There has been a boom of fundraising for the Connestee Falls Scholarship Program this year with residents participating in a variety of activities. Summer/Fall is the time of year when Connestee Falls scholarship program raises much of its money, and the season culminated in the fantastic Celebration of Education Gala. This event is a great celebration in honor of the hard work of students and generosity of a community that values the path of higher education.
2014 marked an evolution from the traditional banquet dinner to the Celebration Gala allowing an unlimited number of residents, local business partners and most importantly the scholarship recipients to attend. In fact this year set a record for the single largest event ever held at the Overlook Clubhouse in the 42 year history of Connestee Falls. There was also a new record set for fundraising at the annual silent auction. Over 235 people attended to hear the five scholarship recipients share their motivation for continuing their education and the impact receiving the scholarship awards has had on their lives.
The summer was host to a number of Scholarship fundraising events that led up to the Celebration. The Tennis fundraiser was held July 11th and 12th with Tom McMurray and Bob Bell chairing the event. The “First Annual” Bocce Ball Tournament took place on August 14th with Carl Burkhart and Lora Mason leading the effort. The Golf fundraiser was held on September 19th & 20th chaired by Andy Phelps, Paddy Cawdery and Trey Wyatt, Connestee Falls Director of Golf. The Pickleball fundraiser was held on September 26th and 27th with John Dreier & Eliot Butter co-chairing.
For more than 27 years the Connestee Falls Scholarship Program has been the pride of the community. Held with great esteem, and growing larger almost every year, the scholarship program provides financial assistance and encouragement for students to achieve their higher education dreams. This year a record number of Connestee Residents participated at the Platinum, Diamond, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Mentor levels. When all things were said and done, the 2014 scholarship program raised more than $65,000 with an estimated 23 Scholarships to be awarded.
Since its inception, close to 500 students have benefited from over $650,000 raised and distributed. Program funds go to help people of all ages and walks of life including recent high school graduates, homemakers returning to school, recently discharged military veterans, and displaced workers looking to learn new career skills. The Connestee Falls Scholarship Program funds are gifted to Brevard College, Blue Ridge Community College and Transylvania County Schools.
Residents of Connestee Falls and the Property Owners Association are proud of this tradition of giving back to help make dreams of higher education a reality for students in need in Brevard and Transylvania County. Contact the POA to learn more about the program.
The recipients of the Scholarships given out in 2014 (fundraising in 2013) are:
Felecia Marie Carver
Abigail Grace Bishop
Eric Tyler LaRowe
Blue Ridge Community College
Ronald B. Arnold
Mallory R. Benjamin
Laura F. Chapman
Dean R. Clanton
Megan J. Fisher
Tracie T. Fisher
James G. Golden
Brenna L. McJunkin
Austin L. Owen
Transylvania County Public Schools
Editor’s Note: Resident Bruce Winfield contributed to this story. His articles on the Connestee Falls Scholarship Fund Program run frequently in the local Transylvania Times. Search their website for more stories.