41st Annual John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival & Lonesome Pine Short-Story and Poetry Contests

The MECC Foundation is pleased to announce the 41st annual John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival, featuring presentations by guest authors Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and Preston Mitchell, on Wednesday, March 22 at 10 a.m. in the Goodloe Center of Phillips-Taylor Hall.

In coordination with the festival event, the MECC Foundation will host the 30th Annual Lonesome Pine Short Story Contest and the 13th Annual Lonesome Pine Poetry Contest. Individuals interested in obtaining guidelines for submitting short story and poetry contest entries should contact the MECC Foundation Office at (276) 523-7466. The deadline for submitting entries is Tuesday, 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. Winners of the contest will be announced during the Literary Festival Event.

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley’s most recent novel, The War That Saved My Life, won a Newbery Award, a Schneider Award, and was number one on the New York Times Bestseller list. She has published sixteen books for young people, with a few other titles including Jefferson’s Sons, For Freedom, and Halfway to the Sky. The War I Finally Won, a sequel to The War That Saved My Life, will be published in October by Dial Books for Young Readers.
Preston Mitchell published Chase the Buffalo, a twenty-five-year odyssey of discovery and awareness, in 2016. Chase the Buffalo is a story of one man’s quest to cycle the lower 48 states over a twenty-five-year period. From the depths of the Mohave Desert, to the heights of the Rocky Mountains, from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border, the ride is filled with beauty, adventure, theology, and hilarity.

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 speakers 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. Click here for contest rules.

Kaitlyn Baker to Perform at MECC Alumni & Friends Reunion

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Pound native, Kaitlyn Baker, to perform at MECC Alumni & Friends Reunion

“Come Home to MECC,” is the theme of the MECC Alumni and Friends Reunion to be held on Saturday, November 12, at 6 p.m. in the Goodloe Center of Phillips-Taylor Hall on the MECC campus. The evening will feature receptions and a concert by Pound, Virginia native, Kaitlyn Baker, and opening band, Scratch River Telegraph Company from Wise. This event is open to all alumni and college friends and is an opportunity to connect with friends, former classmates, and faculty.

There is no fee to attend, but guests are asked to click here to register for tickets.  Seating for the concert is limited to 400, and once all tickets are issued on a first-come, first-served basis, the event will be sold out.

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Scratch River Telegraph Co to open for Kaitlyn Baker at MECC Alumni & Friends Reunion.

Kaitlyn Baker’s music reflects the beauty of the mountains and the ruggedness of the coal mining culture in which she was raised. Indeed, this 21-year-old singer/songwriter has been referred to as a new “coal miner’s daughter.” Kaitlyn Baker recently produced a video of her song “Heart of Appalachia,” which is being used to promote tourism and economic development in southwest Virginia. Her ballad “Coal Train,” which was inspired by her hometown, was included in the official 2015 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards ZinePak, alongside tracks by such superstars as Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Florida-Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and others. The 2-CD compilation debuted at #4 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart and remained in the Top 10 for three consecutive weeks.

Scratch River Telegraph Company will open the concert. The band performs rock ‘n’ roll music, but also draws inspiration and musical elements from blues, folk, rockabilly, and country. The band has shared the stage with acts such as The Delta Saints, The Steepwater Band, Wayne Graham, Red County Gospel, The Rickshaw Roadshow, and Folk Soul Revival, among many others. They have been a part of music festivals including the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover, the Blue Plum Festival in Johnson City, Tennessee, and the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.

MECC is pleased to host these popular local artists for this first ever event. Appreciation is expressed to Norton Community Hospital for helping sponsor the event receptions.

For questions about the MECC Alumni and Friends Reunion, call Jeri Bledsoe at 276-523-2400, extension 287, or e-mail to jbledsoe@mecc.edu.

Event to Raise Funds for Scott County Endowed Scholarship

Virginians-2010Gate City, VA – A special dinner and entertainment event will be held September 22 to raise funds for Scott County students attending Mountain Empire Community College.

 The Mountain Empire Community College Foundation will host a fundraiser for the Scott County Endowed Scholarship on Thursday, September 22 at 6:00 p.m. at the Scott County Career and Technical Center in Gate City.  The event theme is Puttin’ on the Ritz, and patrons will enjoy a delicious buffet dinner and entertainment by The Virginians.

