The city of Starke has been busy these past few weekends holding fundraisers for scholarships for Santa Fe College students from Bradford County. The first event, the 3rd annual Miss Bradford Fest contest, was held Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Bradford High School auditorium. Twenty-one contestants ages four through 22 competed in four divisions, with four titleholders selected. Each participant received a crown, trophy and flowers. All the contestants learned poise and had a great time modeling their western wear and evening attire. The two older divisions also performed a talent portion.
The second event, the 2nd annual Bradford Fest Talent Showdown, was hosted by the SF Andrews Center on Saturday, Feb. 23. Sixteen contestants competed for a chance to audition for the Suwanee River Jam. Seven were SF students (Shelby Clark, Brittney Hall, Bethany Jones, Jessica Thornton, Lindsey Murphy, Hannah Hildebran and Katie Kruzan). The first place contestant received $1,000, second place received $300 and third place $200. The audience also voted for the People’s Choice Award with $1 donations for their favorite contestant. In addition to the competition, the Jacksonville-based band State of Mind provided entertainment. A “thank you” to Lake Area McDonald’s, Rowe Enterprises, Bradford County Tourist Development Council, and Shands Starke Regional Medical Center for their sponsorship of the event.
Between the two events, more than $11,000 was raised for the SF Foundation to provide SF scholarships for Bradford County students.