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A luau under the stars

Music, food, fireworks fill GSC alumni fundraiser

POSTED: June 9, 2011 12:30 a.m.
SARA GUEVARA /The Times

Julia Hayes plays a game of cards with husband Don Hayes at last year's annual Gainesville State College Alumni Starlight Concert & Fireworks Show at the G.W. Bailey Amphitheatre in Oakwood. This year's concert is set for Friday.

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The Gainesville State College Alumni Association has turned fundraising efforts to support scholarships and student programming into a community affair.

As has become an annual tradition, the association is inviting the community at-large to come out and enjoy its Starlight Concert. This year's beachy theme is, "Starlight 2011 - A Laker Luau."

The event is Friday at the G.W. Bailey Amphitheatre on the college's Oakwood campus, 3820 Mundy Mill Road. It will feature live music, food and a fireworks display after dark.

"It really started out in the early 2000s as a picnic and lawn party for the Alumni Association, but it continued to grow and grow each year, so the Alumni Association thought it would be a good idea to build (the outdoor event space)," said Jennifer Hendrickson, director of alumni affairs.

The amphitheater was completed through the association's fundraising efforts and a "large gift" from the G.W. Bailey family, Hendrickson says.

Organizers are expecting between 4,000 and 5,000 visitors for this year's Starlight.

Gates to the event will be open from 6 to 8 p.m. The entry fee, payable in cash only, is $10 per car or $20 for large vans and buses.

Money raised from the event will be used by the association to assist current and future Gainesville State students.

The Power Play Band will hit the stage at 6:30 p.m. They will be performing covers from such artists as The Beach Boys, Bob Marley and Jimmy Buffet.

In addition to the concert, other activities include face painting and a raffle for items like the new Hawaiian American Girl doll, gift cards to local restaurants and car-care facilities. Raffle tickets are $1 each or $5 for six tickets.

Alumni T-shirts will also be on sale for $15 each while supplies last.

Although vendors will be on hand selling items like cotton candy, funnel cakes, nachos and snow cones, Starlight attendees are invited to bring their own food and beverages to snack on (grills and open flames are not allowed).



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