**Story by Kyle Heck/photo by Allen Sharpe**
The George Rogers Foundation does a fantastic job of helping first generation college students attend school, but it takes a lot of outside help to make those contributions possible.
The biggest fundraising event of the year for the foundation is upcoming, and it will once again be a celebrity-packed event. The 26th annual George Rogers Foundation of the Carolinas Gala & Silent/Live Auction will be held on Sunday, June 25, at the My Carolina Alumni Center on Senate St.
Gamecock greats like John Abraham, Eric Norwood, Jasper Brinkley, Darian Stewart and Alshon Jeffery will be in attendance, and there will be other celebrities as well. NFL legend's Tony Dorsett and Herschel Walker will help the cause, as will boxing legend Larry Holmes.
In addition to giving the annual $40,000 donation to the foundation's main cause, helping first generation college students, Rogers has pledged $75,000 this year to the University of South Carolina's Degree Completion Program, which helps former athletes return to finish up their degrees.
The added financial support makes this year's gala even more important, which is why Rogers and the event organizers have been so impressed with all of the support.
"I've been very impressed with the support that George has received," said Michele Braddock-Beagle, the organizer for the 26th annual gala. "People have come out and wanted to help this year, especially the former Gamecock players. I think there's a new hype around the university as a whole with all of the change and new things taking place. I think George has set a precedent to some of the other players as far as him getting on board and supporting the university athletics department and encouraging players to finish degrees."
In addition to the gala, silent and live auction, the annual George Rogers Celebrity Golf Classic will be held the following day, June 26. It will be a very important two days that go a long way to helping the George Rogers Foundation accomplish its mission.
For nearly 30 years, Rogers has poured all his energy into the foundation and other charities. That hasn't been lost on other celebrities, who have followed the former South Carolina great and Heisman winner's lead.
"They all see the excitement in George that he's found something that he wants to put his passion toward in his retirement," Braddock-Beagle concluded.