Rotary hosts scholarship night

Savanna Gregg/Burnet Bulletin
Members of the community excitedly celebrated the reaching of a goal of $1 million of funds raised by the past seven Suzanne Johnson Scholarship Endowment Fundraisers in the middle of the live auction at the event's Grand Finale on Saturday, Sept. 15. This year, the torch has been passed to the Rotary Club of Burnet to continue the annual fundraisers geared toward raising funds for graduating Burnet CISD seniors. The first Rotary Scholarship Night will be held Saturday, Sept. 21 at Hidden River Ranch, Lampasas.







By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

After the Suzanne Johnson Scholarship Endowment Fundraiser's Grand Finale last September, the torch was passed along to the Rotary Club of Burnet to continue the legacy of raising funds for Burnet CISD graduates.

Rotary Scholarship Night, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21, will be full of delicious food, live music, fun and fellowship in support of the Hill Country Community Foundation, instilling the philanthropic values of selfless members of the community and supporting that community's students.

“An important part of the story of this fundraiser is the fact that the Hill Country Community Foundation was begun as a project of the Rotary Club of Burnet under the leadership of John Hoover,” said HCCF President Keith McBurnett. “Since then, the Rotary Club of Burnet has annually supported the Foundation financially, but through this fundraiser, the Rotary Club of Burnet has a goal of significantly supporting the HCCF for years to come by investing in its mission to provide a scholarship to every graduating Burnet CISD senior.”

To date, the HCCF has provided scholarships to 3,656 students for a total of $5.6 million.

“I am not aware of another community that invests in its young people like what you find in Burnet,” McBurnett said.

The generosity of individuals and organizations in the community has many chances to shine throughout the year, but this annual event has been something looked forward to by many, and the change of hosts highlights the strong relationship between three great entities.

The Suzanne Johnson Scholarship Endowment was created by the family of HCCF Lifetime Director Cary Johnson in memory of his late wife in 2011, and with annual fundraisers which grew over the years, the endowment raised just over $1 million to perpetually support Burnet CISD seniors.

The fundraisers went out with a bang at the Grand Finale last year, but the story didn't end there; a new chapter has begun through Rotary Club, and McBurnett looks forward to the events to come.

“With the blessing of Cary and his family, the Rotary Club of Burnet wants to continue the tradition of an annual fundraiser supporting the HCCF,” McBurnett said. “They set a very high bar as far as fundraisers go, so our planning team has been working hard to create a fun evening for a great cause.”

Along with raising money for graduates, the community will be given a special treat: the long-awaited return of the Mexican restaurant favorites will have mouths watering for one night only. On the menu for the evening is Monterrey Chicken with Cilantro Cream Sauce, Angels on Horseback, Pastel de Tres Leches, and all the fixings.

Also included in the event will be live music from Plush Party Band, and silent and live auctions – one item up for bid is a flaming table-side Bananas Foster prepared by Burnet High School's Culinary students, which is sure to be a special treat for the highest bidder. McBurnett says he looks forward to every aspect of the night, but the most important part of the evening is the very special cause for which it is held.

“I look forward the most to an evening of laughter and fellowship while raising money for a great cause,” McBurnett said. “We want our guests to have an amazing evening of food, drinks, fellowship, and live music, in a beautiful Hill Country venue, knowing that every dollar raised is going to go to scholarships for kids in Burnet CISD.”

The Rotary Scholarship Night will be held from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 at Hidden River Ranch, 10715 South Highway 281, Lampasas. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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