The Russ Fahl Athletic Scholarship was established to benefit a Columbia City High School athlete who will be graduating this spring and plans to pursue either a two or four-year degree at an accredited technical school or university. The scholarship was created to reflect Mr. Fahl’s steadfast belief in the importance of adhering to strong work ethic and embracing the spirit of competition.
When Russ Fahl graduated from Columbia City High School in 1948, he was awarded the school’s prestigious Honor Blanket for his valued roles on the school’s football and basketball teams. Sixty-seven years later, he fondly recalls what that award, and sports in general, meant to him during those formative years. “For me, as long as I can remember, it has always been about hard work. I might not have been the most gifted athlete but I worked hard. I remember a team meeting one Thursday before a Friday game when the coach sat us down and said ‘There’s one man in this group that is putting forth 110%,’ – that recognition stayed with me, ” he said. The exceptional work ethic the coach witnessed would go on to shape Fahl’s future as a successful, self-made businessman.
“There is a lot of value in sports; you learn to compete like you have to in the real world. It took a lot of years for me to get settled in and find the path that worked, but the lessons I learned through sports shaped me,” he added.
The new scholarship award also serves to pay tribute to several other Fahl family members who have in years past, also received the high school’s coveted Honor Blanket and Parker Awards for outstanding athleticism.
“It’s not always about the kid who scores. Sometimes it’s about the one who has been putting in the time and the rigorous training; the one who perseveres through determination; the one who strives to give their personal best. That’s the spirit that Dad wants to honor,” reflected Pam McCoy when discussing her father’s sentiments.