By ANGIE CARNATHAN
A community tradition continues Thursday night at the Historic Overstreet School Playground. After its first successful event in 2010, the Starkville Foundation for Public Education is holding the second annual Music on the Green from 5-8 p.m.
SFPE President Heather Carson said the group brought the event back because of popular demand.
“Last year was our first year, and we received such wonderful feedback,” Carson said. “The families really enjoyed getting to spend time together listening to great music and just letting the kids play in such a family friendly, fun atmosphere.”
Music on the Green is a night of fun and entertainment which raises funds to support teacher grants and student scholarships for the Starkville School District.
“I feel that the teachers know best how to educate our children,” SFPE Vice President and event Co-Chairman Doug Bedsaul said. “The money that the foundation raises goes directly to teacher grants so that they use the funds to do what they do best — help the kids learn.”
Carson said in addition to teacher grants, the money also goes to student scholarships and special projects.
“That’s really important because a lot of families enjoy contributing to our students’ futures,” Carson said.
Carson said it’s a collaborative effort of volunteers who believe in the importance of education and are willing to invest their time and energy to benefit the Starkville Public School District, its teachers and its students.
Music on the Green is open to the public and SFPE invites attendees to pack a picnic for their family and friends to sit and enjoy the live music played by local musicians who are donating their time to the event.
One such musician is Jamero Carter, a member of the group Cross Genre. Carter earned a bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis in piano performance from Mississippi State University and currently teaches music at Sudduth Elementary. This is his third year teaching there.
In addition to Cross Genre, other performers include Big Joe Shelton and the Black Prairie Ambassadors and Bill Cooke and Jeffrey Rupp. Rupp is not only a performer, but also a parent of two children enrolled in Starkville public schools.
“I’m a big public school supporter, and its an easy way for me to give back,” Rupp said. “I just get to do something I enjoy, and its such a great cause. My wife and I love the diversity and education our kids get in Starkville public schools.”
SFPE said they encourage families to bring chairs to enjoy the night of music and fellowship. Pizza, snowcones and drinks will be available for purchase. Admission is $2 at the gate and children 5 and under are free.
Meo Stansbury, wife of MSU basketball coach Rick Stansbury, will be on hand selling her own original artwork MSU Bulldog prints. The 11- inch-by-17-inch prints will be signed by Meo and numbered. All proceeds will go toward special projects in the Starkville School District.
The foundation’s members said they appreciate the investment from their community sponsors: Starkville Radiology, Coca-Cola, Hollywood Premier Cinemas, Papa Johns, 96.1 FM and Copy Cow.