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Local Auburn Club hosts banquet

In its first major event in more than five years, the Marengo County Auburn Club will host a banquet Tuesday, June 22, as it welcomes guest speaker and former Auburn University athletic director David Housel.

The event is the first of its kind under new club president Sean Parker, who assumed the post earlier in the year.

“Right after the first of the year Luke Hallmark, who had been president for years, called and asked if I’d be interested in being president.” Parker jumped at the opportunity and soon thereafter attended a conference of club presidents in Auburn.

“I went to a conference with presidents from all over the country,” Parker said of the three-day event that helped local presidents divine fundraiser ideas.

Next week’s banquet is the first of two events this year for the club, which is focused on raising scholarship money for future Auburn University students.

“The purpose of the club is twofold,” Parker said. “But the main purpose is the award a scholarship to a young person in our county that will attend Auburn.”

The banquet will get underway at 6 p.m. at the Coplin Building in downtown Demopolis. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

“We will feed you, and there will be a cash bar,” Parker said. “We will also have a silent auction.”

Parker said Housel is a good speaker for Auburn’s first banquet given both his prominent standing with the university and his ties to his native town of Gordo.

“We secured David as a speaker working through Auburn’s alumni association,” Parker said.

He intends for the event to begin an annual trend for the club, which Parker said is open to all members of the community.

“This is not just something for Auburn alumni and the Auburn club is not just something for Auburn alumni,” Parker said. “If you cannot attend the event and would like to make a donation to the Marengo County Auburn Club or be a member of the Marengo County Auburn Club, contact me at sean@espn1049.com.”

The club, which also features Hallmark, Jason Windham, Katie Echols and Patricia Quinney as officers, will hold its second event in September.

“On Sept. 9, we will take a bus trip to the Auburn-Mississippi State game in Starkville, a Thursday night, nationally televised game,” Parker said. “We hope these two events will raise the $1,000 or more we need in order to donate a scholarship this year.”

While Marengo County rests near the heart of Crimson Tide country, Parker is confident the local Auburn club can grow to something quite substantial.

“There are over 400 Auburn alumni in Marengo County,” Parker said. “When I went to the conference in Auburn, I was given a jump drive with over 100 Auburn alumni on it. But I want to know who all 400 of them are.”

While the club is experiencing somewhat of a rebirth, Parker said he hopes local Alabama fans and alumni will take on a similar initiative.

“I challenge the Alabama family to start (a club) as well and let’s work together to raise money for kids going to Auburn or Alabama,” Parker said. “A lot of the more successful Auburn clubs are in towns where there is also an Alabama club. And they work together. There are clubs all over the state that give $25,000 endowed scholarships. That is something for us to work toward.”