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“Gamblers” boost scholarship fund for Grady County students

JACK MUZICK AND DARLENE PEARCE upheld the tradition they set last year as being among the most authentically dressed at the Thomas University Wild West Saloon and Gambling Room scholarship fundraiser Saturday night. The event grossed $19,190 and the net proceeds will benefit scholarships for Grady County students attending Thomas University.

The Wild West Saloon and Gambling Room fundraiser held Saturday night to raise money for scholarships available to Grady countians to attend Thomas University was another successful event, according to university officials.
Melinda Friddell, director of the annual fund and special events for TU, reported that $19,190 was generated by the event and once all expenses are tallied and paid, the remainder will go into the Grady County scholarship fund.
Saturday’s event was the second such event held here to benefit Grady County students who attend TU.
“The night was special on many levels, and we are so proud of our connections in Grady County. Here’s to another year!” TU President Gary Bonvillian said.
A crowd of local TU supporters and community boosters gathered for the event which was held at the Grady Cultural Center. In addition to gaming tables, silent auction and buffet meal, the evening featured The Rocky Ford Ramblers. The band includes Paul Massey, a Grady County native, TU alumnus and member of the Georgia Bluegrass Hall of Fame.
“For the second year in a row, Grady County has shown its generosity and support for higher education. It was a fun-filled evening benefiting a great cause and we hope that many future Grady County students will benefit from these fundraisers,” said Casino Night Chairman Charles Davis.
Davis is quick to credit the evening’s success to his fellow committee members Dot Moses-James, Lequita LeGette, Frankie Strickland, Beth Wight, Linda Drew Johnson, Kevin Cauley and Randy Wind.
According to Davis, the event could not take place without the support and coordination by the TU staff including Friddell and Shanna Derby.
As evidence of the event’s impact, a 2008 graduate of Cairo High School was the first student to benefit from the Grady County Scholarship at TU. Mallory Flowers recently was awarded the scholarship to assist her in completing her master of business administration degree. She is a second-year graduate student at TU.
Flowers currently works with the Grady County School System as administrative assistant for the School Nutrition Program. After earning an MBA at Thomas University, Flowers plans to further her education at the University of Georgia. She says she hopes to one day become a school nutrition director.
Davis says the 2014 casino night fundraiser is set for Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, and encourages everyone to mark the date on their calendar.

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