CTS raises $10,000 for scholarships | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | September 9, 2017 5:00 pm
Last Updated: September 6, 2017 at 12:23 pm
By Anna Stevens Bright
Photos by Herman G. Bright
Just a few short months ago when Roman Cunningham was elected as the President of the Colleton Training School/Colleton High School Alumni Association Inc., he came in with his feet on the ground running. One of his fundraising ideas for scholarships was for the organization to sponsor a purple and gold ball. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Queenie L. Crawford, a member of the Class of 1966 and chairperson of the scholarship committee and the gala, got the ball to rolling with the plans.
On Saturday night Sept. 2 at the Ray T. Johnson/CTS Building on Gruber Street, the organization’s Inaugural Purple and Gold Scholarship Gala came to fruition, and it was a huge success. Dr. Crawford, the mistress of ceremonies, jubilantly announced to the crowd, “We did it; we reached our goal of $10,000!” After her announcement and when she called the roll for classes in attendance, excitement filled the room.
One of CTS/CHS Alumni Association, Inc.’s missions since the inception of the organization has been to award annual scholarships to assist Colleton County High School graduates pursuing higher education. As of May 2017, the association has awarded 23 scholarships. Sponsoring this gala will help the organization to award even more scholarships than previously. This event has even encouraged individual classes of these two schools to award scholarships. The Class of 1970 has a Legacy Scholarship, and 16 of its members attended the event!
During the evening’s celebration, a two-part program was held. Rev. Sintclair Brown, a member of the Class of 1970 and the pastor of Tom Fripp New Church of Christ in St. Helena Island, delivered the invocation and later blessed the meal. Jacqueline Williams of New Life United Methodist Church sang the spiritual, “Victory is Mine,” as a reflection of the organization’s success. Minister Anna Stevens Bright, secretary of the association, gave the welcome and occasion.
Elder Phillip Taylor, the Pastor of St. Center Ministries in Walterboro, brought greetings on behalf of Colleton County Council. He praised the organization for its efforts for Colleton County’s youth. President Roman Cunningham introduced the keynote speaker. The Honorable Patricia Cockrum Grant, Colleton County Clerk of Court, a member of the Class of 1966, and the association’s treasurer, delivered the gala’s message. “Building a Legacy One Step at a Time” was the main focus of her message with a strong emphasis on the history of the two schools. Grant noted that the association’s building has been approved for a state historic marker, and plans to unveil it and celebrate this accomplishment are under way. After the message, a delicious buffet meal of heavy hors d’oeuvres, prepared by Fraser’s Catering of St. Helena Island, was served and enjoyed by all.
During the meal, one of the 2017 scholarship recipients Jazmine Salley, who is presently a student at Francis Marion University in Florence, thanked the organization for the scholarship and told how it has helped her. The other student who was awarded a scholarship for 2017 was Jerry Pishgar. Then Dr. Crawford went on to read a very inspiring letter from Nicholas Jenkins, the organization’s first scholarship recipient, who received a bachelor’s degree in music production and is currently working in that field. His mother, Gloria Jenkins, who attended the gala, was recognized.
Afterwards, Dr. Crawford read a letter from Alexis McCorkle, one of the 2014 scholarship recipients who is presently a senior at Clemson University, which gave an update on her success in college. Then Minister Bright read updates from LaPorsha Smalls and Breyanna Smalls, two sisters who received scholarships from the organization in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Both sisters are graduates of branches of the University of South Carolina. LaPorsha is in her final year as a law school student, and Breyanna plans to enroll in veterinary school soon. Also, their mother, Minister Tonya Smalls who was present at the event, spoke on behalf of her daughters, thanking the organization for helping to support them in their education. She further expressed her appreciation for all of her children’s teachers, especially thanked Minister Bright for being the positive mentor that she was in her three children’s lives and what it has meant to their family.
Minister Bright gave an update on Denzel Stevens, her nephew who was one of the 2016 scholarship recipients. He is presently a sophomore at South Carolina State University and has declared his major in computer programming. She said Denzel was very appreciative of what the organization has done for him through awarding him this scholarship.
After having recognized some of the former scholarship recipients, Dr. Crawford did the roll call of classes in attendance. The classes of the two schools fall between the years of 1925-1970. The Class of 1953 was the oldest class represented at the gala. Following that, she and President Cunningham offered words of thanks. James Simmons of Atlanta, Ga., a member of the Class of 1964 and the founder of CTS/CHS Alumni Association Inc., gave closing remarks and delivered the benediction.
Music for the evening was provided by Gentry Via, Casa Via Communications of Charleston. The room was decorated with purple, gold, and white decorations by Brenda Fields. Herman G. Bright, a member of the Class of 1963 and a member of the Board of Directors, was the event’s photographer.
Members of the Scholarship Gala Committee, besides the president and the chairperson, were Min. Anna S. Bright, Vanessa Mitchell, Jacqueline Harvey-Brown, Catherine Gant Smith, Doretha Wadlington, Zella Farmer, Rev. Sintclair Brown, Orssie Green, Paula Todd, and Patricia C. Grant. The association would like to thank all of the alumni, businesses, friends, and other contributors who supported and attended the gala. Further, the association would like to especially thank The Press and Standard for the publicity.
Anyone who would like to contribute may make donations to the CTS/CHS Alumni Association Inc., P.O. Box 334, Walterboro, S.C. 29488.