Toad Suck scholarships top $77K

Scholarships presented at Toad Suck Daze over the weekend totaled $77,500.

Mary Margaret Satterfield, director of events at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, said the awards included $37,500 to scholarships and endowments and $40,000 to pre-Kindergarten education.

Scholarships were awarded to 15 students, and in addition to those awards, each student received an HP Slate tablet, donated by global resources company BHP Billiton.

“We were happy to be able to partner with (BHP Billiton), and it was a fun surprise for the students when we presented their certificates,” Satterfield said. “I know the parents really appreciated it.”

Satterfield said about 160,000 people attended Toad Suck Daze, with unusually nice weather aiding in the turnout.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had three days of good weather. It was a great festival. We had great crowds. It was a great year for us.”

The festival’s musical acts drew big crowds as well, she said.

“We had a great crowd every night,” she said. “One of the most fun things for me was at the end of the MC Hammer concert, when he brought people of all ages on stage to dance with him.”

As for any less-than-positive incidents, she said, “Of course we had a few lost kids, but we were able to resolve those quickly. We worked well with police, fire and MEMS and didn’t have any major emergencies.”

She noted volunteers collected cash and credit card donations to help Vilonia and Mayflower residents recovering from the April 27 tornado. At press time Monday night she did not know the total amount collected, as donations via credit card were received.