2018 John Fox Jr. Festival Contest Winners Announced

Big Stone Gap — The MECC Foundation conducted its 42nd annual John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival on Monday, April 16, featuring a presentation by author Sharyn McCrumb. The winners of the annual writing contests were also announced and recognized at the event.

Short Story winners (L to R) Noah Smith, Reece Mullins, Ben Adams, Benjamin Vicars, Amanda Bailey, Chloe Collins, McKenzie Templeton, Anthony Swindall

The 31st annual Lonesome Pine Short Story Contest winners middle school category winners include third place, Benjamin Vicars, who attends L.F. Addington Middle School; second place, Reece Mullins, who attends Coeburn Middle School; and first place, Noah Smith, who attends Smith Homeschool Academy. Winners in the high school category included third place, Ben Adams, who attends Central High School; second place, McKenzie Templeton, who attends Gate City High School; and first place, Chloe Collins, who attends Central High School. Winners in the adult category included third place, Anthony Swindall of Ben Hur, VA; second place, Jennifer Mullins of Big Stone Gap; and first place, Amanda Bailey of Mount Carmel, TN. Cash prizes awarded to the winners of the short story contest were sponsored by Lonesome Pine Arts and Crafts.

poetry winners

Poetry winners (L to R) Brittany Gentry, Morgan Graham, Kiarah Hamilton, Lauren McCoy and Alex Lon

The 14th annual Lonesome Pine Poetry Contest middle school category winners are third place, Kirsten Dixon, who attends Union Middle School; second place, Morgan Graham, who attends Flatwoods Elementary School; and first place, Kiarah Hamilton, who is a homeschool student in Big Stone Gap. Winners in the high school category included third place, Kayla Boyd, who attends A. Linwood Holton Governor’s School; second place, Lauren McCoy, who attends A. Linwood Holton Governor’s School and first place, Brittany Gentry, who attends Central High School. Winners in the adult category included third place, Stephanie Cassell of Norton, VA; second place, Donita Ratliff Kennedy of Kingsport, TN; and first place, Alexander Long of Pennington Gap, VA. Cash prizes awarded to the winners of the poetry contest were sponsored by the MECC Foundation.

To obtain information about the next John Fox, Jr. Festival and writing contests, to be held in the spring of 2019, contact the MECC Foundation at 276.523.7493.  

Caption for Pictures of contest winners (from left to right): Short Story winners (L to R) Noah Smith, Reece Mullins, Ben Adams, Benjamin Vicars, Amanda Bailey, Chloe Collins, McKenzie Templeton, Anthony Swindall

Poetry winners (L to R) Brittany Gentry, Morgan Graham, Kiarah Hamilton, Lauren McCoy and Alex Long

-MECC Foundation-

John Fox Jr. Rescheduled For Monday, April 16

The John Fox Jr. Festival, originally scheduled for March 21 at MECC, has been rescheduled for Monday, April 16 at 10 a.m. Those with luncheon tickets should contact 276.523.7466 if they cannot attend the rescheduled luncheon.

Ken and Thelma Gilley To Be Honored at 2018 Hall of Honor Gala

Ken and Thelma Gilley

Ken and Thelma Gilley

Big Stone Gap, VA – The Mountain Empire Community College Foundation will honor the late Mr. Ken Gilley and Mrs. Thelma Sorah Gilley at the annual Hall of Honor Gala on Saturday evening, April 21, 2018.

The gala theme is “Music of the Mountains,” and proceeds from the event will benefit the Gilley-Sorah Hall of Honor Mountain Music School Endowed Scholarship at MECC. Mountain Music School, held annually during the summer, draws many local and out-of-state students to the one-week program that carries on the rich musical heritage of our region.

The Gilleys will be recognized for their support of Mountain Empire Community College and their service to the region. They have been strong proponents of higher education in southwest Virginia, providing financial support to MECC. The Gilleys have created two scholarships, the William Kenneth Gilley Memorial Scholarship for Mountain Music School, and the Gilley-Sorah Endowed Scholarship, which was created along with their son, Michael, and Thelma’s sister, Shirley Walborn. Additionally, Mrs. Gilley was involved in establishing the East Stone Gap Tigers Scholarship at MECC.

