It's a snowy December day in front of a busy local store...You hear the familiar bell ringing as you approach...You see the traditional bright red display with the logo and kettle of the Salvation Army...You think of the good deeds performed for the less fortunate by this worldwide organization.
A now retired man who spent his high school years in Sidney because his parents were assigned here with the Salvation Army went on to work with the group at every level including as its top executive in the United States. Todd Bassett will be joined by a trio of Sidney alumni at the 2015 Sidney City Schools Hall of Honor induction in the SHS auditorium on Friday April 17 at 7:30pm with a gymnasium reception to follow. The late Donald Manning (1933) along with Ken Monnier (1977) and Todd Taylor (1990) complete the foursome to be recognized at these public events.
A graduation year isn't listed for Bassett because he didn't graduate in Sidney. He recently recalled that local Salvation Army assignments normally lasted around three years. "Our time in Sidney was up in January of 1957 which was my senior year. We were off to Cincinnati. I wanted to stay and graduate with my friends but it just didn't work out."
Todd Bassett has fond memories of his high school days in Sidney. "The highlight was the fall of 1955 when our All Boy Band won the marching division at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC," he remembered. A large parade was formed at the south end of town at the "Big Four Bridge" to welcome the boys home. Bassett also enjoyed SHS football games and choral and dramatic activities along with the special courthouse square that included both the Spot and the Purity.
He graduated from Cincinnati Hughes HS in 1957 and from Asbury University (KY) in 1961 where he met and married his future wife. By 1964 both were commissioned as Salvation Army officers. Through 2000 the duo worked throughout the eastern United States in various leadership positions advancing the Army's mission. Then came two years at International Headquarters in London, England before being appointed as the National Leaders, with Todd appointed as the National Commander for the Salvation Army's ministry and mission in the United States. They formally retired in May 2006.
Todd eased his way into retirement with over three years as Executive Director of the National Evangelical Association. Todd and Carol Bassett are the parents of three grown children and still volunteer at the local Salvation Army in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Two of Todd's 1957 classmates are already in the Hall of Honor. Another classmate successfully nominated Bassett to join them. Several professional colleagues aided the effort by citing his humanitarian, leadership, and management skills across numerous religious denominational lines.