'Night of the Phoenix' raises scholarship funds
More than $155,000 was collected for student-athlete scholarships in February at the sixth annual event.
Elon University’s "Night of the Phoenix" fundraising event in February raised more than $155,000 for student-athlete scholarships.
The annual event, now in its sixth year, continues to exceed the previous year’s event record. The Night of the Phoenix has now raised almost $600,000 in annual scholarship support for the Phoenix Club. The Phoenix Club Advisory Board and Elon’s Department of Athletics coordinates the event.
“I’m excited about the success of this year’s event,” said Mike Cross, Phoenix Club Advisory Board Chair. “This is always a night people look forward to and the support from alumni, parents and the rest of the Elon community is tremendous. I look forward to continuing this annual tradition for many years to come.”
The Feb. 22 program began with a cocktail hour and silent auction that featured nearly 200 items. Some of the auction items included sports memorabilia, numerous Elon items, a weeklong vacation with airfare to Hawaii, numerous mountain and beach home trips and Miami Heat playoff tickets.
After dinner, trustee Zac Walker III '60 and his wife, Dot, were presented with Elon Medallions from university President Leo M. Lambert in appreciation for their devotion and generous support to Phoenix athletics, scholarships and campus facilities. Elon medallions are awarded every year in recognition of individuals who have contributed outstanding service to Elon over the course of many years.
Elon Director of Athletics Dave Blank then offered his opening remarks and introduced senior football player Blake Thompson, who shared his thoughts and experiences on being an Elon student-athlete.
Following Thompson’s comments and a video featuring women’s basketball’s Kelsey Evans and Ali Ford and football’s Olufemi Lamikanra, auctioneer Matt Holiday encouraged attendees to "Stand Up for the Phoenix."
“What a fantastic night for Elon University Athletics,” Blank said. “It was great to see so many community members come together to support the education and experiences of our student-athletes. Witnessing this community’s generosity is always incredible. We are so grateful for all of their support and involvement. We also appreciate the hard work and effort from the Phoenix Club Advisory Board that helps make this event a success.”
The evening’s entertainment was provided by comedian Tom Cotter, who recently became the first comedian to ever reach the finals of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent." Cotter has also become a familiar face on television shows like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, The Today Show and his own series TWO-FUNNY.
Cross ended the evening by sharing the final number raised with the event’s attendees, which was received with a huge round of applause from everyone in Alumni Gym.