project leader
Holly H
313 East Washington Street
(Athens, AL)
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We did it! We raised over $70,000 to support Scout Music House!

the project

A first date. A first dance. A first kiss. These are memories held by those in the City of Athens who attended dances in the 1930s-era Scout House near our downtown. Others fondly recall attending Boy and Girl Scout troop meetings there and playing board games and enjoying arts and crafts.

For more than four years, no memories have been made in the iconic red structure. Initially built as an activity facility for Boy and Girl Scout troops, it later operated as the central office for the Athens City Board of Education. When the board moved to a new location, the Scout House became dormant. Its red wooden boards began to rot. The structure that housed so many of our city's memories was decaying before our eyes.

In 2016, the City of Athens leased the Scout House to Athens Arts League, a non-profit dedicated to supporting artists, providing art education, and bringing cultural events to Athens and Limestone County. The city had already funded restoration at three other historic sites it owns, and did not have funds to tackle this one. The city has challenged Athens Arts League to raise money to renovate the structure and re-purpose it into a music venue with a student music lab. We have partnerships with Athens City Schools, Limestone County Schools, and Athens State University. We want to give students the opportunity to promote, schedule, and record house concerts, take music workshops, learn to arrange, write, and edit music, etc. We also want to honor Limestone County's musical heritage.

We are seeking $40,000 to finish the interior and purchase equipment to give students the tools needed for hands-on music projects. 

If you prefer to make a donation by check, please click here for instructions.

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the steps

In 2016, Athens Arts League collaborated with Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful and obtained a $20,000 Keep America Beautiful/Lowe's grant to refurbish the front facade and add xeriscaping, which includes drought tolerant plants and rain barrels. The front facade and landscaping are complete.

In 2016, Athens Utilities and Trees, Inc. removed two dead hackberry trees that were threatening the structure. The in-kind value of that work is $6,000.

In 2016, Girl Scout Troop 1922 joined the Friends of the Scout House Committee for a Community Clean-up Day and cleaned windows, removed cobwebs, and cleaned debris left when part of the drop ceiling was removed. The troop is researching history of the Scout House for our project.

In 2017, Boy Scout Andy Cook chose the Scout House for his Eagle Scout project. He oversaw the removal of paneling and cabinets that were installed to cover up the original stone fireplace, and he removed more of the drop ceiling. The fireplace will be refurbished into a working fireplace again and serve as a focal point for house concerts.

Athens Arts League is applying for a Dekko Foundation grant to refurbish the remainder of the exterior and is working with the city building inspector and a local contractor to ensure the work meets historical and ADA requirements. Athens Arts League also has inquiries from other Boy Scouts who want to tackle part of the interior renovation as part of their Eagle Scout projects. Athens Arts League has met with Athens City Schools Fine Arts Department to start collaborations on programming for students. Athens Arts League also is working with musicians and songwriters who are natives of Limestone County on workshops they can offer for students. These musicians and songwriters include award-winning songwriter Roger Murrah, who wrote 10 No. 1 hits; Milton Sledge, who is the studio drummer for Garth Brooks; and Lillian Glanton, an up and coming singer/songwriter who works in Nashville.

Athens Arts League will obtain experts to oversee equipment needs and placement for the music lab and house concerts.

The Athens Arts League Board of Directors will manage operation of the Scout Music House and employ part-time staff and coordinate volunteers to operate the facility.


why we're doing it

The City of Athens wants to preserve the historic and iconic Scout House and re-purpose the empty structure into a facility that is once again providing a valuable service to citizens.

Athens Arts League desires to provide students a safe haven to explore their interest in music, specifically the business part of music such as marketing, concert scheduling, and recording. Art teachers in city and county schools have indicated a need for space to provide students hands-on experience in these areas.

Athens Arts League also wants to bring cultural events to our community, such as house concerts, music exhibits, and music-related workshops.

In addition, Limestone County has a rich musical history such as the 51-year-old Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention, the Delmore Brothers, Patti Malone, a former slave who sang before Queen Victoria, Roger Murrah, Mike Chapman and Milton Sledge, Alabama Shakes, and more. An author is helping collect information on important musical influences so that we can preserve the history and share these inspirational stories at the Scout House through exhibits and workshops.


