4th Street Classic donates $8K to the Mississippi Quarter Horse Association
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - During his lifetime, Wade N. Spruill Jr. wore his share of hats: businessman; public official; author; husband; father, grandfather; friend.
But during some of his happiest moments, Spruill wore a Stetson.
Spruill, who passed away Jan. 10 after contracting COVID-19, was remembered Monday afternoon during a check presentation when the proceeds from the 11th annual 4th Street Classic were presented to one of Spruill’s favorite organizations, the Mississippi Quarter Horse Association.
Brooks Derryberry, past president and current board member of the MQHA, said the $8,000 donated from the Sept. 26 tournament would be used for youth scholarships and leadership programs.
“We were a little bit surprised, but ... Wade would come to the horse shows with (wife Diannne) and always pitch in wherever we needed help,” Derryberry said. “We were very sad when Wade passed away. but we were very happy when they decided to honor Wade and honor us by choosing us for the charity for the tournament.
The decision was an easy one, 4th Street Bar co-owner Slade White said.
“This one popped up because Mr. Wade was so fresh in our memory when we lost him to COVID,” White said. “Mr. Wade was one of my biggest givers. Year after year after year, he was a big donor.
“So, for us to pick the Mississippi Quarter Horse Association, it was easy to pick Mr. Wade’s charity.”
The tournament stretches back with the establishment and owner Dave Brandon staged a golf tournament known as The End Zone Classic that drew some of the top players in the Pine Belt.
After the bar changed ownership, the tournament wasn’t played for a few years until Mike and Gale Walker decided to bring back some type of golfing event.
Reborn as the End Zone 3-Man Scramble 13 years ago, the golf tournament was rechristened yet again under the banner of the 4th Street Bar, which opened at the site of its predecessor and decided to keep the tradition alive.
Over the past decade, the tourney has donated more than $35,000 to a variety of causes and charities including those serving children, women, local athletics and animal shelters.
Funds are raised from entry fees, but also from donors of all stripes, including major donors like this year’s group of ATM Investments, Stokes Distributing, Play It Again Sports and Pine Belt Chevrolet.
Wade Spruill might have been missing from the list of donor this year, but his long-time patronage was not forgotten.
“He would be very humble and very honored that someone would do this for him,” said Dianne Spruill, who shared her husband’s love of horses and had set up a scholarship fund in his name with the MQHA after his passing.
“He’d be smiling.”
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