The Big7 Association held their 27th annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet on Feb. 27 virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was their first-ever event held via the internet as they felt it was important to do so despite being in the midst of one of the worst pandemics to date. They said they were trying to set an example for the students that they sponsored that there will be times when things are difficult but that does not mean it is time to give up. Their education is too important for the Big7 to give up on.

The association thanks all those who supported them with donations as well as those who went online to watch the banquet video via their website at www.big7association.org They also thank the sponsors who brought ads, funded a scholarship, or just gave a donation. The students received a total of $14,500 in scholarships and they are as follows. Khaleef Brown, Maya Peeples, Olivia Shuler, Dennis Perry, Simone Sinclair, Zi’Kaya Crumley, Isiah Williams, and Alexandria Newberry are the Barnwell High School scholarship winners. Immanuel Kenner, Nyanja Prince, and Jahrian Cutherson are the Williston High School winners. Jada Smalls is the winner from Blackville-Hilda High school, and Kalia Glover from Denmark-Olar High School, Lashaudra Robinson from Bamberg-Ehrhardt, and Jaide Youmans from Allendale Fairfax High school all were scholarship winners too. L&A Entertainment Duo (Alicia Gaines and Lakonda Bing) received the Education Award, Maurice Austin received the Community Award and Enterick Lee received the Business Award. William Guinyard and Thomas Owens received the Lifetime Achievement awards for their continuous support to the Big7 Association. The Humanitarian Award went to Dr. Michael Addison for supporting the Big7 as they attempted to get COVID-19 testing started in Barnwell County. Even before the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control got around to Barnwell County, Dr. Addison had already been in the area and surrounding communities doing COVID-19 testing. The Big7 Association, along with state Rep. Lonnie Hosey, was concerned about getting testing as soon as possible, and Addison did an excellent job of working with them. In their opinion, this made him and his staff worthy of the Humanitarian Award.