Thank you Holly Hollman, Shane and Trisha Black and Diane Lehr for your contributions!
The Athens Mayor's Youth Commission - comprised of high school students - has given Friends of the Scout House Committee a $225 grant for a wooden sign that says "Scout Music House." The sign will resemble one that once graced the front entrance. Join us today by donating to this project. We believe that music matters.


Disbursed budget 10.5.17:

Through our on and offline fundraising efforts, we reached our goal! Thank you!

RAISED = $4,226.00
 less ioby Platform Fee $35.00
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $122.07

Original budget:

The $40,000 would fund interior renovations, such as paint, lighting, sound equipment, and the music lab. For the lab, it will fund laptops and music software. If money is left over, it will fund chairs and tables.

Project Subtotal =  $40,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $1,200
Total to raise on ioby = $41,235



We did it! We raised over $70,000 to support Scout Music House!

On behalf of Athens Arts League, I want to thank ioby for the opportunity to share our story, our project, and our efforts to raise funds for the Scout Music House Project. We recently received a $40,000 grant from Dekko Foundation, and we utilized the donations made through our ioby online campaign to highlight part of the community support. In addition, we have secured a $4,500 grant from the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area to commission an oil painting of Patti Malone, who was born a slave in Athens and became a well known member of the Jubilee Singers and performed with them before six crown heads of Europe. Her portrait will hang in the Scout Music House to inspire students to pursue their dreams. To date, we have raised nearly $70,000 cash for Scout Music House, not counting in-kind services provided by various members of our community.

Community can help Scout Music House turn $2,500 into $5,000!

Singer/songwriter Lillian Glanton said Scout Music House would have been a “safe haven” for her to pursue her interests in singing and songwriting and collaborate with peers who have similar interests.
Glanton, the recent West Limestone High School graduate who made it to the Hollywood round of American Idol, is eager to share her experiences with students as part of the Scout Music House project. Athens Arts League is raising money to complete restoration of the iconic red Scout House at 313 West Washington Street and repurpose the empty building into a music venue with a student music lab and cultural events for the community.


A $2,500 anonymous donation through the project’s online campaign at has given organizers an opportunity to double that donation for a total of $5,000. Those funds would help with interior renovations including paint, lighting, furniture, and restoring the original stone fireplace into operation.

“On Friday nights, I wasn’t going to football games. I was playing gigs,” Glanton told project organizers earlier this year. “On weeknights I wasn’t going to basketball games, I was writing songs or taking lessons. The Scout House would have been a place for me to explore those interests with others who love music.”
The City of Athens leased Scout House to Athens Arts League with the challenge of turning it into a music venue. Friends of the Scout House Committee is assisting with the project. The goal is to offer a student music lab, house concert area, exhibit area and space for collaborations for songwriting and performing. Students will receive hands-on experience scheduling, marketing and recording house concerts and music workshops. Glanton, award-winning songwriter Roger Murrah and Garth Brooks’ studio drummer Milton Sledge have committed to assist with programs. Sledge and his wife Vickie have also supported fundraising efforts.

Athens Arts League has submitted two grant proposals that are pending review, and local support can assist the League with the grant process.
“The challenge match issued by to turn $2,500 into $5,000 would show grantors that our community is invested in this project and supports the need for music opportunities,” said Friends of the Scout House Committee Chair Holly Hollman. “If someone makes a $10 donation through the challenge match, it automatically turns into $20. If a person makes a $50 donation, it turns into $100.”
The deadline to reach $5,000 is June 30.
To support the challenge match, go online at Donors can also write checks if they do not want to donate by credit or debit card. To donate by check, make the check out to “ioby” and note in the memo line that it is for “Scout Music House.” Send the check to ioby, 540 President Street, 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11215. All donors will receive a donation receipt from ioby.

How to donate by check...

Hello Scout Music House Fans,

If you'd rather not give online or don't have quick access to the internet, you may give by check. Here's how:

1.    Write a check to " ioby"  with the preferred donation amount and list our campaign name on the memo so that we know where to apply the funds: "Scout Music House"

2.    Send the check to  ioby at 540 President St. 3rd Fl., Brooklyn, NY 11215.

3.    If you would like to receive a tax receipt for your check donation,  please include a note with the check requesting a receipt and list your name, email address and phone number

Our ioby contact will apply your check donation and email you a  receipt. 

