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Cowboy up at Rotary fundraiser
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The Rotary Club’s annual ball and fundraiser is expected to be a rodeo of a good time, according to local Rotarians.

This year’s event, themed ‘Rhinestone Cowboy,’ will be Saturday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. in the Speir-Brogdon building.

The event is open to the public and tickets are still available for $100 from any Rotary member or at the Chamber of Commerce office.

"This is going to be a really great time," Rotary President Robbie King said. "It sounds like one of the best lineups for auction prizes that we’ve ever had."

According to Tina Eberlein, some of the auction prizes include an all-expense paid trip to Russia, framed photos and paintings by local artists, a boat cruise and dinner for eight, a week at a beach house on St. George Island, a round of golf for four at Sterling Links and a membership at the YMCA, among several others.

But the night also serves a bigger purpose.

Funds raised from the evening will go toward a number of scholarships, international organizations and community groups throughout the year.

"The fundraiser is how we provide the money to all the events that go on in the community, including the scholarships. It’s our one-time source of funding for all those programs," King said. "We put about $25,000 to $30,000 back into the community each year. Last year, because we did even better than average, we funded the Odyssey of the Mind program and gave an additional $1,000 renewable scholarship. I’d like to see us do that again."

Attendance to this year’s fundraiser will help support the Jay D. Gardner fund, which offers $4,000 in annual scholarships; the Mary Bean fund, which offers a $1,000 scholarship for study at Savannah Tech; the Georgia Rotary Student Program for an international student to study at AASU; international programs such as Alzheimer’s research, polio education, and wells and stoves in third world countries; and community groups such as the Richmond Hill YMCA, the senior citizens and the school principal’s funds.

Attendees are encouraged to dress to match the western theme, bolo or black tie is optional. Music for the event will be provided by The O’Kaysions and Donna Jones said Bruce Ford of Outrigger’s is catering the food for the night, including menu items such as sugar glazed quail, Blue Crab cakes and a variety of hors’d’oeuvres and miniature desserts.

Sponsorship benefits include free tickets and extra chances to win the night’s grand prize. For additional information, call Kittie Franklin at 756-3444.

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