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First Pat Barry Memorial Scholarship Awarded

pat barry
Courtesy Bina Roy
Longtime Cincinnati DJ and weatherman Pat Barry died in February 2021 of COVID-19.

A West Clermont High School graduate is the first recipient of a scholarship to study media, music or the arts.

West Clermont High School graduate Ashlyn Elkins has been awarded the first Pat Barry Memorial Scholarship in memory of the beloved Cincinnati radio personality who died in February.

Barry's friends in March established the scholarship at the Cincinnati Scholarship Foundation for students from the Greater Cincinnati area (within a 30-mile radius), or from Barry's hometown of Springfield, Ohio, pursuing a degree in media, the arts and/or music.

Elkins, an honor roll student, played saxophone in every instrumental ensemble at West Clermont High School. She will study music education at Ohio University this fall.

"It was his love of music that gave birth to Pat’s broadcasting career," says Bina Roy, a longtime friend who worked with Barry at WLWT-TV. "After playing in the Springfield High School marching band, the only thing that could keep him from joining The Ohio State University marching band was the chance to get paid to play music on the radio."

Barry started in radio at 16 at Springfield's WIZE-AM while in high school. He came to Cincinnati in 1974 for a brief stint at WSAI-AM before bursting on WKRQ-FM's airwaves. He left Q102 at the peak of his popularity in 1984 for television, becoming weatherman for WLWT-TV's Jerry Springer-Norma Rashid news team. He would spend the next four decades working for WXIX-TV, WLW-AM, WLWT-TV, WKRC-AM, WMOJ-FM, WDJO-FM, WNKR-FM/WNKN-FM and Fox Sports Ohio.

The scholarship was started March 4 by Johnny Bench, Dennis Janson, Randy Michaels, Springer and other friends of Barry, who died of COVID-19 on Feb. 20 at age 69. Details on how to contribute to the fund are in the press release below:

Cincinnati Broadcasting Icon’s Legacy Lives On

July 29, 2021

CINCINNATI – The legacy of a Cincinnati broadcasting icon lives on. The first Pat Barry Memorial Scholarship was recently awarded to West Clermont High School graduate Ashlyn Elkins.

Pat Barry served as a fixture of the Cincinnati air waves. His career in broadcasting is woven through some of the most iconic chapters of the Queen City. His voice boomed through the speakers in the midst of the city’s great “Rock Wars” on radio. His smile and charm laid a foundation of memories for decades, from delivering the weather on WLWT Channel 5 to launching Fox 19’s morning show, and countless Labor Day fireworks shows and Opening Day parades.

COVID-19 took Pat Barry too soon on February 20, 2021, but his love of helping young people in media, the arts and music remains. The Pat Barry Memorial Scholarship was established March 4, 2021, with the Cincinnati Scholarship Foundation to continue the work Pat did for years. Friends helped to raise money including names like Johnny Bench, Dennis Janson, Randy Michaels and Jerry Springer. They generously donated to the fund to ensure the future stars of Southwest Ohio get the chance to carry Pat Barry’s legacy into the next generation.

That generation will be led by Ashlyn Elkins. The West Clermont High School graduate will study music education at Ohio University this fall. Ashlyn’s love of band started in middle school when her mother suggested she try out her mom’s old saxophone. Ashlyn fell in love with the instrument and continued to participate in band throughout high school. Ashlyn said she participated in every instrumental ensemble offered in her high school. That’s in addition to making the honor roll and winning the Principal’s Award all four years.

Ashlyn is just the latest young life to benefit from the generosity Pat Barry inspired in others. It’s a tradition that dates back to Pat’s earliest years in broadcasting and continued through his years serving as spokesperson for the Ruth Lyons Childrens Fund. Now you have a chance to join some of Cincinnati’s biggest stars in helping to make sure that tradition continues. Pat’s All-Star friends launched the Pat Barry Memorial Scholarship with an initial fundraising effort approaching $100,000. Your help is needed to top that remarkable benchmark.

To donate, go to cincinnatischolarshipfoundation.org. Click on donate on the upper right hand corner. Put Pat Barry’s name in the recipient line.