To buy tickets, call Jeff Ricketson at 432-0452 or Deidre Howell at 432-8577.
On May 14, a select group will have a rare opportunity to view the interior of St. Catherines Island, which is generally not open to the public.
Twenty guests will pay $200 per person for a fundraiser organized by the Hinesville Rotary Club in an effort to raise $3,000 for scholarships to be given to one outstanding senior from each of the county’s high schools: Bradwell Institute, First Presbyterian Christian Academy and Liberty County High School. Tickets are available from Rotary Club President Deidre Howell.
“We’re hoping to net enough money for Liberty County students for the upcoming college school year,” Hinesville Rotary Club President-elect Jeff Ricketson said. “This is a pretty unique tour.”
Scholarship applications may be picked up at the schools in which the student attends and will focus mainly on academics and family need, Ricketson said. Extracurricular activities, SAT/ACT scores and a short biography are also required. The application deadline is May 20.
“Education is important. Now, maybe more than ever,” Paul Andreshak, Rotary student program coordinator said. “If we can assist students to pursue higher education, it is money well spent for the community as well as the nation.”
Any student — public, private or homeschooled — may apply for the scholarship, Ricketson said.
If the demand is high enough for the tour, Ricketson said the club may request another opportunity to work with the island officials to host another private tour.
The tentative schedule is:
9 a.m. — Guests leave from Half Moon and will be served a light, continental-style breakfast.
9:15 — Arrive on St. Catherines to begin tour with staff on “popemobile.” Water is provided.
Noon — Catered lunch at the dining facility. Staff will give highlights about the island’s history and current activities.
1 p.m. — Tour resumes. Bottled water provided.
3 — Guests board boat to return to Half Moon.
“Registered as a National Historic Landmark in 1970, St. Catherines was the hunting grounds of the coastal Guale Indians and the site of a Spanish Mission called Santa Catalina de Guale. Button Gwinnet, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, established a plantation on the island,” the Coastal Georgia Experience website says.
Scholarship winners may use the money however they need—tuition, books, etc.—and can be used at any post-secondary school.
“I certainly encourage anybody who is interested to apply,” Ricketson said. “It is for Liberty County students. We will certainly consider all of them for the criteria they have met.”