2019 Bent Tree Foundation Scholarship and Grant Reception
By Debbie Davis
On Sunday, April 28, 2019 the Bent Tree Foundation held a reception at Club Tamarack to honor 22 Pickens High School senior scholarship recipients and 8 teacher grant recipients from five Pickens County schools. The Bent Tree Foundation, in partnership with the Bent Tree Tennis Community and the Lady Niners Golf Community, awarded $22,000 in scholarships with funds the Foundation raised through donations, wine tasting events, Longest Day of Golf Tournaments, and FATZ pancake breakfasts. The Bent Tree Tennis Community raised their scholarship funds with very successful tennis tournaments supported by many enthusiastic sponsors. The Lady Niners Golf Community raised funds through a variety of events and donations as well. The scholarship recipients were accompanied by their parents and family members at the reception. Jesse Hunter, Chairman of the Bent Tree Foundation, recognized each scholarship recipient for their hard work and dedication to their educational aspirations and goals. Also present were Kristie Coleman, Chair of the Bent Tree Tennis Community and Debbie Ford, President of the Lady Niners Golf Community.
Foundation scholarships were awarded to the following graduates of Pickens High School: 1) Kyra Biggins (Georgia Southern University); 2) Hannah Fields (Reinhardt University); 3) Emily Robinson (undecided); 4 ) Emilly Johnson (Shorter University); 5) Madilyn Shelton (University of North Georgia); 6) Miles Gregg (University of North Georgia); 7) Laura Swancey (Reinhardt University); 8) Garrett Thompson (Clemson University); 9) Marshall Hulsey (Dalton State College); 10) Bethany Carver (Georgia College and State University); and 11) Emma Barnes (University of North Georgia). Two designated scholarships requiring attendance to the University of North Georgia were awarded to 1) Elizabeth Kouch, sponsored and funded by Martha B. Stephens in honor of her sister, Linda Brown August, a former University of North Georgia professor; 2) Ana Coriell ( a Bent Tree resident), sponsored and funded by Colin and Sheila Thompson in honor of their sons, Christopher C. Thompson and Stephen W. Thompson, both alumni of the University of North Georgia. One scholarship was presented by Jody Robinson and her family to Jacob Kirchoff (Kennesaw State University) from donations made in memory and honor of her husband and their father, Rick Robinson, a Bent Tree resident who passed away in March 2019, after a heroic battle with lymphoma.
Kristie Coleman, Chair of the Bent Tree Tennis Community, in partnership with the Foundation, awarded seven scholarships to the following students: 1) Olivia Fountain (University of Georgia); 2) Emma DiPuma (University of Georgia); 3) Katie Cowart (Oglethorpe University); 4) Hattie Baker (Samford University); 5) Cody Manis (undecided); 6) Craig Johnson (Young Harris College); 7) Henry Moore (Georgia Southern University).
Debbie Ford, President of the Lady Niners Golf Community, presented a scholarship to Katherine Densmore (Georgia Southern University).
Jesse Hunter, Chairman of the Bent Tree Foundation, also recognized the eight teachers from five Pickens County schools for their teacher/school grants which were awarded in September 2018, and whose specific information appeared in a Progress article last Fall.
The Bent Tree Foundation was established in 2009 and with its partners has awarded over $200,000.00 in student scholarships and teacher/school grants to our Pickens County students and schools. The Bent Tree Foundation would like to thank all of the many volunteers and donors for helping our schools expand educational opportunities for our young adults. Those who wish to join us in this endeavor or honor the memory of a loved one may do so by going to our website, www.benttreefoundation.org. to find information on tax-deductible donation opportunities. The Bent Tree Foundation holds fund-raising projects throughout the year, and we thank all of you for your past support and continue to need your future support to further the Foundation’s mission regarding student scholarships and teacher/school grants.
Photography by Sheila Thompson