SEBRING — The eighth annual Highlands News-Sun Parade of Athletes Banquet is set for tonight at the Alan Jay Center in Sebring.
The popular event is put on by the Highlands News-Sun and the Sebring Firemen Inc., and is a celebration of the many accomplishments of the high school student-athletes in Highlands County.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and all athletes and varsity head coaches are admitted free of charge. The public is invited to attend the festivities and the cost for a ticket is $15 per person.
A chicken dinner with side dishes, desert and ice tea will be served.
All of the high school athletes from Avon Park, Lake Placid and Sebring who were selected to an All-Highlands team will be honored on stage and the Athlete of the Year for each sport will receive a plaque.
Cheerleaders are included in the festivities with a senior cheerleader from Avon Park, Lake Placid and Sebring each receiving a Spirit Award and a $250 scholarship.
Academics are highlighted with a senior from Avon Park, Lake Placid and Sebring each receiving a $500 scholarship.
Last year, more than $4,000 in scholarships were given out to the student-athletes of Highlands County.
The highlight of the evening is the selection of the Male Athlete of the Year and the Female Athlete of the Year.
These two outstanding individuals will each receive a $500 scholarship to help with their college education.
“It is gratifying as a newspaper to share in recognizing our county’s student-athletes and coaches each year,” said Tim Smolarick, D-R Media vice president and group publisher and Highlands News-Sun publisher. “This event is the highlight of the sports year. We look forward to a great turnout to celebrate these student-athletes and their many impressive accomplishments.”