Fun filled day planned for scholarship fundraiser

Education is the road to success
Mar 17, 2013
Photo by: Donated photo SINGING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS — McKayla Reece will be singing from her new album to help raise money for college scholarships.

Eckerd Foundation along with the Dr. Ann R. Wilke Scholarship Fund have teamed together to bring a fun-filled day of activities to Haywood County.

The purpose of the event is to fill a $100,000 war chest to fund college scholarships for young men and women in substance abuse homes in Haywood County.

The event will be held from noon-10 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, at the Haywood County Fairgrounds. The event also will feature music from gospel, country, bluegrass, and variety bands and singers plus dance teams.

“This lineup of some of the most enjoyable musicians and dance teams is sure to please everyone,” said Keith Silvers, coordinator of the event and team leader for Southern Appalachian Cloggers.

Eckerd’s mission and vision is that all youth should be afforded a much needed second chance. Together, Eckerd and the Dr. Ann R. Wilke Scholarship Fund, will be able to provide scholarship funds to the young men and women of Haywood County who need a helping hand up to continue their education.

The impact of substance abuse is far reaching and often debilitating. It has been the culprit in the destruction of our families and typically a rise in crime.

“By raising these scholarship funds, Eckerd and the Dr. Ann R. Wilke Scholarship Fund are offering today's youth a more promising future,” said Jennifer Stout, manager for Eckerd community based services for Western NC.

Community Partners for the Saturday event are local law enforcement, local and state service providers, local business providers, local community groups, Maggie Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation, 30th Judicial District Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Alliance Inc., Mountain Projects Substance Abuse, Haywood County Schools and Haywood Community College.

These partners will have tables of information and representatives to explain and answer questions. Five county financial institutions will staff the donation table to collect donations and pledges. KISS Country and WLOS will announce a phone number for call in pledges.

There is no admission charge to enjoy the festivities, demonstrations, displays, and discussions. Barbecue and hot dogs will be available to purchase all day. Cake walk, 50/50 raffle, ice cream and popcorn sales will add to the funds raised. Special events in the early afternoon will be fun for the youngsters.

The entertainment will be provided by The Inmans, The Believers, Cross Ridge, Branded Heart, Mountain Tradition, Bobby & Blue Ridge, Southern Appalachian Cloggers, Smoky Mountain Stompers, Fines Creek Flatfooters, Dixie Darlins, The Blackberry Jam Band, The Coffee Branch Band, and McKayla Reece & band.

“We enjoy playing for parties, weddings, and celebrations all around Western North Carolina. We are particularly pleased to be a part of this fundraising event to provide scholarships for youth right here in Haywood County,” said Bobby Ammons, leader of The Coffee Branch Band.

McKayla Reece, who will be singing with her new band, said, “I am a youth myself who lives in a loving, drug-free home. But I know there are young people in homes with drugs, and if they had the opportunity for a college education, they would break out of that cycle.”

Similarly, the Wilke family is advancing Dr. Ann Wilke’s legacy by joining forces with Eckerd, friends, and neighbors here in Haywood County to create this Memorial Scholarship Fund. This Fund will provide financial assistance to some of our young adults who have survived growing up in drug dependent environments. It will give them the opportunity to advance their education and to realize opportunities to become successful, productive citizens.  Substance abuse and illegal drug distribution are not just a law enforcement problem. They are community problems that are destroying our families.  It is a community problem that requires a community response. This scholarship is just one of the ways in which we can help those that are closest and perhaps most vulnerable to this threat.

Come to enjoy the music and festivities, learn from the community partners, and contribute to a cause that helps individuals and the community. For more information, call Keith Silvers at 280-6188.