CHESTER - Reid Calcott III's nostalgia for Chester goes beyond pleasant memories and annual return visits.
On Sunday, he turned those good feelings into cash with a $25,023.39 donation to the Chester Volunteer Fire Department, which will use it to help local organizations.
Calcott, son of longtime Chester dentist Reid Calcott Jr., said the inspiration for the gift was last year's Fourth of July celebration and the other ways that the Chester VFD helps the community.
Chester fire Chief John Hissam (left) talks with Reid Calcott III on Sunday in the Chester Volunteer Fire Department conference room. Calcott, a Chester native, gave the fire department a $25,000 donation for distribution to worthy local organizations. (Photo by Stephen Huba)
"Hopefully, it's an impetus for other people to say, 'Hey, we can do this too,' " Calcott said.
A Chester native, Calcott graduated from Chester High School in 1960, did his undergraduate studies at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, and went to dental school at the University of Michigan.
He settled and established a dental practice in Saginaw, Mich., where his wife is from, but Chester is never far from his mind, he said. Every year, he returns to the area for the Dom Amedeo Golf Classic, named for the former Chester High School teacher and football coach.
Calcott said he wanted to give the donation in memory of former Mayor Roy Cashdollar and in the name of the Chester High School class of 1960.
"Our class really appreciates Roy Cashdollar and everything he did for the city," he said.
The specific amount, he said, was in honor of former Chester High School halfback Bill Mayhew, whose number was 23, and football standout Tom Hindes, whose number was 39.
"I want to honor them and the fact that Chester could produce people like that," he said, noting that Hindes went on to become chief legal counsel for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Fire Chief John Hissam said the money will be put into a checking account and used to make one-time, small grants to local organizations. He said he will discuss with Chester City Council the best way for the money to be disbursed.
"The town itself will benefit greatly from this generous donation," Hissam said. "We're going to see that it gets to the right people."