Whitlock memorial fundraiser is today


Nick Whitlock

By W. Winston Skinner
Fraternity brothers of Nicholas Whitlock, a Newnan native who lost his life in military service in Africa, are holding a fundraiser in his memory today. “We as a fraternity have been saddened by the loss of a brother, soldier and past president,” said Andrew Werkheiser, philanthropy chair of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at Mercer University. Whitlock graduated from Mercer in 2005.
“We have decided to host a dinner and silent auction,” Werkheiser said. “We will donate all proceeds to the family’s chosen charity.”

After Whitlock’s death in February, his family chose the Special Operations Warrior Foundation for memorial contributions. According to the group’s website, the organization “provides two primary programs: full college scholarships and educational counseling to the children of fallen special operations personnel.”

“This is a very valuable and well deserving charity,” Werkheiser said.

Werkheiser said contributions may be made online at www.specialops.org.The Fallen Soldier Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction will be held at the Old Mercer Bookstore/Penfield Hall on Mercer’s main campus in Macon. Tickets will be $8. They can be purchased at the door or in advance at Mercer’s cafeteria and Campus Life Office.

Hours for the event will be 6:30-10 p.m.

Werkheiser said the fundraiser will offer people an opportunity to “come out and support fallen soldiers, especially our brother Nicholas Whitlock.” The event will be catered by Olive Garden.

“You will have the opportunity to bid on many items such as autographed items, football helmets, jewelry, gift cards” and “Philips Arena event tickets — like Aerosmith” and the Atlanta Hawks, according to Werkheiser.

Whitlock, 29, was killed in Africa while serving with the U.S. Air Force. His funeral was held at First Baptist Church, the Whitlock family’s home church, and he was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Newnan.

Whitlock was stationed at Hurlburt Field near Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Three other Hurlburt airmen also lost their lives in the plane crash in Djibouti — Capt. Ryan P. Hall, 1st Lt. Justin J. Wilkens and Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten. The four were aboard a U-28 aircraft.

Whitlock is survived by his wife, Ashley Oddi Whitlock of Destin, Fla.; parents, Jimmy and Clare Whitlock of Newnan; brothers, James and Robert Whitlock of Newnan; and grandparents, Wendell and Elva Whitlock of Newnan and Henry and Clare Schade of Florida.

Nicholas Whitlock was a 2001 honor graduate of Newnan High School where he was a recognized athlete in football and baseball. He earned a bachelor of business administration degree from Mercer and also earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Florida.

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