President’s Message – Spring 2020

by Dave Blocksom ’68

Pandemic News
With the COVID-19 school closure, we are trying to help the students in any way we can while they are out of school. We are directing donations to the Principal’s Fund to be used by the principal at his discretion. To make a donation to the Principal’s Fund, click HERE and select Principal’s Fund.

Well-fed Tiger Athletes Perform Better
A few years ago, Alumni Assn. Board of Trustees Vice President, Carol Mitchell Lawrence ’84, started a program called Fuel Our Tigers to raise money to provide game day meals for our football players. At the beginning of this school year, the Board voted to expand this program to include home and away game day meals for all student athletes. Before, the pandemic school closing, the program was projected to provide over 7,000 meals to 475 student athletes for the school year at a cost of around $21,000. Withrow’s student athletes and coaches thank the alumni for their generous donations, which help fund this program. If you would like to help this program, please Donate Now by clicking HERE and select Help Fuel Withrow Tigers Before Sporting Events.

Bob Linnenberg ’63 continues his excellent series on Withrow history. To read Bob’s most recent article on Dramatic and Literary Clubs – The First Fifty Years, click HERE.

Next school year, Withrow will move from the mostly suburban Eastern Cincinnati Conference (ECC) back to the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference (CMAC) which consists of Cincinnati Public Schools (similar to the old PHSL). We wish them the best of success in the new conference.

How to Stay in Touch
Because of rising printing and mailing costs and a desire of our younger alumni to receive an electronic version of Tower News (vs. this old school paper version), the Board has decided to mail the paper version only to those alumni who graduated prior to 1981. Those who graduated after 1980 will receive Tower News via an email.

If you know of fellow alums who did not receive an emailed copy of  the Tower News, please ask them to go to Alumni Update on the website by clicking HERE and provide us with their email address. The Tower News is always available for viewing by clicking on the first blue button of the Alumni Assn. website Home page. The Tower News is also available on the Alumni Assn. Facebook page. If you graduated prior to 1981 and would like to receive Tower News electronically instead of the paper version, please contact us at

Tigers Inducted into CPS Athletic Hall of Fame
Four Withrow alumni athletes were inducted into the Cincinnati Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019. They are Robert Longmire ’73 for wrestling; Dante Love ’05 for football, basketball and baseball; Ethan Allen ’22 for football, basketball, baseball and track, and Dick Lemay ’56 for football, basketball and baseball. R. Longmire, E. Allen and D. Love are also members of the Withrow Athletic Hall of Fame. If you would like to help this program, please Donate Now by clicking HERE and select Withrow Athletic Hall of Fame.

New Way to Contribute
The recently enacted SECURE Act has slightly modified the Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from some retirement accounts. If you turn 70½ this year, you won’t start taking your RMDs until you turn 72. If you are already required to take RMDs, then nothing changes. I mention this because many of our alumni make donations to Withrow Alumni Inc. (WAI) through their RMDs (as a Qualified Charitable Distribution). This is a great way to help Withrow and not have to pay income taxes on your distribution. Since many of you are no longer able to take itemized deductions on your tax return, it is a way to still get a tax benefit from contributing to Withrow. For those of you 1963 alums who turn 70½ this year, you can still take a charitable distribution this year and next (although it’s not required). This process is fairly easy to set up with your retirement account custodian. We thank those of you who are taking advantage of this tax break. If you want help or more information about this program please contact us withrowalum@

Through the years we have been blessed by being the recipient of bequests from alumnus estates. Unfortunately, we’ve never properly recognized those deceased donors. To rectify that we have established the John Withrow Society to recognize alumni who inform us that WAI will be part of their estate. We’re not asking for any details of your bequest, just the knowledge that we are a part of your estate plan. In return, we will recognize you (if you want recognition) and host some special events for you and your guests (private tour of Withrow, meeting with teachers and/or administrators, and more). Even if we are a small part of your estate, we greatly appreciate it and we want to recognize you.

Below is a summary of all of our spending for the calendar year 2019.

2019 Withrow Alumni Assn Spending – $74,385

ACADEMIC – $11,723
Tiger Diner – $1,868

Taiwan student trip – $2,250
Scholarships – $2,000
Senior Awards Day assembly – $313
Bridge Walk-$200
ELL students -$1,242
Reading Center- $2,228
Homecoming – $624
PBIS initiative – $998

SPORTS – $16,085 
Withrow Hall of Fame – $465
Boys basketball team meals – $3,600
Boys basketball camps – $1,620
Soccer team meals – $1,955
Football team meals – $1,687
Girls softbaii equipment – $778
Girls basketball team meals – $1,284
Girls basketball equipment – $1,024
Girls volleyball meals – $627
Cheerleading camp – $1,000
Cheerleading meals – $1,320
Gym displays – $725

ARTS – $21,211
Dance team meals – $200
Clean band uniforms – $1,631
Band piano tuned – $585
Band meals – $3,600
Band – $1,692
String orchestra – $5,000
Holiday concert – $3,368
Auditorium spotlights – $2,200
After school music instruction – $2,935

Financial aid counselor – $2,000

Administrator/teachers lunches – $2,367

Tower clock maintenance – $1,300

OPERATIONS – $18,340
USPS – $317

Tower News  – $10,269
Tax filing – $2,190
Data base software – $3,352
Supplies – $208
Website maintenance – $2,004

Fountain Square Orange Out – $1,359

Please help the Withrow Alumni Assn. continue this valuable work by Donating NOW.  Thanking you in advance.

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