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— By PATRIC FLANNIGAN

Sports editor

Southern Arkansas University Tech Foundation is holding its first fundraiser and benefactor dinner at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the SAU Tech Student Center. The speaker is 30-year NFL Referee, Walter Coleman, III.

Coleman is an executive for Hiland Dairy and spends much of his free time speaking and serving on various non-profit and service organization boards.

Walt Coleman decided to retire from the NFL in 2018.

In January 2002, Coleman was the referee on the field during the Patriots’ infamous “tuck rule” game against the Raiders in the divisional round of the playoffs.

The 16-13 win over the Raiders basically kickstarted the Patriots dynasty as it propelled New England to its first Super Bowl win in franchise history.

With an NFL officiating career that spanned 30 years, Coleman was the most senior official in the league.

The SAU Tech Foundation Rocket Nite is the first event of its kind for the College in recent history. Foundation Executive Director, Kimberly Coker, stated that she has been an employee of SAU Tech almost 17 years and that she had no memory of an event where donors, potential donors, supporters of SAU Tech, athletes and students were all invited to an event to celebrate the success of the past academic year. Coker recently stated during a KCAC interview with Rocket Launcher Live’s, Joel Gray, that the event is an opportunity for local businesses to act as underwriters to support the celebration. The SAU Tech Foundation Board Members are local volunteers who oversee the financial responsibilities of the Foundation.

The Tech Diner will serve dinner and the NJCAA basketball teams, cheer squad, scholars, future NJCAA softball players will be in attendance.

Tickets are still on sale for $25 and can be ordered online or requested from the Communications & Development Office at SAU Tech. The event is open to the public. This event will also serve as an opportunity for supporters to see the new basketball court as the Student Center will serve as the home court for the Rockets and Lady Rockets basketball teams.

Additional event and ticket information can be found at https://www.sautech.edu/rocket/

(Patric Flannigan contributed to this article.)

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