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Concert lures crowd, funds scholarships
Alumni event aids students at Gainesville State College
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Ethan Wood, 7, plays in the spray of bubbles Friday evening at Gainesville State College during the annual Starlight Concert and Fireworks.

Hundreds of people sat around the G.W. Bailey Amphitheater on Gainesville State College's campus Friday night listening to live music, playing in a shower of bubbles and awaiting the fireworks.

The 2011 Starlight Concert and Fireworks was bustling, with crowds stretching across the campus greens to the medians in the parking lots.

"All around you, we've got people setting up tables and enjoying themselves. It's a big community event," Mack Palmour, assistant vice president of enrollment management said.

"Folks from the community can come in and have a chance to enjoy some good music, beautiful surrounding and some great fireworks."

Bailey Smith, 15, of Flowery Branch has attended the event with her family since she was a child, but this year she came with her friends.

"Usually, we bring a picnic. It's a good time, music and atmosphere and everything," Smith said.

The concert is held every June and is a major fundraising event for the Alumni Association.

The money raised during the event goes to funding scholarships and school programing.

"We take the money that is raised here and have a lot of different scholarships that are available for students," Palmour said.

Twelve to 15 students will be awarded scholarships on revenue gathered from sponsorships, parking fees and sales of glow-in-the-dark necklaces and swords.

"All of the funds do go through the Alumni Association, but they benefit students and scholarships, and programming," Jennifer Hendrickson, Director of Alumni Affairs said. "So there are a lot of new and exciting things happening around Gainesville State College."

Five-year-old Lilly Black would have to agree. She and Lindsey Shewbert, 6, jumped up and down excitedly as they discussed the upcoming fireworks show.

Black says her favorite part of the night is "when they shine."

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