Published On: Thu, Jun 9th, 2011

Fundraiser Events planned for Blanton Scholarship

By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.

ONE FEATHER STAFF

                The late Trooper Shawn Blanton is a hero.  The first EBCI tribal member to become a North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper, he was killed in the line of duty three years ago on June 17, 2008.  The Trooper Shawn Blanton Scholarship Fund was set up in his honor and memory. 

                This weekend, two events are being held to raise money for the Fund which provides scholarships to high school senior girls playing softball at one of the following high schools: Swain County, Cherokee, Blue Ridge, Smokey Mountain, Pisgah and Tuscola. 

                “David Blanton, Shawn’s father, developed a scholarship fund for girls playing high school softball because softball was Shawn’s passion,” said Jan Fitzgerald, an employee with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department who volunteers to help with the Fund.  “It’s just a way to give back as that’s what Shawn would have wanted.” 

                Fitzgerald related that, to date, nine scholarships totaling $7,200 have been awarded. 

                The 4th Annual Trooper Shawn Blanton – G540 Scholarship Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, June 17 at the Sequoyah National Golf Club.  Registration will begin at 8am and the tournament will start at 9am.  The format is 4-man Captain’s Choice and prizes will be given to the top two teams in each flight as well as the following special prizes:  Closest to the Pin, Longest Drive, Hole-in-One, and a 50/50 putting contest. 

Golf Tournament Registration Form

                The 3rd Annual Trooper Shawn Blanton Memorial Ride will take place Saturday, June 18 with ride-day registration beginning at 9am.  The ride welcomes all vehicles and features three origination locations including the Jackson County Justice Center in Sylva, Lowe’s in Asheville and Ghost Town HD on the Waynesville Bypass.  All of the riders will join together and ride over Soco Mountain as a group ending at the Acquoni Event Center in Cherokee. 

                The ride costs $25 and includes a t-shirt, meal and a ticket for door prizes.  This is a rain or shine event.  Fitzgerald related that last year’s ride had over 600 participants. 

Ride Registration Form 

               In addition to the softball scholarships, this year the Fund will also award a BLET (Basic Law Enforcement Training) Scholarship to cover books and uniforms and a Southwestern Community College second year Web Design student will receive a $500 scholarship in exchange for maintaining the Fund’s website (www.troopershawnblantonscholarship.com). 

                If you would like to make a donation to the Scholarship Fund, make your check payable and mail to:  The Trooper Shawn Blanton Scholarship, P.O. Box 571, Cherokee, NC 28719.  For more information on the ride, contact Jan Fitzgerald (828) 293-9394, sylvafitz@aol.com and for more information on the golf tournament, contact Tony Belcher (269) 569-1100 or David Blanton (828) 507-4606.

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