It's time for the 2009 Emerald Ball, which means friends, fun, philanthropy and – the Fort Worth Zoo?
UNT's annual gala to support its Emerald Eagle Scholars scholarship fund is going wild with a move to the zoo, giving UNT alumni and friends a whole new venue to celebrate the university and its scholars.
"The move west offers our patrons from all over the Metroplex a new destination and a new opportunity to help support UNT and the Emerald Eagle Scholars," says Molly Reid, co-chair of this year's ball. "UNT is a Metroplex icon with more than 100,000 alums in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We felt that scheduling the ball in a city other than Denton was an appropriate way to signify that status."
"Emerald Ball Goes Wild" supports the Emerald Eagle Scholars, academically talented students with high financial need. This year's host committee is being co-chaired by Robert and Bette Sherman of Denton, Molly and Rusty Reid of Fort Worth and Richard and Christina Gonzales of Dallas. All three couples are active in a variety of philanthropic efforts throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
The Shermans are both retired from First Colonial Bankshares Corporation, and currently own Sherman Enterprises of Denton. The Reids are both alumni of UNT. Rusty Reid is the President and CEO of Fort Worth-based Higginbotham & Associates, one of the nation's largest independent insurance agencies. Richard Gonzalez, also a UNT alum, is an entrepreneur who houses his various companies under Crescent Group Corporation, which is based in Addison. Gonzalez also is Honorary Consul to Paraguay.
"Emerald Ball Goes Wild" will be held in the Chesapeake Pavilion at the Fort Worth Zoo on Feb. 28 (Saturday) from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. with proceeds going to the Emerald Eagle scholarship endowment fund. The lavish evening will begin with a cocktail hour and silent auction at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7:45 p.m., and special presentations and musical entertainment by the Sultans of Swing will continue until 10:30 p.m.
Reservations are $150 and can be made at www.unt.edu/emeraldball/reservations.html or by contacting Karen Selby at 940-565-3480 or email@example.com by Feb. 13 (Friday). Varying levels of sponsorship are also available. For more information on sponsorships visit www.unt.edu/emeraldball/sponsorships.html or contact Ann Abbe, vice president of development, at 940-565-3687 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNT's Emerald Eagle Scholars program began in 2007. The program provides tuition and mentoring to academically talented students with high financial need.
Emerald Eagle Scholars are expected to become actively involved on campus, work an on-campus job, enroll in 15 hours of classes each semester, maintain an overall GPA of at least 2.5 and graduate in four years. The scholars are supported by mentors both from the student body and from the faculty and staff.
Since its inception the Emerald Eagle Scholars program has helped fulfill the dream of going to college for more than 700 students, including junior Sarah Cheek, who just a few short years ago questioned whether she would even be able to attend college.
Cheek grew up in a single-parent home in Rockwall, where her mother supported her by working as a waitress. Cheek knew that she wanted to go to college and become a teacher, but she did not know how it would be possible for her to go to school on her mother's salary. Then Cheek got a letter from UNT inviting her to become an Emerald Eagle Scholar and in turn offered her free tuition and fees for four years.
"I just couldn't believe that someone wanted to pay for me to go to college," Cheek says. "No one in my family had ever gone to college; I am one of only two or three people in my entire family who have actually graduated from high school. I'm just so grateful for this opportunity."
UNT President Gretchen M. Bataille, who launched the program with her inauguration, says that helping students like Cheek is the goal.
"Sarah, like the other Emerald Eagle Scholars, is a student who will make a difference, and for whom education is the means to her success," Bataille says.
What: "Emerald Ball Goes Wild," a gala evening to support the Emerald Eagle Scholars program at the University of North Texas.
When: Feb. 28
6:30 –10:30 p.m.
- 6:30 p.m.: cocktails and silent auction
- 7:45 p.m.: dinner
- Presentations and musical entertainment by the Sultans of Swing until 10:30 p.m.
Where: Fort Worth Zoo, Chesapeake Pavilion
- Coach transportation to Fort Worth from Denton is available
Cost: Reserve a seat for $150; sponsorships also available.
Contact: To reserve seats, call 940-565-3480 or send an e-mail to email@example.com by Feb. 13.
Alyssa Aber with UNT News Service
can be reached at Alyssa.Aber@unt.edu.