Freed-Hardeman University is again on track to raise more than $1 million for scholarships at this year’s benefit dinner, Dec. 3, 2021, according to Dave Clouse, vice president for community engagement. “This will be the 21st consecutive year the dinner has grossed more than a million dollars,” he said. Comedian and best-selling author Jeff Foxworthy will speak following dinner.
Prior to the dinner, guests are invited to enjoy Christmas in the Commons featuring horse-drawn carriage rides, costumed carolers strolling around the Commons and a hot drink station. Christmas in the Commons is open to the public. The Merry Market, also a part of the event, will feature 11 vendors stationed in a heated tent for Christmas shopping from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. For shoppers’ convenience, the FHU Associates will offer bag check for shopping bags.
Foxworthy is the best-selling comedy-recording artist in history. A multiple Grammy Award nominee, he is also a best-selling author whose books have sold more than a million copies.
He had intended to follow in his dad’s footsteps and pursue a career at IBM. However, following encouragement and a dare by friends, he tried his hand at an Atlanta comedy club. Soon, he quit his day job and began a career in stand-up comedy.
Foxworthy found his comedic voice in Detroit when he noticed a bowling alley offering valet parking. Struck by the irony, he compiled a list of characteristics that might make one a redneck, a term he defines as having “a glorious lack of sophistication.” Although Wikipedia defines redneck as “a derogatory slang term to refer to poor white Southern farmers,” Foxworthy has almost made it a badge of honor. “Rednecks don’t want to be anybody else,” he said, “which is a lot cooler than people pretending to be something they are not.”
In 1995, he starred in a sitcom, “The Jeff Foxworthy Show.” He then hosted television shows including “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” “The American Baking Competition” and “The American Bible Challenge.”
A child of divorce himself, Foxworthy is devoted to his family: his wife Pamela who attended his very first performance as a stand-up comedian; daughters Jordan and Julianne, and most recently, a grandson born this year. “Being a father,” Foxworthy told Atlanta Parent, “is the most important job you have in life. One hundred years from now, nobody will care what kind of job you had, what awards you’ve won; none of that matters. But they will care about what kind of kids you left behind.”
The comedian recounts reading to the girls at night and driving them to school each day. “When they were school age, I would lease a plane and fly home after a club date so I could be there the next morning – it gave me 100 days more a year with my kids. The other job I had was I wanted to show them in the way I treated their mom, how they should expect to be treated by a guy," Foxworthy said.
FHU’s annual benefit dinner is typically the state’s largest single-night fundraiser. Forever Communications is the premier media sponsor for the event.
Tickets are still available. General admission tickets, which include dinner and Foxworthy’s appearance, are $150. Tickets may be purchased at fhu.edu/Foxworthy.
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Henderson, TN 38340
FHU / Memphis
5565 Shelby Oaks Drive
Memphis, TN 38134
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