The Kay K. Saintsing Memorial Scholarship was established in 2005 to honor the late founder of the North Carolina Association of Festival and Events (NCAF&E). Kay was a leader within the tourism community and was highly admired for her commitment to public service. Kay also founded several other non-profit organizations, including the annual Barbecue Festival held in Lexington, NC. Under her direction, the festival became one of the largest one-day events in NC and had received numerous national and regional awards.
Sadly on June 7, 2002, the tourism industry and NCAF&E lost a leader and visionary to a heart arrhythmia. Her family received countless cards and condolence letters. Below are just a few of the beautiful words written about Kay.
“Kay epitomized public service at it’s very best.” -Governor Easley
“Her work with local charities and organizations will long be remembered.”
-Senator John Edwards
“Our community has benefited from her many efforts.” -Congressman Howard Coble
“Kay was an outstanding individual who was highly regarded by many for her leadership and hard work both locally and statewide. Those of us in the North Carolina tourism industry, and many others across the state, will miss her leadership, energy, and wonderful attitude on life.” -Lynn D. Minges, Director of the NC Dept. of Commerce Tourism, Film, and Sports Development
“She was a tireless advocate for North Carolina’s tourism industry and her extraordinary service to others will long be remembered.” -NCTIA
“She was so very special.” – Bob Timberlake
“She was an affirmer, an encourager, a helper and a visionary.” – Rev. Jerry Moore
“Her life will continue because she invested in the lives of others.” - Rev. Ray Howell
Annually, a $1,000.00 scholarship will be awarded to a returning student at a North Carolina college or university. Students from all campuses (who meet the requirements) may apply.
NCAF&E wishes this award to be made to a student who has “serious academic pursuits,” who “loves learning,” and who is interested in the breadth of learning in relation to recreation, tourism, and event management.”
The Executive Board of the NCAF&E has established the selection criteria and process for this award by recognizing Kay Saintsings’ intentions when she initiated NCAF&E the criteria are:
- Minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average, no grade earned lower than “C”
- Enrolled as a full-time student at a college/university in North Carolina
- Must have sophomore or junior standing (2022-2023 school year)
- Must be returning to his or her home university the next year
- Must be a Parks & Recreation, Tourism, or Event Management major
- The recipient must attend the NCAF&E Showfest Conference
The NCAF&E Executive Board will review all essays and applications. The recipient of the scholarship will be announced each year at the annual NCAF&E Showfest Conference.