The Gilleys were also active in civic organizations and volunteered in the community. Mr. Gilley worked for Norfolk Southern Railway for 41 years, and was a member of the Masonic Lodge and Shriners. Mrs. Gilley worked for the Virginia Division of Mines in Big Stone Gap, the Social Security Office in Norton, and retired from the Department of Labor as supervisor of the Black Lung Office in Norton. She also served as a negotiator for the local AFL-CIO. After their retirement, the Gilleys enjoyed taking classes at MECC and especially enjoyed participating in Mountain Music School.

The evening will begin with a reception in the Slemp Commons of Phillips-Taylor Hall at 6 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner in the Goodloe Center at 6:45 p.m. A short recognition program will follow dinner, and musical entertainment by mountain music artists and bands will follow. Musicians will include Mountain Music School instructors, Chris Rose, Richard Phillips, Steve Souther, Joey O’Quinn, Sarah Kate Morgan, and Larry Mullins.  The evening will also feature some Mountain Music School students.

Event sponsorship opportunities are available. Visit www.meccfoundation.org for more information.

Tickets to the April 21 Gala event are $75 each and may be purchased by calling the MECC Foundation office at 276-523-7466 or by visiting the MECC Foundation website at http://www.meccfoundation.org/mecc-foundation-gala/.

Tickets may also be purchased by mail by sending a check to MECC Foundation, 3441 Mountain Empire Road, Big Stone Gap, VA, 24219, Please make checks payable to MECC Foundation and indicate in the memo section of your check “Gilley-Sorah Hall of Honor Mountain Music School Scholarship.”

If you have questions, or need additional information about the event, please contact the MECC Foundation Office at 276-523-7466, or e-mail Jeri Bledsoe at jbledsoe@mecc.edu.

MECC Foundation to Host 42nd Annual John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival & Lonesome Pine Short-Story and Poetry Contests

Big Stone Gap, VA — The MECC Foundation is pleased to announce the 42nd annual John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival, featuring a presentation by guest author Sharyn McCrumb, on Wednesday, March 21 at 10 a.m. in the Goodloe Center of Phillips-Taylor Hall.

In coordination with the festival event, the MECC Foundation will host the 31st Annual Lonesome Pine Short Story Contest and the 14th Annual Lonesome Pine Poetry Contest. Individuals interested in obtaining guidelines for submitting short story and poetry contest entries should contact Brandi McAfee in the MECC Foundation Office at (276) 523-7466.  The deadline for submitting entries is Wednesday, February 28 at 4:30 p.m. Entry categories include adult, high school (grades 9 through 12), and middle school (grades 5 through 8) categories.  Contest rules are available by clicking hereWinners of the contest will be announced during the Literary Festival Event.

Sharyn McCrumb is an award-winning Southern writer, best known for her Appalachian “Ballad” novels, set in the North Carolina/Tennessee mountains, including the New York Times Best Sellers: The Ballad of Tom Dooley, She Walks These Hills and The Rosewood Casket. Her current novel The Unquiet Grave is a well-researched history of West Virginia’s Greenbrier Ghost.

In 2014, Sharyn McCrumb was awarded the Mary Frances Hobson Prize for Southern Literature by North Carolina’s Chowan University. Named a “Virginia Woman of History” in 2008 for Achievement in Literature, she was a guest author at the National Festival of the Book in Washington, D.C. in 2006. In April 2017, the national DAR named her a “Woman in the Arts” for literary achievement. In November 2017, the West Virginia Library Association presented Sharyn McCrumb with their Award of Merit for Contributions to Appalachian Literature.

McCrumb’s other honors include: AWA Outstanding Contribution to Appalachian Literature Award; the Chaffin Award for Southern Literature; the Plattner Award for Short Story; and AWA’s Best Appalachian Novel. She was named “Best Mountain Writer 2013” by Blue Ridge Country Magazine. A graduate of UNC- Chapel Hill, with an M.A. in English from Virginia Tech, McCrumb was the first writer-in-residence at King College in Tennessee. In 2005, she was honored as the Writer of the Year at Emory & Henry College.

