By Jordan Beach

Downtown Jasper was transformed into a St. Patrick’s Day Party for a Cause Saturday as Reinhardt University and the community banded together to raise money for Pickens County students.

The 2nd Annual Shamrock Stroll .5K was an incredible success, growing larger than the inaugural event held last year.

“It was a beautiful day and the event went wonderfully; everyone had a great time,” said Amberle Godfrey, Pickens Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. “We really appreciate everyone that comes out to support the students of Pickens County and Reinhardt University.”

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Pickens Scholars has raised over $79,000 for Pickens County residents at Reinhardt University.

The Screaming Eagles Marching Band, followed by Pickens County Citizen of the Year Sheriff Donnie Craig, led the stroll of more than 200 participants of all ages to the post-race party, complete with live music from The DashCrackers. A bounce house and crafts entertained the kids while adults enjoyed beverages provided by Reformation Brewery and Coca-Cola. Other vendors included Kona Ice, Bojangles, Smokin’ Tony’s BBQ, Domin 8 Mobile Foods and Rosi’s Taste.

Prizes were awarded to the Youngest Leprechauns, Gavin Akers (male) and Presley Bennet, sharing a costume with her mother, Whitney, (female) and the Grandest Leprechauns, Thomas Shirley (male) and Anne Sneve (female). The Most Creative Costume first-place female winner was Brenda Johnson, followed by Val Jacobson in second and Teri Puckott in third. The Most Creative Costume first place male winner was Ryan Johnson, Ron Lynch in second and Skyler Denton in third. The Most Creative Dog Costume winners were Kirstina Ben Botzong’s Voodoo in first, Janet Rodning’s Baxter and Maggie in second, and Kiersten Rodning’s Merry and Pippin in third.

“The Stroll is such a fun way for the community to benefit Reinhardt’s Pickens County students,” said Dale Morrissey, senior director of constituent engagement. “We are grateful to all who contributed to the Pickens Scholars program and came out to support the event.”

Since its initiation in August 2017, the Pickens Scholar program has raised a total of $79,244.60 for scholarships to benefit Pickens County residents studying at Reinhardt University.