Rinehart Family Honors Daughter Through Annual Arts Award

Abby Rinehart

Abby Rinehart

When Abby Rinehart started high school, her parents enrolled her at The Harley School to take advantage of small class sizes and an art-infused curriculum.

Abby enjoyed her time at Harley, exploring painting, drawing, photography, and sculpture. During her senior year, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. She began treatment and graduated from Harley in 1995. After a semester of college, Abby sadly passed away.

As a memorial to their daughter, Jim and Nancy Rinehart started the Abigail Bates Rinehart Arts Award, an annual scholarship awarded to one or two students to help them further their art.

“She had good years at Harley,” Jim says. “The teachers seemed to take a real interest in Abby and all of the kids as people rather than just as students. We keep in touch with a couple of her art teachers. And a few pieces of her artwork are still displayed at the school.”

Artwork by Abby Rinehart

Abby’s art on display.

The couple wanted to ensure the award would continue for years to come, so they worked with Harley to fund it in perpetuity. This year, Jim and Nancy opened a scholarship fund at the Rochester Community Foundation. While the couple is living, they’ll receive income from the fund’s investments; after their passing, the entire fund will go to Harley to continue the annual award.

“Starting the fund was an easy way to make sure this tribute to our daughter continues,” Nancy says. “We hope other Harley families will follow our lead. This is a way to give something beneficial and lasting to the school.”

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Memorial Plaque

A memorial plaque hangs among a display of Abby’s art.

Donors can also direct future gifts to the Harley Fund. While student tuition covers teacher and staff salaries, almost everything else at the school, from the wellness center to art supplies, are possible because of the Harley Fund.

For more information on how your planned gift can keep Harley a place that helps students Become What Thou Art, please contact Holly Beaston at (585) 277-1116 or hbeaston@harleyschool.org.