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 Highway State Trooper, he was killed in the line of duty four years ago on June 17, 2008. The Trooper Shawn Blanton Scholarship Fund was set up in his honor and memory.
“The Memorial Ride and the Golf Tournament are the only sources of income for the scholarship,” said David Blanton, Shawn’s father. “Support has grown over the last three years, and this year we are giving seven $1,000 scholarships.”
“We started this year giving away half of what we take in the previous year. We are trying to build a base to sustain the scholarship for the long term. One hundred percent of the money goes to the scholarship, and no one receives any pay or incentives from the scholarship.”
The 5th Annual Trooper Shawn Blanton – G540 Scholarship Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, June 15 at the Sequoyah National Golf Club. Registration will begin at 8am with a shotgun start at 9am. Prizes include: top two teams in each flight, closest to the pin, 50/50 putting contest, longest drive and hole-in-one. The cost per team is $400 and includes golf, prizes, a gift bag and lunch.
The 4th Annual Trooper Shawn Blanton Memorial Ride will take place on Saturday, June 16. The ride will leave from three locations including the Jackson County Justice Center in Sylva, Lowe’s in Asheville and the Waynesville Cycle Center in Waynesville. All vehicles are welcome to participate in this rain-or-shine event. A $25 donation per person includes the ride, t-shirt, meal, and a ticket for door prizes. All of the riders will join together and ride over Soco Mountain as a group ending at the Acquoni Event Center in Cherokee.
For more information on the tournament, contact Tony Belcher (269) 569-1100 or David Blanton (828) 507-4606, and for more information on the ride, contact Jan Fitzgerald (828) 293-9394 or Sylvafitz@aol.com. For more information on the Scholarship Fund, visit www.troopershawnblantonscholarship.com.