Eleven-year-old Madeline Myers, of North Augusta, jumped excitedly when her name was called as a semifinalist in the $10,000 Make Kids Count drawing in the lobby of The Augusta Chronicle.
"I was just really nervous," the Hammond Hills Elementary School fifth-grader said Friday about her feelings before the drawing. "I thought I didn't have that much of a chance."
Since the drawing meant financial assistance for her youngest daughter's education, her mother, Carolyn, also jumped for joy.
"She's the last of three girls. Now, we're concentrating on paying for my daughter in college and we're saving for the one in high school," Mrs. Myers said. "So it would be a while before we could start getting money together for Madeline."
The drawing narrowed the semifinalists in the 9- to 12-year-old category from eight to four. Sandra Rhodes, of SCANA Energy, one of the sponsors of the scholarship contest, randomly pulled the names.
"One of our core values is to serve our community, and what better way than sponsor this?" she said.
Dennis Sodomka, the executive editor of The Chronicle, told the crowd that the scholarship competition already has awarded more than $200,000 to 160 children in the area.
"We try to spotlight the achievements of kids because kids are our future," he said, adding that the four children not chosen still would receive $500 each.
The other semifinalists are Krista Brantley, Grant Dekle and Rashaud Lee. The other sponsors of the competition are Ashley Furniture, the Augusta Lynx, Champion Window Co., Gold Mech Heating and Air Conditioning, Knology, Partners in Achievement, Platt's Funeral Home and the Augusta Spartans.
Reach C. Samantha McKevie at (706) 823-3552 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next Make Kids Count drawing, which will narrow the field from four to two, will be at 4: 30 p.m. Thursday, March 16, at Partners in Achievement, 3990 Columbia Road.