Books will be available to purchase and for author signing.  The John Fox, Jr. Festival will be followed by a reservation-only luncheon with the featured speaker at the John Fox, Jr. Museum in Big Stone Gap.  Tickets for the luncheon are $23 per person and reservations can be made by calling the MECC Foundation office at 276.523.7466.

For more information, please call 276.523.7466.

 

Nominations Sought for 2018 MECC Outstanding Alumnus Award

The Mountain Empire Community College Alumni and Friends Advisory Committee is seeking nominations for the 2018 MECC Outstanding Alumnus Award. The award recognizes alumni who have made significant contributions to one or more areas of society, i.e., professional, academic, and personal achievements, civic service, or service to MECC.

All living MECC alumni who have completed at least one class at MECC are eligible to be nominated and considered for the award. Self-nominations are also welcome. Current members of the MECC Local Advisory Board and the MECC Foundation Board of Directors, current faculty and staff of the college, and members of the MECC Alumni and Friends Advisory Committee are not eligible to receive the award.

There is no limit to the number of nominations that one may submit. The deadline for nominations for the 2018 Outstanding Alumnus Award is January 31, 2018.

A subcommittee of the MECC Alumni and Friends Advisory Committee will select the winner of the award and the winner will be announced at the annual Scholars’ Recognition Night banquet scheduled for Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

For questions, please contact Jeri Bledsoe in the MECC Foundation office at 276-523-2400, extension 287, or by e-mail at jbledsoe@mecc.edu. You may access the Nomination Form HERE.

 

 

 

Event to Raise Funds for Scott County Endowed Scholarship

Gate City, VAThe Mountain Empire Community College Foundation will host a fundraising event for the Scott County Endowed Scholarship on Thursday, September 21 at 6:00 p.m. at the Scott County Career and Technical Center in Gate City. 

The event theme is “Mardi Gras.” Patrons will enjoy a delicious buffet dinner and entertainment by “Time Further Out,” a jazz band from the Tri-Cities area. The band’s repertoire consists mostly of jazz standards from the 1920s to the 1960s, with a few other genres mixed in.

Tickets for the event are $30 and sponsorships are available for a gift of any amount. For tickets, or to sponsor the event, contact Jeri Bledsoe in the MECC Foundation office at 276.523.2400, extension 287, or by e-mail at jbledsoe@mecc.edu.

Gifts to the Scott County Endowed Scholarship are fully tax-deductible. Anyone wishing to contribute to the fund may give online by going to the MECC Foundation webpage, www.meccfoundation.org, and clicking on the red “Make A Gift” button located at top right of the page. Gifts may also be mailed to MECC Foundation, 3441 Mountain Empire Road, Big Stone Gap, Virginia 24219. Please note in the memo section that the funds are for the Scott County Endowed Scholarship.

For more information about the event, check the MECC Foundation web page at www.meccfoundation.org.

 

Foundation to Host “Southwest Virginia’s Got Talent”

Big Stone Gap – DEADLINE TO ENTER THE MECC ALUMNI & FRIENDS TALENT CONTEST EXTENDED TO  OCTOBER 7, 2017

The Mountain Empire Community College Foundation welcomes all alumni and friends to campus for “Southwest Virginia’s Got Talent,” the 2017 alumni and friends event on Saturday, October 14 at 6 p.m. in the Goodloe Center of Phillips-Taylor Hall on the MECC campus. The event is sponsored by Norton Community Hospital and Edward Jones Investments.

The evening will begin with delicious hors d’oeurves at the reception at 6 p.m. in the Slemp Commons,

providing patrons an opportunity to reconnect with friends, former classmates, current and former faculty. The talent show will begin at 6:45 p.m. Audience members will choose the winners of this Talent Show with each audience member receiving one voting ballot. When all acts have performed, the audience will submit their votes, then enjoy coffee and dessert while the votes are being counted.

Family-friendly performances of all types are welcome. The online Entry Form, containing the complete rules and regulations for entering the contest, is available by clicking on the button above. Entrants must e-mail a video for pre-judging. The deadline for submitting Entry Forms and videos to be considered for the show is October 7, 2017. From the video submissions, a subcommittee of the Alumni Advisory Committee will select ten acts to advance to the final contest at the event. First, second, and third place winners will be awarded with cash prizes of $500, $250, and $100 respectively.

