Ben Shapiro headlines Georgia Christian School's 16th annual benefit dinner

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Oct. 25—VALDOSTA — Georgia Christian School celebrated its 16th annual benefit dinner with guest speaker Ben Shapiro Tuesday evening.

The dinner was held at the Valdosta State University Student Union Ballroom. Shapiro joined a large crowd of school administrators, staff, students, alumni and community supporters as he headlined the night.

Georgia Christian Schools President Dr. Brad Lawson welcomed the attendees as they entered the venue in their best attire.

Lawson said, "We're so honored that you're with us tonight. Since 1914, Georgia Christian School has been making a godly impact on beautiful children who were created in his image."

Attendees learned more about the school and its impact on students through videos, student performances, and interactions with student ambassadors, faculty, staff, and the Board of Directors.

Distinguished guests were introduced throughout the program including Georgia Reps. John Corbett of District 174 and Dexter Sharper of District 177, Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson, Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk, Valdosta Police Chief Leslie Manahan, and Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce President Christie Moore.

The school began hosting benefit dinners in the fall of 2008 and the event became its largest fundraiser. GCS Board of Directors Chairman Austin Plyler said this year's goal was to raise funds to help fulfill Phase 2 of its $1 million capital campaign.

The proceeds would help the school build a new 26,785-square-foot high school facility. The new building would house nine classrooms, a media center, administration office space, and a 550-seat auditorium, according to handout brochures. So far the school has raised $3.5 million to the total project, which costs approximately $4.5 million.

Lawson returned to the stage to moderate a Q & A session with guest speaker Ben Shapiro. Shapiro is the co-founder and Editor Emeritus of The Daily Wire. He hosts The Ben Shapiro Show, the largest conservative podcast and radio show in the nation, and is a New York Times Best-Seller.

The discussion highlighted various topics ranging from Shapiro's thoughts on screen time and his children having cell phones or social media, the state of the United States' rising debt and the importance of school choice.

He also discussed divisive issues in sports and the necessities to be (and the challenges of) a true world leader.

Throughout Lawson's moderation, Shapiro acknowledged the decline of social organizations and religion in the nation.

Shapiro joins a growing list of special guest speakers for GCS's annual benefit. The list includes former President George W. Bush, former first lady Laura Bush, former coach Lou Holtz, legendary quarterback Terry Bradshaw, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and NFL legend Archie Manning.