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Oconeefest goes online Oct. 1-8 to raise student scholarship funds

September 23, 2020

For the first time in its seven years, the Oconeefest scholarship fundraiser will not take place on the front lawn of the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Oconee Campus. Instead, the event will be an online fundraiser from Oct. 1-8.

"As families cope with the financial realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for scholarships is greater than ever," said Dr. Cyndee Perdue Moore, executive director of UNG's Oconee Campus. "We ask our community and supporters to consider making a donation in the amount you might have spent if you'd attended our usual dinner and auction. Any size donation will provide support for our students."

Donations can be made online or by mail to UNG Attn: Oconeefest Fund, P.O. Box 1748, Watkinsville, GA 30677.

Hannah Queen, a sophomore from Watkinsville, Georgia, pursuing a degree in marketing, received one of the Oconee scholarships as a freshman. She said the scholarship can alleviate concerns about debt for students considering UNG.

"By earning a scholarship, such as this one, students may see college as a more feasible endeavor," Queen said. "I believe students should be given every opportunity to make college a possibility if that is what they choose to do with their future."

Details of a raffle to support Oconeefest will also be announced soon on the UNG Oconee Twitter page and the UNG Oconee Facebook page. Some of the raffle prizes available are a year membership for two people to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Stripling's General Store gift baskets from Walton EMC and Walton Gas, and four tickets to Zoo Atlanta.  

"Even though we can't have the live event, we're still going to try to raise as much money as we possibly can for these students," said Sarah Gilbert, special events coordinator on the Oconee Campus.

The $1,000 scholarships for students from Oconee County attending any of UNG's five campuses may be used for tuition, books, lab fees, study abroad, or other scholarly opportunities. Funds raised from this year's event will be available for students in spring 2021; students can apply through UNG's Financial Aid Office. Scholarships are renewable for a second year.

"Money raised from our community's support of a virtual Oconeefest will help so many young people realize their educational and career goals," Moore said.

The 2019 Oconeefest raised almost $14,000 for scholarships.

Peach State Federal Credit Union is the presenting sponsor for Oconeefest. Piedmont Athens Regional and Georgia United Credit Union are platinum sponsors. Athens Seed Company is a gold sponsor. Athens Ford and Aramark are friend sponsors of the event.

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