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Oconeefest scholarship fundraiser set for Oct. 24

September 25, 2019

Kathleen Sprow has experienced firsthand the community-oriented nature of the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Oconee Campus. The Oconee Campus Student Government Association president said it makes nearby high school students want to attend UNG.

"Our campus is such a great starting point for college students," said Sprow, a sophomore from Augusta, Georgia, pursuing a degree in kinesiology.

The sixth annual Oconeefest, an event supporting scholarships for students from Oconee County attending any of the five University of North Georgia (UNG) campuses, is a perfect example of UNG's connection to the Oconee community.

The scholarship fundraiser is set for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 24 on the front lawn of the Oconee Campus. Dinner will begin about 6 p.m.

Dr. Cyndee Perdue Moore, executive director of the Oconee Campus, said the goal for this year is to increase funds raised after pulling in more than $16,000 a year ago.

"We want to introduce people to the University of North Georgia and let them hear from our students, have fun and raise some money for scholarships," Moore said. "You don't realize how much impact a small donation can have on a student and change the trajectory of their life."

Admission is free to the public, though donations are encouraged.

Money raised at Oconeefest supplies $1,000 scholarships to students, which may be used for tuition, books, lab fees, study abroad or other scholarly opportunities. The funds raised at this year's festival will be available for students in spring 2020 and can be applied for through UNG's Financial Aid Office. Scholarships are renewable for a second year.

Students who have benefited from the scholarships will speak at Oconeefest.

"Students enjoy being able to thank those who have helped them," Moore said.

A buffet dinner and live auction are part of the evening's offerings. The live auction raised about $4,000 when it debuted at Oconeefest in 2018. Bulldog 93.3-FM will have a live remote broadcast from Oconeefest.

Items up for bid will include a two-night stay in a deluxe room at the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort in St. Simons Island; a wine basket from Chateau Elan Winery & Resort that includes a one-night stay; a downtown Athens basket that includes a one-night stay at Graduate Athens, two tickets to a show at The Foundry, and a restaurant gift certificate; and other gift baskets.

"It is a great way to give back to the community and to help future college students," Sprow said.

Randy Wilkes will serve as the evening's auctioneer, with David Williams serving as his assistant.

Presenting sponsors for Oconeefest are Peach State Federal Credit Union and Bulldog 93.3-FM. Platinum sponsors are Piedmont Athens Regional Healthcare and Georgia United Credit Union. The gold sponsor is AmeriPride, silver sponsors are BankSouth and Oconee State Bank and the bronze sponsor is Resource Partners.

To RSVP for the event or inquire about making a donation for the auction, contact Sarah Gilbert at sarah.gilbert@ung.edu.

For sponsorship details or more information, contact Moore at cyndee.moore@ung.edu.

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