Big Thursday money split

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By Jesef Williams

Considering the local economic conditions, members of the Big Thursday Scholarship committee are pleased with the amount of money raised.

For the past several years, the committee has held a golf tournament in which corporate sponsors pledge money. There were nearly 30 sponsors at the 2007 tournament, which brought in $34,000.

Money raised provides scholarships for Lancaster County students attending either Clemson University or the University of South Carolina at Lancaster.

The two schools each received $17,000. The checks were presented Tuesday evening at USCL's Carole Ray Dowling Center.

"In our community, there's a lot of kids who can't afford books," said Franky Faile, co-chairman of the Big Thursday committee. "This scholarship allows kids to stay in school."

Seven students from each school will receive scholarship money for the 2008-09 school year. Incoming freshmen and current students are eligible.

Committee members joked that people never expect Clemson and USC to work together, as the two schools are bitter rivals on the football field.

"We may root against ourselves that day," said Rodney Thomas, president of the Clemson Club. "But the rest of the year, we're working on that common goal - to fund scholarships for needy kids."

Since the Big Thursday Scholarship was started, nearly $100,000 has been raised. In years to come, the number of scholarship recipients is expected to increase.

Two years from now, the Big Thursday committee hopes to award 18 scholarships, Thomas said.

"This will allow us to provide education for some more students than we have in the past," he said.

During Tuesday's presentation, Glenda Powell and Charles Walters were recognized for their work with the Big Thursday committee, which is now working to become a government-recognized nonprofit entity.

Contact Jesef Williams at 283-1152 or jwilliams@thelancasternews.com