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Spectacular event planned for Park Theatre
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The groundwork is being laid for a Park Theatre spectacle in April with Ben Lomand Connect becoming a major sponsor for an upcoming Business Roundtable charity concert.
“There will be a red carpet, a beacon light that will annoy the FAA for the evening, and scholarship students serving as ushers and running a shuttle to and from the parking areas,” said Todd Herzog of the Business Roundtable Foundation for Educational Progress. “The Ultimate Oldies will be performing. They were here a while back and got quite an acclaim for their performance.”
The concert is a major fundraiser for the foundation, which provides scholarships for local students. The fund provided $43,000 in scholarships recently and looks to help even more this coming year. The fund has been around since 2007.
The scholarship fund will change a bit once Tennessee Promise goes into effect. Tennessee Promise is a state plan that will afford two years of community college for any Tennessee high school graduate who wants to further their education.
According to Herzog, since immediate graduates will be covered under the Tennessee Promise, the Business Roundtable will target nontraditional students who want to go into the field of Mechatronics. The average age of the nontraditional student locally (meaning one who doesn’t go straight from high school to college) is 24. Herzog says it is important for Warren County to continue its dedication to Mechatronics, which is the study of the system side of high-tech jobs like computer technology, mechanics and robotics.
“In Mechatronics you can get a job right out of high school or you can become an engineer with a four-year degree from MTSU,” Herzog said, noting there are 39 high school juniors who have signed up for Mechatronics this coming year. “We are way ahead of the country in Mechatronics.”
Ben Lomand CEO Ray Cantrell agreed that it is important for Warren County to stay ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to Mechatronics.
“You can’t bring in new industry if you don’t have the people who can work the jobs,” Cantrell said in making a $5,000 matching donation to the fund, meaning the donation will amount to $10,000. Ben Lomand joined Bridgestone, MPC and Yorozu as the four major donors this year. Herzog said any other businesses or individuals are welcome to donate to the worthy cause.
As for the fundraising concert, the advance donations mean that every ticket purchased for the Park Theater concert will go straight into the fund treasury to help with local scholarships. Tickets for the event are $15 and can be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce.