Remembering Joyce Stockert and her gift to our community, 25 years after her passing

BUCKHANNON — On Thursday afternoon, the Stockert Youth & Community Center afterschool kids rolled off the bus and joined staff and board members to commemorate the passing of 25 years since Joyce Stockert’s death and bequeathment of hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a youth center for our community.

As I write this at City Hall following the event, I hear the joyful laughs and yells emanating from the play area across the street. The good weather today that has us all outside may just be Mrs. Stockert’s positive light shining down, smiling at the children she has helped by providing them with a safe and fun place to play this afternoon. We thank you, Mrs. Stockert.

Mayor McCauley:     

Good afternoon and thank you for joining us for this moment of reflection as we remember Mrs. Joyce Stockert, who died 25 years ago this Saturday, March 16.  We honor her rich legacy that has benefitted so many children of our Buckhannon-Upshur community.  Thousands of B-U kids have walked through these doors for the past quarter century.  We will never know for certain exactly how many young lives have been positively impacted by Stockert programs, but we do know that this special place has provided sanctuary to now- two generations of children.

Stockert offers safe haven to those of tender age, who otherwise might retreat home after school to a lonely house without supervision.  Our after-school programs offer superior care and attention to those who need it most.  This place is fun, it is vibrant, it is educational, & it is so needed.  Our Stockert programs include the basketball, martial arts, & wrestling programs.  Stock-Art has introduced our youth to painting, sculpting, & appreciation for the arts.  Our first & longest enduring program, the SYCC drill team has seen hundreds of primarily little girls learn to shake their pompoms, twirl their batons, & adorn our parade route with flags & wooden rifles. Camp Buccaneer provides a safe, supervised, fun-filled summer opportunity for many of our kids who are transported to the high school pool & to field trips via our SYCC bus fleet.

None of these many wonderful activities would have been possible were it not for one lady, who wanted to make a positive difference for our greatest assets, our children.  As Mrs. Stockert reflected upon her life & her last days back in early 1994, she decided to become the ultimate difference maker, by selflessly giving virtually all that she had, $500,000 – to our children.  She received terrific counsel from Buckhannon attorney, Roy Law, to whom we are all also deeply indebted, &- the rest is history.  Today, we honor Joyce Stockert’s legacy, we remember her compassion & kindness, & we recommit our community to honoring her by continuing & expanding the numerous programs & activities that have helped so many young people right here.  Please help us to realize our new multi-use building that we’re trying hard to break ground on later this year by pledging your financial support.  During March which is Women’s History Month, we couldn’t recognize a more appropriate honoree of a lady who made all of the difference in our children’s history- than Mrs. Joyce Stockert.

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