HILTON HEAD, S.C. – The University of North Georgia athletic department brought home three awards from the Peach Belt Conference as announced at the PBC awards dinner at the annual meetings on Tuesday night.
North Georgia won the Make-A-Wish Award for most money raised, the Community Engagement Award and senior baseball player Kenny Bellavance won PBC Male Scholar Athlete of the Year.
North Georgia raised $11,223 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation for the 2012-2013 academic year. This is the third year in a row that the Saints have reached the five-digit mark for their annual giving, and they remain the only school in the conference to do so.
Young Harris came in second with $5,282, and Georgia College, who won Most Improved Award for the second year in a row, came in third with $4,237. Flagler contributed $3,287 and Columbus State rounded out the top five with $2,039.
Overall, Peach Belt Conference members raised $33,515, with 10 out of 14 schools giving a thousand or more. The PBC should remain a contender for the national award for conference giving.
North Georgia also was awarded the SunTrust Connecting Communities Award. It was given to UNG for the “Sending Off the Saints” which brought NGCSU, Gainesville State College and the Dahlonega community together to say goodbye to the Saints mascot. This night happened as part of the Midnight Madness that the athletic department and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee coordinated, along with other on-campus student groups.
Kenny Bellavance was awarded the PBC Male Scholar Athlete of the Year Award at the awards dinner as well. He graduated from North Georgia with a degree in finance while carrying a 3.97 GPA. Named to the PBC Presidential Honor Roll all four years, he was named in Who’s Who Among College Students, won the Senior Male Scholar-Athlete Award and was a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Society. Bellavance served as the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee where he spearheaded the school’s Make-A-Wish fundraising efforts, was named to the President’s List for six semesters and served as a tutor in the business school.
On the field, Bellavance was named PBC All-Conference in 2012. Although injuries limited his playing time to 25 games in 2013, he finished his career eighth on the all-time list for hits at the school and fifth in sacrifice hits. He has a .326 career batting average, including a .301 average this past season. A native of Stone Mountain, Ga., he was named to the PBC All-Academic team three times, he was also named All-Region in 2010 and 2011. Bellavance becomes the second North Georgia player to be named the PBC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, joining Anders Oster, who won in 2010.
(Above L-R) Senior Women's Administrator Leigh Anne Hunter, Faculty Athletics Representative Margaret Poitevint, Athletic Director Lindsay Reeves, and President Dr. Bonita Jacobs accept the 2012-13 Make-A-Wish Award for Most Funds Raised.
(Above L-R) Senior
Women's Administrator Leigh Anne Hunter, Faculty Athletics
Representative Margaret Poitevint, Jordan Pierce of SunTrust Banks,
Inc., Athletic Director Lindsay Reeves, and President Dr.
Bonita Jacobs with the SunTrust Connecting Communities