club Golf Outing on September 16, 2017 would be a good time to announce the scholarship.
I spent the day riding around in a golf cart with George, being introduced as a member of the inaugural 1955 team who was in town for his 60th class reunion. At the banquet following the golf tournament, I made the announcement that my primary reason for being in town was to announce the scholarship. I expected that the group present would be pleased with the scholarship; however, their facial expressions and applause took my breath away. After the shock wore off, a bit, several boosters began brainstorming how they could "springboard" from my project into other projects to benefit the wrestling program. One gentleman suggested that they could turn my $50,000 into $250,000 dollars. Might be a bit "pie in the sky" ...or maybe not. Contacting wrestling alumni from the 60 plus years of the wrestling program's existence has great potential for adding a substantial amount to the scholarship fund. Harold Whittemore's reaction at the reunion may portend receiving lots of donations. Nothing would make me happier than having as many donors as possible with an ownership stake in the scholarship. I look forward to working with the Williamston Wrestling Booster Club to finalize the details.
Early in the process I attempted to locate Coach Hoke. I had stayed in touch with him for a few years following high school graduation, but had lost contact. On July 29, 2017 I made contact with his daughter, Cindy, who informed me that her dad had died in 1989. She also informed me she was the last of the Hoke family. Cindy provided me with information about the Hoke family and, especially about her dad's art career after coaching wrestling. For me, it was a very emotional conversation. Cindy was pleased to hear about the scholarship and I promised to contact her with periodic updates relative to establishing the scholarship.
At the golf outing I noticed the slogan, "If Not Now, When?" When is now for establishing the Montee J. Hoke Memorial Wrestling Scholship at WHS
Warren May, WHS Class of 1957
ęCopyright 1999-2017 Williamston Wrestling Boosters
Williamston High School, 3939 Vanneter Rd., Williamston , MI 48895