June 7, 2023 - Boost the Boro, Inc. (BTB), a local non-profit organization that likes to “give a boost, a hand-up, a hand-out, a help around to the community,” set a record this year with their scholarships. On Tuesday, June 6, the BTB members held the 2023 Scholarship Winners Celebration at New Light Church’s Connection Building in downtown Bladenboro.

During the celebration, Sunday Allen, a BTB member, and local teacher, announced this year that BTB is setting a record with the number of scholarships they donate to local students.

Allen explained the club started the scholarship opportunity in 2018 to help students from the community who were going off to college to do something great. The first recipient was Cierra Byrd, a West Bladen High School graduate. In 2019, the club doubled the scholarships distributed. “We were excited. We were thrilled to be able to give back to the community,” Allen said.

West Bladen graduates Alana King and Haley Hester received $500 scholarships in 2019, and in 2020 Kailey Gause and Kasee Singletary received the scholarships. They all went off to college and are doing great things, Allen reported.

In 2021, Cara Beth Lewis won the BTB scholarship; according to Allen, she used the scholarship for education and is now a businesswoman in Bladenboro.

Allen continued, “In 2022, we gave three $750 scholarships.” Kayla Norris, a graduate recipient, was present at the scholarship celebration. Hannah Hester and Abigail Mclaughlin were the other two scholarship winners from 2022.

“This year, Allen exclaimed, “We are hitting it big! We are able this year to give three $1000 scholarships from Boost the Boro and two $1000 (renewable for one) scholarships from the Juanita Stanley family.”

The BTB scholarship winners this year are:
Ricardo Gutierrez, Jr. from Bladen Early College High School
Wadeyn Norris from West Bladen High School
Catherin Dowless from West Bladen High School

Allen told the scholarship winners, “I think that all three of your applications gave us an indication that, yes, giving back is part of who you are, so we thank you!”

Before the following scholarship winners were announced, Allen took a moment to explain Ms. Juanita Stanley’s impact on the community and her church and how the scholarships were formed in Ms. Stanley’s honor by her family for students who wanted to study music or medicine.

This year, the 2023 Juanita Stanley Scholarship winners are West Bladen High School seniors Maycee Bullard and Rylee Chadwick. According to Allen, if the students keep their grades up and do well, the recipients will receive another $1000 scholarship next year.

Each graduate expounded on their future educational plans and thanked the BTB members for their scholarship winnings. Before the crowd departed, they enjoyed light refreshments and conversations.

The next Boost the Boro, Inc. meeting will be June 13 at 2:30 at the Bladenboro Farmer’s Market. Find out more about Boost the Boro, Inc at boosttheboro.org.

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Interested in sponsoring the 16th Annual Beast Fest? 

Contact a Boost the Boro member or email boosttheboro@gmail.com! 

Boost the Boro Sets Record with Scholarship Donations

Welcome to Boost the Boro, Inc.


Non-Food/Craft Vendors: 

Standard tent space, no power: $50

Standard tent space with power: $75

Contact Claudette Guy, Vendor Coordinator with any questions or requests.  (910)874-4597. 

16th Annual Beast of Bladenboro Festival: October 27th and 28th, 2023 

Boost the Boro, Inc. does not limit its involvement or support to just a "Single" Issue.  Instead, as an organization, our membership considers a broad range of community development and involvement initiatives that are ultimately designed to help the community Grow, Prosper and Improve the Quality of Life for the entire (28230) Bladenboro area.

