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Miss-Lou Chapter of College Hall of Fame to host banquet

NATCHEZ — The Miss-Lou Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame will be hosting its 30th annual banquet Feb. 24 at the Eola Hotel.

Six local senior athletes will be awarded scholarships based on selections from Foundation Vice President Teresa Busby and a committee of her staff at Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

University of Southern Mississippi football coach Larry Fedora will be the guest speaker at this year’s banquet, and Foundation President Walt Brown said he was very excited about having a USM representative speak.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a Southern Miss coach as a featured speaker,” Brown said.

“He’s really one of the up-and-coming young coaches in college football, I think. We’re hoping to have plenty of Southern Miss fans on-hand to hear him speak.”

For Adams County Christian, Kent Yates will be awarded scholarship money; for Cathedral School, Semmes White; for Ferriday High School, Aaron Davis; for Natchez High School, Joseph Perry; for Trinity Episcopal, Eric Lee James; and for Vidalia High School, David Hunter Thornton.

The banquet will also honor junior high scholar athletes. For ACCS, Brandon Ross will be recognized; for Cathedral, Alex Weadock; for Ferriday, Allen James Houston Cummings; for Robert Lewis Middle School, Sidney A. Davis Jr.; for Trinity, Michael Iles; and for Vidalia, Cole Cupit.

In addition, the foundation will also recognize two Natchez citizens with its Contributor to Amateur Football Award and its Distinguished American Award.

Joseph Dallalio Sr. will be given the Contributor to Amateur Football award posthumously. Dallalio was an active member of the Vidalia High School Quarterback Club for 37 years and worked the school’s chain crew for 35 years. He was also chief cook for the Vikings’ football team for more than 35 years.

“It’s unfortunate we didn’t recognize his accomplishments beforehand,” Brown said. “Behind the scenes, he was very highly thought of.”

Local Scoutmaster Fred Voss of Natchez will be given the Distinguished American Award. Voss has been associated with Boy Scouts of America for more than 61 years, and has been a Scoutmaster for more than 40 years. He is a charter member of Troop 158 and was the first Eagle Scout from that troop.

“He was one of The Natchez Democrat’s Unsung Heroes (in 1990), and is a very distinguished, very humble person,” Brown said.

The foundation will host its annual Joe Fortunato Celebrity Golf Tournament the first weekend of May to raise money for the scholarships. A total of $10,000 will be raised and divided between the six winners, with the first place winner receiving $3,000.

“We’re now down to six high schools (with Huntington School closing), so we made adjustments to the amount of money being distributed to each athlete,” Brown said.

And Brown wanted to make sure Joe Fortunato’s wife Catherine got the recognition she deserves for staying on top of everything.

“She’s the one that makes it go as smoothly as it does, and we’re very grateful for the work she puts in,” Brown said.

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