Central Baptist College unveiled its new band hall and revealed the donors who made the remodel possible as part of the school’s homecoming activities on Saturday.
The donors were Winston “Sonny” Foster Jr. and his wife, CBC board member Mary Ned Foster; however, Mary was unaware of it until the unveiling ceremony.
CBC President Terry Kimbrow explained that Sonny wanted to surprise Mary, who is well known for being a passionate advocate for the school, by announcing to her and the packed room of guests that the hall would be named in her honor.
"I am truly grateful for the generosity of Bro. Sonny in providing for the band rehearsal hall,” Kimbrow said. “The Fosters are faithful supporters of Central Baptist College, and honoring Mrs. Mary Ned in this way is very fitting.
“She loves students. Providing a place for the CBC Band, a place that will become their home away from home, is very special.”
As Kimbrow uncovered the donor plaque with the name Mary Ned Foster Band Rehearsal Hall that will soon be permanently installed on the building, Mary Ned stood speechless next to Sonny with both hands on the sides of her face.
An emotional Sonny told the homecoming crowd that Mary loves CBC and is always talking about it. He said when Kimbrow approached him about funding for the 2,600-square-foot hall, he instantly knew what to do.
“I could only think of one person – Mary Ned,” he said.
The hall can accommodate 75 student musicians. New and renovated office space was included in the improvements.
Kimbrow said the CBC Band needed the extra space.
It started with 14 students in the fall of 2016, and has grown to 30 students for the fall of 2017 under the direction of Fine Arts Department Chair and Director of Bands Tim Gunter.