The following are just a few of the areas we have either supported or been involved with during the period of 2018-2022
  • Host two Annual Community Festivals & Events  - Beast Fest & Spring Fling
  • Made repairs and renovations to Wateree Park
  • Provided funding for the new Community Stage 
  • Paid for renovations and landscaping of Downtown Corner lot 
  • Donated the “Green Spot” land to the Town of Bladenboro for the new Downtown Square project
  • Paid to have streets, curbs & gutters cleaned 
  • Provided significant man hours and equipment for Downtown clean-up and mowing
  • Provide Downtown plantings and install seasonal decorations throughout the year
  • Provide new Christmas Tree decorations for downtown tree
  • Host the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Event
  • Host Grand Opening events for new business openings
  • Provide new paving and repairs for Downtown parking lots
  • Repair and update paint of highly visible wall downtown damaged in the demolition of Town owned property. 
  • Made donations to help (16 ) small businesses with storm damage repairs
  • Provide at least two Annual Boost the Boro Scholarship Awards since 2018 and will expand to 5 in 2022
  • Provide a “No Cost” Farmer’s Market location
  • Made donation to Bladenboro Police Department for new building awnings and computer equipment
  • Made Donation to Bladenboro Public Library renovation project
  • Made Donation to Bladenboro Middle School for new sound equipment
  • Make Farmers Market Conference room available for small civic focused meetings
  • Provide funding for Bladenboro Police Department's Annual Christmas for Kids Initiative
  • Donate to Dixie Youth Baseball 
  • Donate to Bladenboro Middle School Beta Club
  • Donate to multiple West Bladen High School project request
  • Donate to NC Education Scholarship Fund

While a comprehensive program with detailed event schedules will be released later this year, BTB members have already planned for a diverse range of activities during the festival. Anticipating between 75-100 Arts, Crafts, and Food vendors, a classic car show, carnival rides, horse and wagon rides, and a Corn-hole tournament, the festival promises something for everyone. The popular children's costume contest, followed by the much-loved "Trunk-or-Treat" event, is scheduled for the late afternoon and is expected to draw over 1,000 children. As always, the festival will feature top-level live entertainment events on Friday and Saturday nights, which are known to attract large crowds. Beast Fest will kick off on Friday, October 27th, from 5–10:00 pm and continue on Saturday, October 28th, from 10:00 am-10:00 pm. The festivities will commence with a Grand Opening Ceremony, followed by a full day of safe, clean, and family-oriented entertainment and events. Thanks to the community's unwavering support, BTB has consistently enhanced the festival each year, transforming it into one of the fastest-growing and most well-attended fall festivals in southeastern North Carolina. The all-volunteer organization takes immense pride in this achievement and expects record-breaking turnouts in 2023. Currently, BTB members are actively seeking sponsors for this year's festival. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, contact a BTB member today. For more information, follow the non-profit on Facebook and visit this website for updates. 

Our Mission: To encourage a spirit of collaboration that will enable the Bladenboro (28320) Community to Grow, Prosper, and Improve the Quality of Life for all its citizens.

Scholarship Winners Over the Years:


Boost the Boro, Inc. is a grassroots organization made up of citizens, business owners and community leaders who are all interested in seeing the Bladenboro (28320) community thrive and once again become a showplace community.

The group, initially formed in 2005 by a small group of interested citizens, who saw a need to "inject" new energy into the small, rural community and specifically, in its downtown.

Its initial efforts focused on the hosting of a downtown festival called "Beast Fest" named from the legendary vampire-like killing of pets and farm animals in 1954 the locals referred to as the “Beast of Bladenboro” ​​​​

In the photo above, left to right, are the 2023 Scholarship winners with Mrs. Sunday Allen on the far right: Ricardo Gutierrez, Jr., Rylee Chadwick, Catherin Dowless, Maycee Bullard, and Wadeyn Norris.

Click above for an application form. Scholarship winners will be announced in May 2023. The deadline to submit an application for the scholarships is April 28. The application should be mailed in one envelope to:

Boost the ‘Boro Scholarship Committee

PO Box 771

Bladenboro, NC 28320

Questions? Email us at boosttheboro@gmail.com





Food Vendors: 

Less than 20' space: $300 

20 ft. - 40 ft. space: $600

Exceeding 40 ft: Contact Claudette Guy, Vendor Coordinator. (910)874-4597. 

*spaces listed above are for vendors that will prepare food on-site.