Help a new generation make memories at the Scout House

Lynne Christopher Romines is one of several who are sharing their memories of the Scout House. Here are her favorite ones:

"Oh my goodness if those walls could talk. I spent all summer every summer there. Swam from day light until 7 each night. Did water ballet, dived, played "dunk" which was flirt with boys and girls, danced my legs off in Scout House. Most all us girls got our first kiss in the cemetery next door."

The Scout House has been empty for more than four years. Athens Arts League is raising funds to renovate this iconic structure and re-purpose it into a music venue with a student music lab. 

This 1930s era Scout House can become alive again so a new generation can make its own memories. Can you help us? Your donation of $10, $20, $50 or $100 will make it possible. 

Studio drummer for Garth Brooks supports Scout House project

Milton Sledge joined the band at Clements High School, which encouraged him to seek music as a career. He has performed with several artists, and is the studio drummer for county music artist Garth Brooks.

Milton Sledge
Milton is a supporter of music programs for students and recently filmed a promotional video segment at the Scout House to support Athens Arts League and its efforts to provide arts and music for the community.

Here is a memory Milton shared during a Listening Lounge event at High Cotton Arts that highlights how music and art can make an impact. 

Two men in a Datsun tried to use shear willpower to force the compact car up a hill on U.S. 43 in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., as they fought to overcome the static on their radio.
Driver Milton Sledge and passenger Mike Chapman knew if they could breach the hill by Crockett Hospital, the crackle of the static would transform into country music group Alabama's new song "Roll On." The duo, who met at Clements High School west of Athens, Ala., were on their way back from Nashville when they heard the DJ announce that Alabama’s new release "Roll On" was coming on next. Alas, they started downhill and lost the signal.
Once the Datsun crested the hill and the signal returned, Milton stopped the car on the highway. They had made it...not just to the top of hill...but to the burgeoning of their professional music career. Milton and Mike heard themselves playing on that recording, their music traveling the airwaves of radio.
Milton and Mike traveled their musical highway many years until Mike's death from cancer in 2016. They went on to become part of the G-Men, studio musicians for Garth Brooks, with Mike playing bass and Milton playing drums. 
These are the stories that honor Limestone's musical legacy and inspire new generations of musical talent. This is why the Friends of the Scout House project matters.

Memories of the Scout House by Doris Davis

Memories of the The Scout House


Our Brownie and eventually Girl Scout Troop met once a week in The Scout House. At every meeting we paid our weekly dues of one nickel and recited the Girl Scout Promise and Pledge prior to the activity for the day.

The bay window seats on the West side and East side were my favorite places in the large open area where we had our meetings. The hinged seat boards lifted up for access to the area underneath where balls and other recreation equipment were stored. In the little back room kitchen our Den Mothers taught us to cook Fudge Candy. I still use that same recipe and have passed it down to our children.

Birthday parties and dances there are fond memories of our growing up years. During the Summer the Recreation Dept. was located in the basement where we bought gymp and learned how to make bracelets and lanyards. Gymp was thin fabric dipped in a plastic like material and came in many different colors. We used a box weave of two different strand colors to make bracelets and a round weave of two different strand colors to make neck lanyards with a closed hook to hold our skate key.

North of The Scout House was the shallow Kiddie Pool where we all learned to paddle around in the water. I remember very well the day that my Mother and Daddy decided that my brother and I were too big for the Kiddie Pool and took us across the street to the Big Pool located where the White Isom picnic pavilion is now. West of the Kiddie Pool were the tennis courts that are still there to this day. So to those of us who were born in the forties and grew up in the fifties, The Scout House represented camaraderie and recreation!






This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • City of Athens Municipal Relay for Life Team
  • Gayle Black
  • Black Family
  • In Memory of Jan Hollman
  • In Memory of Jan Lynch
  • Johnny Garth
  • In memory of Linda Janis Lynch (June 6, 1953-Dec. 23, 2015)
  • Anonymous
  • D.Lehr
  • In Memory of Eva and Elmo Wellden
  • In Memory of Charlotte Orr
  • Blake Williams
  • Karen Middleton
  • Amy G.
  • Anonymous
  • Diane L
  • Shane and Trisha Black
  • Holly H