Excel will host its Sixth Annual Celebrate Excel Friday, Feb. 21 at the Multi-Purpose Building in Pittsboro.
The annual fundraiser takes on a different format this year. The keynote speakers are M.D. Jennings and Precious Thompson.
Jennings, a native of Calhoun City, is currently an NFL player with the Green Bay Packers, while Thompson, a native of Vardaman, is employed at the University of Mississippi.
Those two fields, athletics and education, came together for the theme "Celebrate Excel: Tailgate with MD Jennings."
The doors open at 6 p.m. An initial welcome and blessing will be given by Nida Pittman, Excel Advisory Board president. A tailgate buffet opens immediately after the blessing.
Local alumni of Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Delta State have been invited to have information booths about their respective schools available for students/families. As a sponsor of Celebrate Excel, they will also have time at the podium that evening.
A coach from each of the four county high schools has been challenged to have at least 8 students purchase a ticket and decorate a table with high school colors.
This annual event is part of essential fundraising necessary to sustain Excel’s After School Tutoring and Summer Excel programs for students in grades 1-6 in Calhoun County. It is one component of the campaign launched by the Excel advisory board in 2013 to raise $25,000 annually for three years.
Excel serves students from each of the four school campus sites in the county. Common Core and MS Third Gate legislation raised the academic standards for all children.
"Excel is an invaluable resource in Calhoun County assisting parents and professional educators in reaching those standards," Excel Director Sister Judy Sinnwell said.
Tickets: $10 advance; $15 at the door. Advance deadline: Feb. 14.
Tickets available at Renasant Bank, Rydells, Jeffery's, Sweet Potato Sweets, and Excel.