Tickets to the event are $5 each, and guests are asked to purchase that at the link below. For questions, or for those who do not have access to a computer, please call Jeri Bledsoe, event coordinator, at 276-523-2400, extension 287, for assistance or tickets.

-MECC Foundation-

Kline Foundation Provides Scholarship Gift to Mountain Empire Community College

 

Big Stone Gap – The Mountain Empire Community College Foundation recently received a $30,000 gift from the Kline Foundation, a long-time supporter of the college and student scholarships.

 Over its 63-year history, the Kline Foundation has made grants to primarily benefit individuals in the market area of the former Coca Cola Bottling Company of Norton, Inc.  Education has been the primary emphasis of giving throughout its history, with Mountain Empire Community College and the University of Virginia’s College at Wise receiving the largest gifts from the Kline Foundation in recent years.

 Since 1983, Mountain Empire Community College Foundation has received cumulative gifts in excess of $275,000 from the Kline Foundation primarily to support scholarships. The Kline Foundation was formally established in 1952 by Mr. Ferdinand Bert “F. B.” Kline.  Mr. Kline was a 1910 stockholder in the Norton Coca-Cola Bottling Works, and by 1917, was the President of the Kline Corporation, which operated the bottling company.  By 1942, the corporate name changed to The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Norton, Inc. at the request of the parent company.

 F. B. Kline died in 1970, and since that time, the Kline Foundation has been governed by a board of trustees, most of whom have served for many years.  The Kline Foundation’s current trustees include George Culbertson, Chair; Harold Armsey, Glenn Teasley, Charles Lawson, Stewart Spradlin, Byron Cantrell and Fred Ramey.

 In 2014, the Kline Foundation funded the MECC Foundation endowed Kline Foundation Scholarship.  The scholarship was created in memory of F. B. Kline and is restricted to benefit residents of the Virginia counties of Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson, Russell or the City of Norton.

 “MECC is grateful for the long partnership that MECC has enjoyed with the Kline Foundation in supporting student scholarships,” said MECC President Kris Westover. These funds will be used to assist current and future students in achieving their educational and career goals. The Kline Foundation’s faith in MECC to carry on the legacy of F.B. Kline and family in building educational opportunities for the Southwest Virginia region is recognized and much appreciated.”

 In recognition of the Kline Foundation’s many decades of support of MECC, the boardroom at MECC’s Dalton-Cantrell Hall was renamed the Kline Foundation Boardroom in 2016. The Kline Foundation Boardroom is the primary meeting space used by the college’s Advisory and Foundation Boards.  It is also used to host special guests and many outside groups.

 For more information on the MECC Foundation, or to learn more about supporting student scholarships,  please visit our website at www.meccfoundation.org.

-MECC Foundation

 

MECC Foundation inducts Ben Allen into its Hall of Honor at Annual Gala Event

Big Stone Gap, VA — The Mountain Empire Community College Foundation will induct Mr. Ben E. Allen into its Hall of Honor at the 2017 spring Gala to be held on campus Saturday, May 20, at 6 p.m. Mr. Allen will be recognized for his many years of exemplary service to Mountain Empire Community College and to the region.

The MECC Foundation Hall of Honor was created in 2001 to recognize citizens who have made significant contributions to the area or to the development of Mountain Empire Community College. Mr. Allen began his service on the MECC Foundation Board of Directors in July 1996, and he has served continuously since that time, serving as Chair of the Board in 2006 and 2007. He was made an Emeritus member in July of 2001.

In addition to Mr. Allen’s service to Mountain Empire Community College, he is a leader in service to his community, having served on the Boards of Lenowisco Planning District Commission, the Wise County Industrial Development Authority, Wellmont Lonesome Pine Hospital, Wellmont Foundation, Big Stone Gap Redevelopment and Housing Authority, and Holston Home for Children, among others.

Mr. Allen served on the Big Stone Gap Town Council during the 70s and again in the 90s, and served as Mayor of Big Stone Gap twice. He has been a member of the Big Stone Gap Lions Club since 1960, and served a President twice.

