An Ennis fundraiser dance to honor late KBEC 1390 broadcaster Mike O’Daniel will be held March 14 in Ennis.

Dave Eder and the Final Showdown Band will perform at the Mike O’Daniel Memorial Scholarship Fund Dance and Auction, which will go from 7-10:30 p.m.

Special guests are Jesse Mears and Kathy McVicker of Fiddlin’ Fever.

Emcee will be Ken Roberts, Mike’s longtime broadcast partner at KBEC.

The third annual event will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Ennis.

O’Daniel was well known as a radio personality and guitarist prior to his drowning in 2006 at Lake Richland-Chambers. Waxahachie raised, he was an announcer at KBEC radio, where he broadcast high school sports.

The cause in his name has generated generosity from some surprising places – showing the widespread impact O’Daniel’s life had.

“We have received letters and donations from people as far away as Maryland and Brooklyn, N.Y., that knew Mike O’Daniel and enjoyed his music that wanted to contribute to the scholarship fund set up in his memory,” fund board member Gary Giles said.

“He played for several big names over the years and he had been voted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame,” Eder said, noting that 100 percent of the proceeds raised go to scholarships.

The cause would have made O’Daniel proud, Eder said.

“Mike was so fond of kids, he’d call baseball games and worked with kids, we just thought it would be so neat to have a scholarship in his name,” Eder said.

“He loved kids. Mike was a real people person – if it had been different circumstances and Mike was here, he’d be right along with this because education was something he was interested in.”

Board members include Gary Giles, Tom Almand, Pat Sullivan, Ken Roberts, Jimmy Rex Odom, Skip Noel and Jesse Mears,

Eventually, board members hope the scholarship will have enough in the bank to become self-sustaining so students can reapply for help in future years.

The KC Hall donates the hall use, Eder and his band donate their time and College Street Press donates printing for the event.

Kathy McVickers produced the brochures for the scholarship and compiled pictures and recordings of Mike. All the profits from the proceeds from the sale of the three CDs of Mike’s music go to the scholarship fund. 

Prior to the last scholarship donation, the fund balance as of June 26, 2008, was $46,612.73.

So far the organization has presented a $2,000 scholarship each year to a graduating senior at Waxahachie High School who is going into either music or communications.

The first Mike O’Daniel Memorial Scholarship recipient was William Zimmerman, a guitarist with a first place in UIL jazz guitar competition, outstanding soloist at the TCU jazz festival and a three-year member of the WHS Jazz Orchestra.  William was very active in school activities being a four-year Junior Rotarian, Phi Psi Beta member 2005-2007, National Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa 2007 and a volunteer of the United Service Organization 2006-2007. 

Nevan Simpson, the second recipient of the scholarship, had plans to attend the University of Texas School of Communications. Throughout her high school career, Nevan received many academic awards and was a member of the WHS volleyball team. 

Tickets are $12.50. For information, call Dave Eder at 972-921-1333 or 972-938-1784, Jim Odom at 214-674-3599, KBEC radio at 972-923-1390 or 972-938-1390, Pat Sullivan at 214-908-3118, Tom Almand at 972-937-2140 or Gary Giles at 214-356-1104.

 E-mail J.Louise at jlouise.larson@wninews.com.