By Jill Richardson
On November 15, 1987, Melba was devastated with the news that Continental Airlines Flight 1713 carrying eight Melba FFA students, their advisor and his wife crashed off the end of the runway at Denver’s Stapleton International Airport. The 10-member group was returning from the National FFA Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Sherry Nelson, age 18, Janine Ledgerwood, age 17, and Tami Daniel, FFA advisor Dave Daniel’s wife, died in the crash. Seven other members survived the crash. A year after the crash in 1988, the Melba FFA Memorial Fund was established from monetary gifts that were donated in the memory of Nelson, Ledgerwood and Daniel. Over $35,000 was sent to the Melba FFA from generous contributors all across the United States.
Some of the money was used to construct the picnic area on the south lawn of the high school which was recently moved across the parking lot near the baseball field. Additionally, an endowment was established with the remaining funds to award scholarships for students of Melba High. The Fund was incorporated in 1992 and is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) charitable organization.
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