High-fives, tears and hugs of joy marked the final drawing for the newborn to 3-year-old category in the Make Kids Count drawing Saturday.
"Praises be unto God! Praise him, praise him, praise him," shouted Merilyn Walton as her 8-month-old grandson, Myles Thomas of Augusta, was announced the winner of the $10,000 scholarship bond.
"I want my son to go to college," his mother, Tinethia Thomas, said as she hugged him. "He can do anything he wants to do."
"We want him to have a better life with more opportunities," Ms. Walton added. "This a wonderful thing they are doing for the kids."
Jason and Jaime Koharchik of North Augusta were just as excited that their 3-year-old son, Jacob, won the $5,000 scholarship bond.
"I have goose bumps and it's 93 degrees!" Mrs. Koharchik said. "I'm just so grateful."
The scholarship bond will be very helpful, Mr. Koharchik said.
"By the time he's ready to go to college, it's probably going to cost about $200,000 just to get a bachelor's degree," he said.
Over the past four years, The Augusta Chronicle and its sponsors have awarded more than $315,000 in scholarship bonds to area children, varying in amounts from $100 to the top prize of $10,000.
Sponsors for the contest are Ashley Furniture Home Store, Knology, Platt's Funeral Home, SCANA Energy, Branum's Sewing and Vacuum Superstore, Champion Windows, Augusta Spartans, Gold Mech Services Heating and Cooling, and Partners in Achievement.
Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.