GAINESVILLE, Ga. (June 16, 2021) – Before loved ones and City of Gainesville leadership, among others, a handful of North Georgia students were recognized Tuesday, June 15, as recipients of 2021 Gainesville Spring Chicken Festival Scholarship funds.
The three winners were announced by Mayor Danny Dunagan during the regular meeting of the Gainesville City Council, held in the municipal courtroom at the Gainesville Public Safety Complex.
"Although the 2020 Gainesville Spring Chicken Festival was canceled and the 2021 event postponed due to COVID-19, I’m pleased to stand before you tonight to award funds to several very deserving winners of the Gainesville Spring Chicken Festival Scholarship," he said.
Receiving $1,000 each were Taylor Phillips, a UNG - University of North Georgia senior management student working toward an associate's degree in poultry science, and Olivia Bellotte, who was unable to attend. Grand-prize winner Luke Hamby, a recent Dawson County High School graduate who plans to major in poultry science at the University of Georgia, took home $1,500.
Dunagan noted Gainesville and the local poultry industry recognize a need for outstanding men and women to continue the City's legacy as "Poultry Capital of the World". This scholarship fund specifically supports graduating high-school seniors and current college students in Georgia pursuing a degree in poultry science or a related agricultural field, such as agricultural business, food science, animal science, etc.
"Scholarship funding comes from Spring Chicken Festival sponsors, whose generosity and eagerness to offer this opportunity has never wavered, even during difficult times," he said, which includes the festival committee and poultry industry leaders. “... Without them, none of this would be possible."
This year, applicants were tasked with answering the following essay question: “What are your career goals and reason for pursuing the poultry field?” The City received multiple applications, many of which offered impressive responses.
Though canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, the 2021 Gainesville Spring Chicken Festival is slated for November.
Photo/CITY OF GAINESVILLE | Mayor Danny Dunagan, center, poses with 2021 Gainesville Spring Chicken Festival Scholarship recipients Luke Hamby, left, and Taylor Phillips, right. Hamby was awarded the grand prize of $1,500 and Phillips, one of two $1,000 prizes. Olivia Bellotte was awarded the second $1,000 prize, but was unable to attend the meeting.