For Immediate Release
By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Byron Crawford, retired Courier-Journal columnist who has been described as “Kentucky’s storyteller,” will be the guest speaker at Campbellsville University’s second annual Derby Rose Gala Monday, April 26 at Winters Dining Hall in the E. Bruce Heilman Student Complex at 411 N. Columbia Ave., Campbellsville, Ky.
The dinner begins at 7 p.m. EDT with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. The Campbellsville University Board of Advancement is planning the scholarship fundraising event. Tickets are $100 per person.
Crawford’s stories about Kentucky’s people and places and his observations on everyday life have appeared on network television, National Public Radio, in the New York Times, USA Today and the London Sunday Telegraph.
For nearly three decades, though, his stories were most at home on the Kentucky page of The Courier-Journal.
When the Hall of Fame journalist retired from the CJ as Kentucky Columnist in December 2008, he had written more than 4,500 columns and traveled more than a million miles gathering stories from every county in Kentucky.
Crawford grew up near Stanford, Ky., studied speech and broadcasting at Murray State University and later worked at radio stations in Louisville and Cincinnati before moving to WHAS-Television in 1974. His syndicated traveling feature series, “Sideroads,” became one of the station’s most popular features.
Crawford also hosted the first five seasons of KET’s Emmy-Award winning “Kentucky Life” series. He has authored three books of Kentucky stories.
Crawford and his wife, Jackie, have three sons and a daughter and live in Shelbyville.
The CU Advancement Board is planning the gala, which raised $20,000 last year with a goal of $40,000 for this year.
“The second annual Derby Rose Gala, sponsored by the Advancement Board, will be a wonderful evening as we raise funds for the CU Scholarship Fund. We appreciate the work of the Advancement Board in coordinating this event,” Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of CU, said.
“Byron Crawford is always a most enjoyable speaker and will provide us with entertaining stories of Kentucky and our people.”
Benji Kelly, vice president for development, also echoed thanks for the Advancement Board’s commitment to raise money for scholarships.
Sara Curry, a CU alumna of Campbellsville, and Gwinn Thompson Hahn, are co-chairs of the gala.
Amazon.com is the sponsor of the dinner. Other sponsors of the event include Edward Jones-Larry Bowen, The Green Room, Mitchell’s Men’s Wear and United Citizens Bank.
During the social hour, a silent auction will also be provided to allow for more donations to the Campbellsville University Scholarship Fund. Among the items to be auctioned include: a signed John Calipari basketball; a signed Rick Pitino basketball; a hand-stitched quilt; Claudia Sanders Sunday buffet gift certificates, Downtown Campbellsville Merchants package, season tickets to Horse Cave Theater, Smith’s Kentucky State Fair winner country ham, several Derby items such as a hat, print and Oaks tickets and a set of mint julep cups.
Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 3,006 students who represent 97 Kentucky counties, 30 states and 37 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South, tied for fifth in “most international students” and fourth in “up-and-coming” schools in baccalaureate colleges in the South. CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and to G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.