Mary McNeill loved her Thomson Bulldogs. Now the Athletic Booster Club is taking the opportunity to thank her for her years of devotion.
Mrs. McNeill lost her battle with cancer a year ago this week. Members of the booster club figured the best way to honor her memory and her love of THS football was to endow a scholarship for a football player in her name.
The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded at the annual booster club banquet at Thomson First Baptist Church's fellowship hall, April 1, 7 p.m. Her family is grateful that her memory will live on through the scholarship.
"It means a lot to me," said the late Mrs. McNeill's husband, Don. "The Thomson High program is very dear to my heart, and for them to honor us in this way is just really special to me."
In addition to the scholarship, Mrs. McNeill's entire family -- the Bob and Ruth Knox family -- will be recognized by the booster club with their annual award.
All of the male members of the family played football for THS, including Mrs. McNeill's brothers, Andy Knox and Thomson Mayor Bob Knox, Jr. as well as her husband.
"Mr. Bob (Knox), Sr. was always involved in the booster club. He was always looking after us kids and did a lot of great things for us," said long-time booster club member Ralph Starling. "He was a special man, and Mrs. Ruth is the first lady of Thomson as far as I'm concerned."
In addition to the new McNeill Scholarship the club's original scholarship will also be given out at the banquet. The Adam McCorkle/Tony Smith Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a deserving athlete at THS. Last year's winner, Durrell Jackson made the dean's list in his first semester at Georgia Southern.
The scholarship recipients are picked by the family from a list of candidates from Coach Luther Welsh.
This year's banquet will also feature Claude McBride as the keynote speaker. Mr. McBride is a former chaplain at the University of Georgia.
The event will be catered by Neal's Barbecue. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from any booster club member. Contact Mr. Starling or Jeff Cowart for more information.
The booster club's annual golf tournament fundraiser, which is usually held in conjunction with the banquet, will be postponed this year to August when Belle Meade reopens after renovations are complete.