The Ashley Foundation was founded for and is dedicated to provide financial assistance to students of bowed string instruments and their teachers with published music, supplies and tuition. It would be Ashley's wish that dedicated students of music have every opportunity to find the joy she experienced as her talent grew.
Ashley worked hard to become a violinist. Her studies included Private lessons, Group lessons, Music camps, Workshops, School Orchestra, Church Orchestra, and her own hard work practicing.
Through her years of study, she attended many special programs to advance her talent. These included participating in the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra, Florida State University Summer Music Camps, and String Workshops throughout the Southeast.
She worked to seize any opportunity to participate in music education programs. These type of programs are often beyond the financial feasibility for many families to allow their children to attend.
Students and teachers need help, and we are here to provide it
The Ashley Foundation understands the burden and sacrifice that each contributor makes when they support the Foundation. Each and every contribution is handled with love and care; after all, it is in Ashley's name that we accept the gift, and Ashley's name that will be criticized for mishandling of the contributions. We will NOT let that happen.
Through the years, the Ashley Foundation has been trusted by individuals, organizations and businesses. The blessings from these contributors has been the "Life's Blood" of the Foundation, keeping Ashley, her laughs and smiles and her giving heart alive. These contributors have a sincere love of the children, teachers and the music they create.
As students study music, they become better citizens. Not because the contributions are spent teaching "citizenship", but because students of these instruments learn more, learn faster, work better with others and eventually, contribute in all aspects of life, back to society.
All contributions to the Ashley Foundation are bundled together to serve the needs of the students and teachers. Less than 3% of the contributions are used for expenses leaving greater than 97% for applicant scholarships. These expenses are for state business licensing, stamps and paper. As contributions increase, even greater portions are directly converted to meet the needs of the applicants.
Just a few weeks into the spring of 1986,on the comfortably cool morning of April 26, Ashley was born. For dad and mom, it was a wonderful day. Four short months later, she and her family moved from Fayetteville. Her dad’s job moved him from the North Carolina “Sand Hills” to Florida’s State Capital … Tallahassee and eventually to Jacksonville, Florida.
Through her preschool years, she was fascinated by nearly anything. Quietly checking out everything … studying it. Ashley started school and attended a Magnet Elementary School, for Math and Science, in Jacksonville, Florida. Her first couple of years of school were exciting and Ashley excelled. Tragedy in her life then began to pull her down as she tried to cope with her mom’s sickness that eventually led to her mom’s death.
By the fifth grade, Ashley’s dad had remarried. Her step-mom was a music teacher specializing in bowed string instruments. Ashley watched and soon became interested in the violin, and moved to a Magnet School that specialized in the Arts. Through the wonderful teaching of her school teachers and private instructors, Ashley excelled. She continued in the School of Arts into the winter of her 8th grade. Her family built a new home in Saint Augustine, and it was time to move again.
Ashley played well and studied hard, and was quickly accepted by her classmates. She changed schools the following year, moving from the middle school to the High School. By now, Ashley was playing in the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra, her school's orchestra and her church's orchestra. When Ashley graduated from Saint Augustine High School, she had played in the Saint Augustine Community Orchestra, attended Florida State University Summer Music Camps, and many other workshops and clinics and had won many awards for her musical skills including the prestigious “National School Orchestra Award.”
Immediately after graduation, Ashley was invited to play in the Chancel Orchestra of the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville. It thrilled her to play in the orchestra of one of the largest churches in America. The seating capacity is nearly ten thousand, and her eyes and smile gleamed in the lights.
Ashley chose to start her college classes in the summer, to be ahead of the others in the fall, and avoid all of the confusion of the new freshman class. By the time the fall term started, Ashley had been chosen to be an Ambassador for Saint Johns River Community College. She decided to wait a few terms before declaring her major. She just couldn’t decide which way she wanted to go.
Since she was about ten years old, Ashley had a very strong desire to learn all she could about tornados. For many years, she talked freely of her desire to become a “Specialized Meteorologist,” specializing in tornado studies. During Ashley’s last two or three years of senior high, she became fascinated with the government and history of America. She talked often of possibly a career in political science, and her dream of working for Mr. Doug Wiles, a State Representative in North East Florida. She loved our nation’s capital, and wanted to visit there as often as she could.
Everyone that knew Ashley loved her. She made everyone her friend, and always had a smile for anyone. Once she knew you, you were greeted with a smile, a hug, and a compliment every time.
Contributions to The Ashley Foundation may be mailed to:
The Ashley Foundation
P.O. Box 1685
Saint Augustine, Florida 32085