The Wayne Proffitt Memorial Scholarship was awarded for its second year last Saturday, during the Future Farmers of America annual fundraising banquet at the Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center on 441 South. Just over $5,000 was raised at the banquet.
The event not only honored two hard working Macon County students who received the Proffitt scholarship, but it also honored the man whom the scholarship was named after.
“The Wayne Proffitt Memorial Scholarship was established to continue the legacy of Mr. Proffitt and to benefit the young folks of Macon County,” said County Commissioner Ronnie Beale, who was also a former student and later friend of Proffitt. “We’re very happy with the scholarship and the great community support.”
Roger Teeple, FFA teacher at Owen High School in Asheville, was among the guest speakers at the banquet who remarked on Proffitt’s hard work as a teacher. “It was indeed a true honor to meet Wayne. He was one of a kind,” he said. “Wayne Proffitt taught for 44 years and never missed a day.”
The kind of hard work Proffitt exhibited as a teacher, is the kind of hard work the scholarship looks for in Macon County students, Teeple said, hence the scholarship.
Last year, two $500 awards were given to Derek Conley and Dalton Drinnon, who focused their studies on agricultural academics.
This year, FHS senior students Emily White and Justin McClure received $750 scholarships, also due to their agricultural studies. White, with a Grade Point Average of 3.80, and a class rank of 39 out of 232, thanked Macon County public schools for their support. “I hope to become like Mr. Proffitt—a legend,” she said.
McClure, who ranks 26 out of 232 students and maintains a GPA of 3.92, also thanked Macon County public schools and the scholarship board for the opportunity to further his education. “It’s an honor,” he said.
For those who attended, a $10 donation purchased a plate of barbecue and a $1 donation bought them a raffle ticket for a quilt specially made in honor of Proffitt’s Hardscrabble Farm in Yancey County. The raffle yielded ticket sales amounting to $1,478. Procceds from the raffle benefit the scholarship fund.
The quilt was made by close friends and family of Proffitt, who taught Future Farmers of America classes in Franklin for more than 40 years. The log cabin quilt reflects the area in which Proffitt was reared. The quilt, titled “Star Over Hardscrabble Barn,” was finished on Aug. 28 of last year.
The quilt was made by Proffitt’s daughter, Janet Proffitt Waddell; his sister, Wilma King Harris; his niece, Christine Harris Howell; and Proffitt family friends, Gwyndola Thompkins, Laura Thompkins Goebel and Marcia Estes Jones.
The winner of the Hardscrabble quilt was Laura Parker, Vandy’s High School Agriculture teacher. Parker knew Proffitt through the N.C. Agriculture Teacher’s Association.