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Oconeefest raises more than $9,300 to support student scholarships

October 14, 2020

This year's virtual Oconeefest fundraiser has raised more than $9,300 for University of North Georgia (UNG) student scholarships.

Money to support the annual effort came through online and mail-in donations, raffle ticket sales and sponsorships.

"Many things have changed for us all since last year's event, but the support from our sponsors and community even during the difficult times has remained strong," said Dr. Cyndee Perdue Moore, executive director of UNG's Oconee Campus. "We are both humbled and grateful to be part of such an amazing and supportive community that values education so highly."

The $1,000 scholarships designated for students from Oconee County attending any of UNG's five campuses are 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.

Students like Allison Naidoo will benefit from donors' generosity. Naidoo is a former Oconee scholarship winner and senior on UNG's Gainesville Campus pursuing a degree in human services delivery and administration with a minor in criminal justice.

"I was beyond grateful to receive the scholarship because it allowed me to not have to worry about the semester fees," Naidoo said.

She appreciated the solid foundation the Oconee Campus helped build for the remainder of her college years.

"The campus will continue to prosper because of the wonderful people who are a part of Oconeefest and the campus," Naidoo said.

Though the Oconeefest effort officially ran from Oct. 1-8, raffle tickets remain on sale through noon Nov. 2. Proceeds from raffle tickets and from the Oconee Campus pumpkin carving contest will also go toward the scholarship fundraising.

Raffle tickets are available at the Oconee Campus and the Macon Highway location of BankSouth. Contactless raffle entry is available through Venmo and PayPal with barcodes available on a UNG Oconee Campus Twitter post. Pick-up is available at the Oconee County Welcome Center.

Winning raffle tickets will be pulled for prizes in a Nov. 2 Facebook Live broadcast on the Oconee Campus Facebook page. Some of the prizes include a year membership for two at 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.  

The $10 entry fee for the pumpkin carving contest includes a pumpkin. Participants should email savannah.plumly@ung.edu to schedule pumpkin pickup Oct. 19-23. Carved pumpkins are to be dropped off at the Oconee Campus by 5:30 p.m. Oct. 29. Prizes will be awarded to the top three pumpkins. Those with questions should email kristin.stalvey@ung.edu.

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. BankSouth and Oconee State Bank are silver sponsors. Athens Ford and Aramark are friend sponsors of the event.

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