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Local residents gift $25,000 to ADay for Reinhardt Pickens County

By Erika Neldner

ADay for Reinhardt Pickens County received a significant financial boost to help provide scholarship money for Pickens County residents attending Reinhardt University with a gift from Dr. Robert Keller and partner, and Reinhardt student, Amberle Godfrey.

Keller, founder and chief executive officer of Jasper-based Atlantic Coast Conservancy, and Godfrey, chief operating officer of Pickens County Chamber of Commerce, made this gift of $25,000 last month. Atlantic Coast Conservancy is a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide solutions for conservation of crucial natural resources.

“We are honored to have such great support from our community partners like Atlantic Coast Conservancy,” said Dale Morrissey, director of development and external relations for Reinhardt University. “We appreciate their dedication to higher education and the goals of ADay  for Reinhardt Pickens County.”

Godfrey, who serves as the first-ever chair of ADay  for Reinhardt Pickens County and is a non-traditional student working toward her business degree, said higher education is something that can not only improve opportunities for individuals but for their communities, as well.

“We both value education and we see what it can do to improve the quality of life for individuals and it can also improve the quality of life in the community,” Godfrey said.

Keller, a graduate of Wake Forest University with a Ph.D. in Conservation Biology, said he is fond of liberal arts education that incorporates life values, critical thinking and real-world approach, and the attention students receive at a smaller institution.

“I am so fond of the education you get in that one-on-one with professors and with faculty and staff,” Keller said.

He added his mother was pro-education, especially pro-education for women. When Godfrey decided to return to school, after having raised her children, she had Keller’s support for what seemed like a scary venture. After starting classes, she found a home away from home, where she knows her professors truly care about her education and future.

“Amberle is getting this wonderful experience. It’s invaluable,” Keller said.

That experience, along with what they see Reinhardt University doing to help mold young students into great members of the community, was part of the decision to give their gift.

Godfrey, who is on the path to earning her Bachelor of Business Administration, also serves the first ADay  for Reinhardt Pickens County Chair and enjoys sharing what’s happening at Reinhardt.

“I have enjoyed bringing awareness to the community of Reinhardt. Many in our community don’t realize what a great institution we have right next door and that it is affordable,” Godfrey said.

ADay  for Reinhardt Pickens County, still in its infancy, already has awarded $18,000 in scholarships for Pickens County students attending Reinhardt University. It’s through gifts from people like Keller and Godfrey that have made that happen.

“Getting involved is a great way to support students attending Reinhardt,” Godfrey said. “The first .5K for ADay  for Reinhardt Pickens County will be held in March in downtown Jasper. Join us and have fun while raising scholarship money for Pickens County residents.”

The Inaugural Shamrock Stroll will be held on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, at 5 p.m. in downtown Jasper. Prior to March 8, the registration fee is $25 (12 and under are free). After March 8 and race day registration (beginning at 4 p.m. March 17), the fee is $30. Additional T-shirts can be purchased for $10.  The Finish Line party will include fun for the whole family including food trucks, face painting, rock painting, bounce house, live music from the Joe Morgan Band and more. It is a dog-friendly event. For more information, learn about sponsorship opportunities or to register, visit Reinhardt.edu/Stroll

amberle-robert
Amberle Godfrey and Robert Keller

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