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Mayor to be feted at UNG Scholarship Ball
Fundraiser set for March 28
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going

* What: University of North Georgia Scholarship Ball

* When: 6:30 p.m. March 28

* Where: Lanier Technical Conference Forsyth Conference Center, 3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd.

* Cost: $100 per person. Tickets should be purchased by March 19 at www.ung.edu. Sponsorship opportunities still available.

CUMMING -- The roaring ’20s will come back to life during an upcoming fundraiser for the University of North Georgia.

The university is holding its second annual Scholarship Ball beginning with a reception at 6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7:30 p.m. March 28, all followed by music and dancing.

The black tie-optional event, with its 1920’s theme, will be held at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

Andy Leavitt, vice president for university advancement, said the ball was held last year in Gainesville.

“We have four campuses associated with UNG, so we’re rotating it between the Gainesville, Cumming and Dahlonega campuses,” he said. “So next year, we’ll be in Dahlonega.”

Leavitt noted that last year’s gala, which was the first, raised $212,000 for student scholarships and drew about 300 people. This year, he said, organizers would like to “raise as much as we possibly can.”

“Certainly we hope that this event will exceed last year’s so the goal would be to beat last year’s number,” he said.

The public can buy tickets to the event for $100 each.

“We also have a number of sponsorships still available,” he said. “It’s important to note that we have defrayed the cost of the event so that 100 percent of the money that people give for tickets, tables or sponsorships is going to the scholarship fund.”

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the university’s Presidential Leadership Award to Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt.

Gravitt and members of the Cumming City Council were instrumental in the opening of the Cumming UNG campus in 2012.

“[President Bonita Jacobs] wants to recognize [the mayor] for his extraordinary leadership in bringing higher education to Forsyth County,” Leavitt said. “… We have no better friend [than him] and the city council in terms of starting the new Cumming campus.”

Leavitt said the Presidential Award is one of the highest honors the university presents.

“It’s given sparingly, quite frankly,” he said. “We only give it to people who have really helped the institution. It’s not even given every year. It’s only been given three times in the last five years.”

Leavitt said anyone interested in attending the Scholarship Ball should get tickets by March 19.

 “We have some special entertainment lined up and at the end of the evening, we’ll be announcing our total for fundraising for scholarships for the year,” he said. “So we hope to have a rather dramatic moment where the money that’s been raised from the ball itself will be added to the money we’ve been raising all year.

“We would love to have everybody join us.”