Bob Foster was an unusual man. At age 51, he started teaching Social Studies to 7th graders at Milford Middle School after two decades of service as an Eastern Airlines pilot. Not many people make a career change after twenty years, but Foster personified his mantra of “Don’t Quit” when he braved a new career and plunged into a challenging new role. It was a mantra he ingrained into his students over the next 19 years, setting a positive example in and out of school, year after year. In 2012 at age 70, Foster passed away from a heart attack while hiking Pack Monadnock Mountain in Temple, NH.
Foster’s legacy lives on through faculty, friends and students in the Milford school system, and he continues to touch peoples’ lives through the Bob Foster Foundation. The foundation, run by faculty members such as local teacher Kevin Ingram, is involved in a number of causes that continue to make a difference in the community. Graduating seniors from Milford High School can earn scholarships each spring, which are dependent upon an essay reminiscent of the lesson Foster imbued in his students: “Describe a time in your life when you demonstrated a “Don’t Quit” attitude, and what insight did you gain?”
The foundation has been involved in a multitude of other good causes as well, such as raising funds to help to pay for hardship cases, Grade 6 Environmental Camp, Chamber Theater, and the “Trash on the Lawn” Program (recycling initiative), just to name a few.
The largest fund-raising initiative for the foundation is the annual scramble-style Golf Tournament, now in its 4th year. This year it will be held at the Amherst Country Club on Saturday, June 4th, so consider dusting off those drivers and signing up today.
Foster is remembered as an outdoorsman, golfer, kayaker, hiker and mountain climber. He was a history buff and loved the New England Patriots; he had been a season ticket holder for more than 40 years. Colleagues say he rarely spoke of his time in Vietnam, so it was a surprise to many when they realized the extent of his courage. Before his career as an airlines pilot and later as a teacher, Foster was a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, earning numerous medals such as the Gallantry Cross, Purple Heart, Air Medal with 24 Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was honorably discharged in 1968 with the rank of Captain. The courage he displayed overseas was courage he brought to his community, and it was passed on to his students in that famous “Don’t Quit” attitude.
Bob Foster might be gone, but he certainly hasn’t quit.
Please check out this wonderful charity, and consider losing some golf balls in the rough for a good cause. We ask that you share this blog to help spread the word, or “like” and share the Bob Foster Foundation on its Facebook page.
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