An Evening for ABAC Scholarship Fundraiser on February 23rd

Staff Report From Tifton CEO

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

When Big City Rhythm takes the stage at the annual scholarship fundraising event called An Evening for ABAC on Feb. 23, students at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will benefit in ways they never thought possible.

The patrons at the annual ABAC Foundation-sponsored event will enjoy a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, a fabulous dinner, and exciting entertainment from Big City Rhythm, a “family” of talented musicians with diverse entertainment experiences guaranteed to bring guests to their feet for a high-energy, dynamic dance party.

As the music winds down at the Tifton Campus Conference Center on that Saturday night, the student scholarship fund will grow so that freshmen can be a part of the ABAC experience when they enroll for the 2019 fall semester.

That support has been ongoing since 1972 when the ABAC Foundation sponsored a fundraiser featuring Anita Bryant to complete the funding for the Chapel of All Faiths. The banquet attracted 426 patrons and netted $22,612. In 1973, Eddie Arnold came to town for another ABAC Foundation-sponsored event, and the legendary program called Dollars for Scholars was born.

The ABAC scholarship fundraiser became the social event of the year in Tift County with entertainers such as Ray Stevens, Louise Mandrell, Debbie Reynolds, Kathy Mattea, Marie Osmond, Helen Reddy, Ronnie Milsap, Lorrie Morgan, and the Temptations. Trisha Yearwood attracted the largest crowd for the event in 2006 when over 1,800 patrons attended her show.

The ABAC Foundation changed the name of the event to An Evening for ABAC in 2008 and focused its efforts entirely on raising funds for scholarships. Dr. Deidre Martin, ABAC’s chief development officer, knows how crucial scholarship support is to students.

"An Evening for ABAC provides more than $100,000 each year in scholarship support for students across South Georgia,” Martin said. “We are very thankful to our sponsors and supporters for investing in our students. We often hear from our scholarship recipients that college would not be possible without this support. An investment in ABAC is an investment in South Georgia's future."

Tickets for An Evening for ABAC are $125 for singles, $225 for couples, and $1,500 for a reserved table which seats eight persons. A portion of the ticket price is tax deductible. For tickets, interested persons can call (229) 391-4895 or visit

Sponsorship levels include ABAC 1908 Circle for $15,000 which sponsors six scholarships, Presidential for $10,000 which sponsors four scholarships, Titanium for $7,500 which sponsors three scholarships, Platinum for $5,000 which sponsors two scholarships, and Gold for $2,500 which sponsors one scholarship.

Tift Regional Health System and Colquitt Regional Medical Center are already on board as ABAC 1908 Circle sponsors for the fundraising event. Needmore Properties, Synovus and Synovus Trust Company, Sodexo, Allstate Construction Company, and Georgia Farm Bureau are Platinum sponsors.

Gold sponsors include South Georgia Banking Company, Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Merrill, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Mr. and Mrs. James Lee Adams, AgGeorgia Farm Credit, Robert McLendon Farms, LLC, Georgia Power Company, Dr. and Mrs. Joe Day, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. James Holcomb, and Captain D’s/Checkers.