What many consider the year’s best charity fundraising weekend just became two weekends, thanks to spring rains and the swollen Yazoo River.

The 8th annual Delta Streets Academy Charity Weekend will be split between a golf outing and the drawdown dinner on Friday, April 26, and the sporting clay shoot on Saturday, June 1. That should give enough time for the Yazoo to return to its banks and uncover the shooting spot on The Island at Ray Makamson’s farm.

Gary Dyksterhouse, who’s been volunteering his time with fundraising for the school since the first round in 2012, said any inconvenience caused by the delay could lead to another round of shooting opening up, giving more people the chance to enjoy it and provide more help for the school.

Delta Streets Academy serves 65 students in grades 7-12 on a downtown Greenwood campus that is growing and spreading among buildings north of Carrollton Avenue. The school aims to provide quality, small-group education that is Christ-centered and disciplined, focused on developing young men’s academics, biblical worldview, athletic abilities and character.

Dyksterhouse said the goal for this year’s fund-raising is $100,000, up from the $93,000 raised last year.

“Our aim is to raise $100,000 net,” he said. “All along we’ve been building toward the goal of making it a six-figure donation to Delta Streets. We feel we got close to it last year and that we can get over the hump this year.”

The golf event starts at noon Friday at the Greenwood County Club. Although it has been sold out, Dyksterhouse said he probably still has room for a couple more teams as some donors buy a foursome but don’t play in the actual event.

The popular drawdown evening begins at 6 p.m. Friday at the country club with a buffet dinner. Tickets are $100 each and admit two to the event.

The total number of tickets available for the drawdown has been increased to 350, up from 330 last year, with a total payout of $5,000. Besides the drawdown, a silent auction will offer some enjoyable prizes for hunters, such as a quail hunting trip in East Mississippi and duck hunting for upscale hunters, a kid’s guided deer hunting trip for young hunters, and a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle’s 15-Year Family Reserve for hunters of rare bourbons.

“One of the most important things for the school is to continue to add quality teachers to beef up the school’s infrastructure, to be able to provide a high-quality education for these young men, where they can be prepared for life,” Dyksterhouse said.

And starting with the 2019-20 school year, Delta Streets Academy will offer vocational training and direction as well as college prep classes.

“In the fall, the school is going to be starting  a two-track program, where they’ll have a college preparatory program and a skills-based, mentorship, jobs-based track, in which the young men will be involved directly with local businesses, getting hands-on experience, learning different trades,” Dysterhouse said. “...They’ll graduate high school with their GED. They’ll be qualified to go to junior college or a technical school, but more important they’ll be prepared to take on a job and make money right away that is skills based and not starting from scratch. And, of course, anyone in the college prep track will be prepared to succeed in college.”

A big part of any fundraising effort is sponsorship. Dyksterhouse said Cannon Motor Co., the title sponsor for the weekend, has been heading fundraising efforts for the academy since the start.

This year’s platinum sponsors are: State Bank & Trust, Bank of Commerce, Express Grain, Guaranty Bank, Helena, Local Seed, Sanders, Thompson Machinery / CAT, Trustmark Bank, Wade Inc., Delta Group, Kirk Brothers, Planters Bank, United Rental, and Mid Delta Auction.

Other Major Sponsors include: Mitchell Distributing, Mike Rozier Construction, The Landing, RC Construction, Sturdivant Brothers Flying Service, Milwaukee Tool, and Jimmy and Timmy Lott.

Dyksterhouse said the number of people involved in the fundraising effort has grown from a small group to a number of dedicated volunteers who all have their own jobs but donate their time to making the weekends work: Larry Anderton, Susan Gregory, Jim Osborn, Clint Dunn, Carty Tillman, Craig Rozier, Matthew Waldrop, Channing Hodges, Sarah Waldrop, Brady Sims, Gray Blocker and Georgeanne Smith.

If an individual or a business still wants to help Delta Streets Academy reach the goal of $100,000, there are sport sponsorship opportunities for $250 still available. Interested parties can email inquiries to  deltastreets@gmail.com or call 662-374-0775.

Contact Gavin Maliska at 581-7235 or gmaliska@gwcommonwealth.com.

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