Great Tailgate event raises more than $50,000 for Rowan Crosby Scholars

Published 12:01 am Thursday, October 6, 2022

SALISBURY — Supporters of Rowan Crosby Scholars helped to celebrate a milestone Saturday night as alumni, partners and donors gathered for the nonprofit’s fundraiser The Great Tailgate at the F&M Trolley Barn.

The  event raised over $50,000 for Last Dollar Grants, which is need-based financial aid for eligible graduates of Crosby Scholars that goes toward their college costs.

“We are excited to kick off 10 years of Crosby Scholars in Rowan County and thrilled to share that we’ve awarded over $1 million in scholarships and Last Dollar Grants to our program graduates. Our community cares so deeply about the important issues facing our youth and we are blessed to live among such generous supporters,” said founding board member Gwin Barr.

The evening included dinner from Jim ‘N Nicks Community Bar-B-Q, a DJ, and live college football games broadcast on several large screens. Guests came dressed in collegiate apparel. Student volunteers served as greeters and sold tickets to an amusing coin toss game called “Heads & Tails.”

The Crosby Scholars program is free and open to Rowan County public school students in grades six through 12. Each student enrolled in Crosby Scholars is required to attend at least one Crosby Academy workshop and perform two hours of community service per academic year.

“Our Crosby Scholars enjoy volunteering in the community. We hear back from them often about how transformative these experiences are for them. Over 100,000 hours of community service has been logged by our students over the past 10 years. Practicing good citizenship is preparing them for college and for life,” Executive Director Jessica Vess said.

Board Chair Kathy Rusher added, “We want to thank all of our sponsors, donors, volunteers and supporters who are helping make the college dreams of our local students a reality. This is truly a community partnership and we couldn’t be more grateful for the consistent support that has allowed us to serve students and families these past 10 years. We look forward to the next 10.”