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Achiever Award banquet May 2, tickets now on sale

It’s time for the annual Achiever Award winners to be presented and tickets are still available for those that want to see the area’s top high school students vie for the honors.

“This is the 22nd year for the Achiever Award Program,” Tracy Salter, executive director of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce, said. “It is sponsored jointly by the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greenville YMCA. The program was designed to recognize outstanding senior male and female athletes of Butler County, not only athletes, but also those who exemplify the attributes of Christian, community and academic leadership.”

This year there are 31 nominees for the two awards, according to Salter.

“All of them met the criteria,” she said. “There is no limit for the amount we can have.  This year, we had a total of six judges and they were broken up into two groups. We had a panel of three judges to interview the female nominees and a panel of three judges to interview the male nominees. We only have two winners, one male and one female. Dividing them up allowed the judges to really hone in on the nominees.”

Interviews were held at the Chamber offices earlier this month. The 31 interviews took a full day.

“All of the judges are out of town judges,” Salter said. “They do not know the nominees, they do not know their parents — they know nothing about these students. The day of the interview is the first time they every see the students. Everything else they have is just paper, resumes and transcripts. They have no idea who the students are other than what they received in their packet.  The judges have to meet and decide. It’s a tough job. There are so many great nominees in this program.”

Winners were selected the day of the judging and will be announced at the banquet on May 2.  The event will be held at the Lurleen B. Wallace Community College’s Wendell Mitchell Center. The banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are on sale for $25. Tickets include a catered meal by Wintzell’s Oyster House, a guest speaker and recognition of each of the nominees.

This year’s speaker is Lemanski Hall, defensive ends coach at Clemson University.

“We’re super excited about having Coach Hall come to Greenville,” Salter said.  “He was very successful on the field when he played for Alabama. He has been very successful in his coaching career and he is excited about coming back to his home state to visit. He’s excited to be able to do this for our high school youth.”

To purchase tickets, contact the YMCA of Greenville (334) 382-0550. Ticket sales end next Monday, April 29.