Though a few were too young to stand, the 16 children still in contention for a $10,000 scholarship bond were walking tall Saturday after being chosen for the next round of The Augusta Chronicle's Make Kids Count drawing.
Saturday's second elimination round drawing at the Columbia County Back to School Festival at Evans High School, narrowed the field from 34 kids in the newborn to 3-year-old category.
"Each of the 16 kids chosen (to advance) today will get at least a $100 savings bond," said Erin Lively, the marketing project manager for The Chronicle.
Make Kids Count was created in 2003 and has given out $240,000 to 192 children, said Barry Paschal, the publisher of The Columbia County News-Times, the master of ceremonies for the drawing. Make Kids Count partners hold quarterly contests to give children the opportunity to win the $10,000 bond, he said. Second-place finishers receive a $5,000 bond.
"I don't know if you've paid attention to the cost of college lately, but it's definitely more than that," Paschal said. "But every little bit helps."
Tim and Tamara Butler, of North Augusta, whose 3-year-old son, Trey, advanced to the next round, said they see Trey in a leadership role someday.
"He's the type where he'll just dive on in and try things," Tamara Butler said.
Fifteen other youngsters also advanced Saturday: Elisabeth Bible, of Evans; Cooper Brady, of Grovetown; Janie Brown, of Augusta; Isabella Cato, of Augusta; Cory Craft, of Evans; Chloe Drawdy, of Augusta; Diona Gowdy, of Grovetown; Ashley Grant, of North Augusta; Gabrielle Keltner, of Augusta; Jordan Powell, of Aiken; Kristina Riffe, of Hephzibah, Courtney Shafer, of Martinez; Hannah Usry, of Martinez; Alexandra Valdez, of Augusta; and Abbey Williamson, of North Augusta.
The next drawing to pare the list to eight children will be Friday at Fort Discovery.
Make Kids Count's other sponsors are: Ashley Furniture, the Augusta Lynx, the Augusta Spartans, Champion Window Company, Fort Discovery, Gold Mech Services Heating and Air Conditioning, Knology, Partners in Achievement, Platt's Funeral Home and SCANA Energy.
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