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Memorial fundraiser to raise scholarship money for business-minded students N
Francie and Sherry 1st Annual
Kelly Denis-Pierces mother and aunt, Francine Denis and Sherry Wilson, pose with Kellys photograph at the first annual scholarship dinner in 2010. - photo by Photo Contributed

Year after year scholarships are awarded to students across the country to help them attend universities and further their careers.  Turlock native Francine Denis and her family have helped Turlock students make college a reality through the Kelly Denis-Pierce Memorial Scholarship.

For the past four years Denis has held a fundraiser dinner event in memoriam of her daughter Kelly Denis-Pierce.

Denis-Pierce passed away suddenly in 2006 at 31, from undiagnosed acute Leukemia after giving birth to her second child.

Denis and her family founded the fundraiser four years ago with the goal of helping high school graduates pursue an education in business at a four year university, just as Denis-Pierce did.

Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA, be enrolled in a business class and intend to study business at a four year university.

Denis-Pierce was a Turlock native who attended Turlock elementary schools and completed her B.A. in Business at California State University, Stanislaus. An active member of the local chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, a social friendship organization, Denis-Pierce was also a state officer for the Future Business Leaders of America club.

In previous years the fundraiser has raised enough money to give one student from Denis-Pierce’s alma mater, Turlock High School, a scholarship. This year they intend to send one student from Pitman High School as well.

“The more we make, the more we give,” Denis said.

The event includes a cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing. The Chris Creek Band will play music and premier raffle tickets are $1.

“The fundraiser is for everyone in the community” Francine said.

The event will be held on Nov. 9 at the Denair Community Center. Cocktail hour will begin at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m. and dancing at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased at the door or in advance at Legend Music in Manteca, or Denis RV Center and Cal Neva Slush in Turlock.