September 25, 2018
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Community Education Featured Jackson County

Thousands of Dollars Given at the Explosion of Excellence

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This year’s 28th Annual Explosion of Excellence was held at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jackson County Campus. Over $70,000 was given in scholarships to 187 graduating seniors from throughout Jackson County. This scholarship program each year honors the academic achievements of the graduating high school seniors who are in the top ten percent of their classes in all area high schools in Jackson County (including the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science). This program was a huge success thanks to all of the contributors from the community, who support the future endeavors of these graduates, congratulate them and welcome them to return to the community when they finish their education.

This year’s contributors were the following:

AARP – Jackson County Chapter #1213 Allred Architectural Group, PA
Anonymous – In Memory of George Terral
Anonymous
Aztecas Restaurant & Cantina
Baber Strunk Enterprises, LLC
Bacot McCarty Foundation
Barbara Celarec – In Honor of Gretchen Duescher
Barbara Celarec – In Memory of Michael Celarec
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
Bienville Animal Medical Center
Bienville Orthopaedic Specialists LLC
Blossman Propane Gas, Appliance & Service – In Memory of John R. Blossman
Bryan, Nelson, Schroeder, Castigliola & Banahan, PLLC
Chevron Products Company
Compton Engineering, Inc.
Community Bank
David & Susan McCormick
Dr. Bill Descher
Dr. Daniel Wittersheim
Dr. & Mrs. Eric Lucas
Dr. Charles & Amy Wilson
Duchess Club of Ocean Springs – In Honor of Duchess Club of Ocean Springs
Duchess Club of Ocean Springs
Duchess de Chaumont, DAR Chapter
East Central High School
Estabrook Ford, Lincoln, Nissan, Toyota Motor Company, Inc.
First Chemical Corporation
First Federal Savings & Loan
Fortnightly Club
Foster’s Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc.
Gautier High School PTO
Geraldine Barnes – In Memory of Glennis “Nick” Barnes & Maxine Barnes McLaughlin & Ephraim & Shirley H. Barnes
Hacienda San Miguel Mexican Restaurant
Hargrove Engineers + Constructors
Hayden & Sandy Dent
Heidelberg Steinberger, P.A.
Home Builders Association of the Mississippi Coast
Home Instead Senior Care
Home Town Lumber & Supply Company Inc.
Ingalls Shipbuilding
Jackson County Board of Supervisors
Jackson County Chamber of Commerce – In Memory of Delores Sumrall
Jackson County Chamber of Commerce – In Memory of Kyle Todd
Jackson County Utility Authority
Jana Walmsley Memorial Scholarship Fund – In Memory of Jana Walmsley
Jerry & Joann St. Pé
Jerry Lee’s Grocery & Deli
Jim and Michele Blevins
Jo Anne Fontaine – In Memory of Doug L. Fontaine, Jr.
Junior Auxiliary of Pascagoula – Moss Point
Keesler Federal Credit Union
L. L. Bond & Company, Inc.
Lee Tracy – In Memory of Kyle Todd
Lisa Cannon, Edward Jones
McDonald’s Descher Organization
Merchants and Marine Bank
Mike & Bettie Concannon – In Memory of Coach Melinda Mitchell
Mississippi Export Railroad
Mississippi Eye Associates
Mississippi Power Community Connections – Jackson County Chapter
Mr. & Mrs. A. Kelly Sessoms, III
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau
Ocean Springs High School Administration & Counselors – In Honor of Bobbie Jones
Omega Protein
Pascagoula Bar Pilots’ Association, LLC
Pascagoula-Gautier School District
Pecan Park Elementary PTO
PJ/Ken Baker Open Charity Golf Tournament – In Memory of Ken Baker
PJ/Ken Baker Open Charity Golf Tournament – In Memory of Melinda Mitchell
PJ/Ken Baker Open Charity Golf Tournament – In Memory of Robert McIlrath
PJ/Ken Baker Open Charity Golf Tournament – In Memory of Steve Cruthirds
PJ/Ken Baker Open Charity Golf Tournament – In Memory of Terry Monk
PJ/Ken Baker Open Charity Golf Tournament/Glenn Reeves State Farm Insurance
Propeller Club of the US – Port of Pascagoula
Pugh Associates, LLC – In Memory of Gayla Stroble
Retired Education Personnel of Jackson County – In Memory of Virginia Williams
Retired Education Personnel of Jackson County – In Memory of Louisa McWilliams
Retired Education Personnel of Jackson County – In Memory of Chester Blalock
Retired Education Personnel of Jackson County – In Memory of Jane Wade
Robert C. & Vivian K. Barr – In Memory of Wallace Barr, III & Pamela Wang
Robert H. and Betty R. Oswald
Rotary Club of Gautier
Rotary Club of Pascagoula
Santos Ventures, LLC
Scranton’s Restaurant & Catering – In Memory of Ben Pickett, Laverne Rasco, Merle Ivy & Marilyn Zuill
Singing River Electric Cooperative
Singing River Federal Credit Union
St. Martin High School
St. Paul United Methodist Church Moss Point
The First – A National Banking Association
The Peoples Bank
Theta Zeta Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Thomas Pugh – In Memory of Gayla Stroble
Tom & Mary Ashbaker – In Honor of Mrs. Mildred Olson, Mother of Pat Descher
Tom & Mary Ashbaker – In Honor of Bill & Pat Descher, Gregg Descher Family & Jeff Descher Family
Walmart #1346 – Ocean Springs
Wells Fargo Foundation
Young Men’s Business Club of Moss Point
Zonta Club of Pascagoula

The Explosion of Excellence is a program jointly sponsored by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and all high schools in Jackson County. It is a fund of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. The Chairman of this year’s Explosion of Excellence is Pat Descher of the McDonald’s Descher Organization, and the Co-Chairman is Dr. Bill Descher.

The public is encouraged to consider a $250, $1,000 or $5,000 scholarship for next year. These scholarships are donated by the public to encourage these students to consider employment in Jackson County when their education is finished. The scholarships can be made in memory or in honor of someone, in the name of a company or individual or left anonymous. The public can help honor these students by writing a check to the “Gulf Coast Community Foundation/Explosion of Excellence” and mailing it to “Explosion of Excellence, Post Office Box 480, Pascagoula, MS 39568-0480.”

To answer any questions, please call the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at 228-762-3391 or email Valerie Dedeaux, Administrative Assistant, at Chamber@jcchamber.com.

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