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Rotary benefit nets $20,000

Published or Revised February 21, 2005


MOST ENTERTAINING: “Tigger” brought out the best of Thomas Quintana.

There was a lot of clowning around at the Daon Wall Rotary Scholarship Benefit event held two weeks ago at the Love Civic Center, but the results were a serious matter.

Thanks to the generosity of a lot of people, the benefit generated a record contribution to the scholarship fund that helps graduating seniors from the five Lamar County high schools attend Paris Junior College.

“We exceeded $20,000 in net income for the Rotary Scholarship Fund,” said Rotary scholarship chairwoman Jo Ann Parkman. “It took a lot of work by many dedicated people, but it was the most successful benefit we have ever held.”

The previous record in the ten years the benefit has been held was set in 1998 when Paris native T. Bird Gordon and his band played for the benefit. That event netted the fund over $19,000.

Parkman said this Rotary event was established through the efforts of the late Daon Wall for the purpose of building the scholarship fund to assist graduates of Chisum, North Lamar, Paris, Prairiland and Roxton high schools.

“The success of the benefit keeps alive the vision of Daon Wall to one day provide scholarships for every graduating senior of the five Lamar County high schools who wish to attend PJC,” Parkman said.

Contributing to the success of the benefit was the Carson and Barnes Circus, which provided four acts at no cost.

“Carson and Barnes played a big role in the success of the program and we want to thank them for their contribution,” Parkman said. “Also, we owe a debt of gratitude to Aramark, which provided a great dinner at a very reasonable cost.”

There were many others, Parkman said, who gave a lot of time and energy to making the program a huge success. They included ringmaster Dr. Ken Haley, ticket masters Wendy Pitcock and Judge Deane Loughmiller, Johnye Robertson and Jenna Ormsbee, and all of the volunteer waiters who entertained and served the crowd.

“The fact that the event was all locally produced and we didn’t have the expense of paying an agency for entertainment saved a great deal of expense,” Parkman said.

Several of the waiters won prizes for their efforts. Thomas Quintana, whose circus name was “Tigger,” was judged the most entertaining waiter and won a color photograph by local photographer Dr. Craig Stephens. Joel Ball, aka “Elvis,” won the best costume award. He received six tickets to the opening performance of Carson and Barnes Circus in Paris on April 2 and a meal for six in the Fenet Room of Paris Junior College.

Ruth Ann and Gene Stallings were judged the ultimate waiters, raising the most money at their tables. They won a weekend for two at the Gaylord Texas Resort in Grapevine.

Now that the 10th edition of the Daon Wall Rotary Scholarship Benefit is over, the three Rotary clubs in Paris have already set Feb. 4, 2006, for the next event. Greater Paris Rotary Club president Carl Lucas, Paris Rotary Club president Renee’ Harvey and Breakfast Rotary Club president Cae Cobb are already making plans for the event.

“People can mark their calendars now, because it will feature local talent and will be the entertainment highlight of the year in Paris,” Parkman said.

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