Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett IV took home the 13th Burlsworth Trophy, which was presented at a Dec. 5 ceremony at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Established in 2010, the trophy "recognizes the most outstanding NCAA Division I football player who began his career as a walk-on."
There was more good news for Bennett during the reception preceding the ceremony as he got word he had been announced nationally as a Heisman Trophy finalist. Bennett and the No. 1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs will play for their second national championship championship versus No. 3 Texas Christian University at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
Other finalists for the award were Carlton Martial, linebacker from Troy University, and Aidan O'Connell, quarterback from Purdue University.
Burlsworth Trophy officials say: "Without one D1 scholarship offer, Brandon walked on to the Razorback team in 1994, worked his way to being a three-year starter and was eventually named an All-American in 1998. Burlsworth was selected as the 63rd overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL draft, but he was tragically killed in a car accident 11 days later."
Organizers say proceeds from the ceremony help fund the Burlsworth Foundation, whose mission is "to support the physical and spiritual needs of children, in particular those who have limited opportunities." The nonprofit organization's offerings include Burls Kids, which allows underprivileged children the opportunity to visit a college campus and see their first Arkansas Razorbacks football game; the Burlsworth Character Award, available to every high school football program in the country; and Eyes of a Champion, which provides comprehensive eye exams and glasses to children in need in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma with a goal of being active in all 50 states.
Single Parent Fund
Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas (SPSFNWA) leaders welcomed some 450 supporters Dec. 8 at Heroncrest in Springdale for the group's annual Jingle Mingle. Organizers say the annual event "celebrates the success of recipients and is a night to thank supporters and guests, as well as raise funds to support single mothers and fathers who are attending higher education institutions in pursuit of a better future for themselves and their families."
Katy Smith, SPSFNWA recipient, shared with those gathered her experience with the nonprofit organization and her eagerness to use her bachelor's degree in agricultural communications and leadership in the nonprofit sector within her community. Smith graduated in December.
Jingle Mingle guests enjoyed live jazz by The Cocktail Club and food from The Event Group.
Jingle Mingle sponsors included presenting sponsor Chambers Bank. Other sponsors included Erstine Holding Company Inc., Grand Savings Bank, Lewis Automotive Group, Professional Business Solutions, and Ritter Communications.
For more event photos -- nwadg.com/photos/society.
Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at [email protected]