The community was recently saddened by the loss of local legend Skip Hickman, but is embracing the opportunity to eternalize his legacy through the Skip Hickman Youth Foundation Fund at the Scioto Foundation.
The new fund has been created by Hickman’s daughter, Tiffany Newsome, with inspiration and assistance from her fifth grade teaching colleagues at Portsmouth Elementary School. The fund commemorates her father’s compassion and support of extracurricular activities for children in Portsmouth.
Scioto Foundation’s Patty Tennant assisted the family in creating the fund.
“Knowing what a caring and loving man that Skip was, we wanted to help the family continue his legacy,” Tennant explained. “Skip was very big on quietly helping those who were less fortunate and that will not stop because we have lost him.”
The fund document stipulates that amounts to be distributed from the fund shall be paid to the Portsmouth City Schools for the sole benefit of children in need. A distribution committee will be created, consisting of Newsome, two Portsmouth Elementary School employees, two Portsmouth Junior High/High School employees, and one employee from East Portsmouth Elementary. The selection committee will meet on an as needed basis, to determine how the monies will be spent.
“The fifth grade team that I teach with at Portsmouth Elementary contacted me about wanting to set something up in my dad’s memory through the Scioto Foundation. They scheduled the meeting with Patty Tennant and Kim Cutlip. Then, they invited my mom and myself to attend to establish the details,” said Newsome. “They wanted to handle the fundraising side of it, so we wouldn’t have to worry about that, but they wanted to make sure that it was set up the way that we wanted it done. They have been so supportive of me and my family through all of this and it really means a lot to us that they got the ball rolling with the foundation.”
Members of the PES fifth grade teaching team who helped set up the fund included Alison Tennant, Bill Vest, Jane Brandel, Jeri Hughes, Kelsey McFarland and April Clemmons.
“Once money is ready to be distributed, I will be putting together a committee of school district employees to review and decide upon each need that is submitted. I will be the family representative on the committee. However, my mom, my husband, my brother, my aunt, and other people close to our family will be kept aware of what is going on with the fund,” Newsome explained.
According to Newsome, the fund will impact a wide variety of needs in the Portsmouth City Schools District. Some include band instruments, field trip fees, sports equipment, Little League fees, pee wee football fees, and more.
“My dad spent his entire adult life working with, and helping, the youth of our area. I don’t remember a time when he wasn’t involved with at least one organization that worked to better things for kids. I don’t think that there could be a better way to honor his memory than to give back to the students of the Portsmouth City Schools,” Newsome said. “I miss my dad terribly and I could never fill the shoes that he left behind. However, this fund will allow me the chance to carry on his legacy and help generations of Portsmouth Trojans that will never have the privilege of meeting him.
Skip Hickman was born on September 21, 1942 in Portsmouth, the son of the late Walter R. and Delia Smith Hickman, Sr. He died on October 21, 2015. Hickman was a 1961 graduate of Portsmouth High School and a graduate of the Ashland, KY Barber College. A member of the PHS Athletic Hall of Fame, he was the longtime voice of the Portsmouth Trojans and the Shawnee State University Bears.
Very involved in the community and schools, Hickman was past president of the Portsmouth City Board of Education, the former McKinley Middle School PTA, the former Highland School PTA and the former Scioto County Joint Vocational School PTA. He was also past president of the PHS Trojan Boosters Club, Eastern Division Little League and Civic Forum. He was active in Little League and a member of the former Del Rice League Board of Directors. He coached and officiated athletics at all levels in the community.
He was retired from Glockner Enterprises and was employed by WNXT Radio as a sports broadcaster and the host of “Saturday Morning Sports Line.” Hickman attended Cornerstone United Methodist Church where he was involved in the Men’s Fellowship group and helped with the food bank.
Hickman was married to his wife, Patty, for 52 years. They have two children, Tiffany Newsome of Portsmouth and Greg Hickman of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and two grandchildren.
Additions to the fund may be made by alumnae, friends, family and supporters of the Portsmouth City Schools in the form cash, securities, or property. Further information about the Skip Hickman Foundation Fund or other planned giving opportunities may be obtained by contacting Cutlip or Tennant at the Scioto Foundation office, 740-354-4612, or by visiting the SF website at www.sciotofoundation.org.
“I think it is a truly wonderful fund and a lot of people have pulled together to make it happen,” Scioto Foundation Executive Director Kim Cutlip said. “What I like about it most is that the family will be able to continue what Skip liked to do in life; his goals will continue to happen.”
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.