Mr. Allen was President and General Manager of Southwest Oil Company for over 40 years. Upon retirement from that organization, he served as promoter of Lonesome Pine Raceway, and he, along with Ken Crowder and his son, Mike, has hosted Pigskin Picks, a popular weekly radio sports show, for the last 17 years. Mr. Allen has also served South-West Insurance Company in a public relations capacity for over 20 years. He was the public address announcer for Powell Valley football for four decades. He has been a member of Trinity United Methodist Church for over 50 years, and has served on various church committees.

Mr. Allen has worked tirelessly to make our region a better place to live. He truly cares about others, and he is a friend to all.

The 2017 Gala theme is “You’ve Got a Friend in Ben.”  The evening will begin with a reception in the Slemp Commons of Phillips-Taylor Hall at 6 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner in the Goodloe Center at 6:45 p.m. A short recognition program will follow dinner, and musical entertainment by The Virginians will top off the evening.

Proceeds from the event will establish the Ben E. Allen Hall of Honor Opportunity Fund, an unrestricted fund that will allow the resources to be used where they are needed most.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Tickets to the May 20 Gala are $75 each and may be purchased by calling Jeri Bledsoe at (276) 523-2400, ext. 287, or by e-mailing her at jbledsoe@mecc.edu. Tickets may be purchased or donations made online by going to the MECC Foundation website, www.meccfoundation.org and selecting the “Make a Gift” button.  When completing the information, the form will ask for “Gift Instructions.”  Please specify that the funds are for Gala Tickets, or Gala Donation, or Gala Sponsor, as the case may be.  Donations may also be mailed to MECC Foundation, 3441 Mountain Empire Road, Big Stone Gap, VA, 24219, Please make checks payable to MECC Foundation and indicate in the memo section of your check “Ben E. Allen Hall of Honor Opportunity Fund.”

If you have questions, or need additional information about the event, please contact Jeri Bledsoe at 276-523-2400, extension 287, or by e-mail at jbledsoe@mecc.edu.

Fuller Honored with 2017 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy

Richmond, VA – The Mountain Empire Community College Foundation is pleased to announce that Joe Fuller of Nickelsville was recognized by the Virginia Community College System with the 2017 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy at a luncheon ceremony in Richmond on Tuesday, April 18.

The Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy luncheon is hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) to honor the leading philanthropists from each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges as well as the statewide foundation. This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has contributed a combined total of more than $10 million dollars to Virginia’s Community Colleges.

Fuller has dedicated his life to bettering his community. Retiring from CSX in 1988, Fuller devoted his time to fostering the growth and progress of Scott County. He served as a member of the MECC Foundation Board of Directors for two terms (1991-1997) and continues to support special events of the college. In 2012, the Rotary Club of Scott County renamed its existing MECC Foundation Scholarship in Joe’s honor.

In addition, Fuller was instrumental in establishing a new Rotary Club of Scott County in November 1988. He served as charter club president and continues to be very active in club and district activities. He received a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow award in 1989 and a Skelton Fellow Award of Rotary District 7570 for year 2004-05.

Fuller served as President of the Scott County Chamber of Commerce from 2002-03 and has served as Treasurer for the past 12 years. He is Chairman of the Scott County Economic Development Authority, past Chairman of the Scott County Tourism Development Committee, treasurer of the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association, and assisted in the development of the Wilderness Road Designation as well as the Clinch Mountain MusicFest.

“Joe Fuller has dedicated his retirement to serving others and supporting economic development efforts in Scott County,” said MECC President Scott Hamilton. “He is compassionate and knows how to get things accomplished with humor and kindness. He served on the MECC Foundation board for six years and was a strong supporter of the Foundation’s mission. Since that time, he has been a generous donor to Foundation scholarships and special events.  Because of Joe Fuller’s generosity and hard work, more students are receiving help in meeting their educational expenses, and they have more options for working in their local community.  Joe’s mission and much of his life’s work has been creating a better life for others.”

Virginia Community College System Chancellor Glenn DuBois expressed his gratitude in his address to the crowd. “You are difference-makers. You are opportunity-creators. We thank you, not just for the dollars donated, but for the standard of leadership you represent. Your example motivates and challenges us all to do more to ensure that opportunity is there for those who come next.”