The Virginians first organized as a musical group in 1965, so 2016 marks its 51st anniversary. All of the members were from Wise County or the City of Norton, and that’s still the case today. For the first decade, the band played every weekend within the southwest Virginia, east Tennessee, and eastern Kentucky region, particularly at country clubs, and the many large service clubs that existed in the Tri-Cities at that time. Of course there have been many personnel changes over time, and the band has been through periods of inactivity in years past, only to reform for special events, reunion concerts, and other functions.

The 2016 edition of the band includes three of the members who first played in the 1960s, plus more recent additions. Also, the number of personnel used for particular performances can range from four to seven. The Virginians specialize in a broad range of popular dance music, including American standards, R&B, and even some rock and roll and–rarely–a country tune. Versatility has always been the group’s hallmark, and it remains so to this day.

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 comments section that the funds are for the Scott County Endowed Scholarship.

MECC-Wellmont Health System Golf Classic at Cedar Hill Country Club

BIG STONE GAP, VAMountain Empire Community College Foundation, in partnership with Wellmont Health System, will hold its annual MECC – Wellmont Health System Golf Classic on Friday, August 5 at Cedar Hill Country Club in Jonesville, VA.

Proceeds from the event will provide scholarships for MECC students.  These scholarships will be awarded in memory of the late Shannon O. Evans, a golf pro at Cedar Hill Country Club for 30 years.

The entry fee is $75 per person or $300 per four person team, which includes breakfast, a mulligan package, goodie bag, range balls, cart fees, green fees, and a boxed lunch.

Registration for the Captain’s Choice tournament will begin at 8 a.m., with a shotgun start at 9:15 a.m. The tournament will feature two flights, putting and chipping contests, as well as, “Most Accurate Drive” and “Closest to the Pin” prizes. The hole-in-one prize on Hole # 5 is a 2016 Chevrolet Sonic sponsored by Freedom Chevrolet of Big Stone Gap.

Three levels of corporate sponsorships are available:  Bronze – $500; Silver – $1,000, and Gold – $1,500 and up. Bronze sponsors will receive a complimentary team and a hole sponsorship, Silver sponsors will receive two complimentary teams and a hole sponsorship, Gold sponsors will receive two complimentary teams, a hole sponsorship and an opportunity to speak at the event.

Hole sponsorships are available for a $50 fully tax-deductible gift to the MECC Foundation. Signs will be placed on the golf course recognizing all hole sponsors. Businesses or individuals needing information or wishing to be a corporate sponsor, sponsor a hole or team may call Brandi McAfee, Tournament Coordinator, at (276) 523-7466 or email at bmcafee@mecc.edu.  Or you may click here to submit a team registration or sponsorship online.

2016 Hall of Honor Gala to Honor Mrs. Karen K. Hall

Karen Hall PhotoThe Mountain Empire Community College Foundation will induct Mrs. Karen K. Hall into its Hall of Honor at the 2016 Spring Gala to be held on campus Saturday, April 30, at 6 p.m.

The 2016 gala theme is “Heart of Gold.”  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. Musical entertainment will be provided by Michael Trigiani.

Hall of Honor Inductee, Karen K. Hall, will be recognized for her dedicated service to Mountain Empire Community College and to the community.  Proceeds from the event will establish the Karen K. Hall Student Success Fund. The primary use of this new fund will be to support the Great Expectations program at MECC, which helps current and former foster youth explore career possibilities, get enrolled, and complete college and financial aid applications. Great Expectations coaches also work with enrolled students to ensure their success in community college and beyond, connecting them as needed with tutors, scholarship opportunities, community resources, and other sources of support.

Tickets to the April 30 gala are $75 each and may be purchased by contacting Jeri Bledsoe at (276) 523-2400, ext. 287 or jbledsoe@mecc.edu.

Donations to the Karen K. Hall Student Success Fund may be made online by clicking the ‘Make a Gift’ button at the top of this page.  Gifts 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 “Karen K. Hall Student Success Fund.”

Auto World and MECC Foundation Golf Classic to Benefit MECC Scholarships

GolfThe Mountain Empire Community College Foundation and Auto World of Big Stone Gap will conduct the Auto World – MECC Golf Classic on Friday, May 6 at Lonesome Pine Country Club to benefit the scholarship program at MECC.

Registration for the captain’s choice tournament begins at 8 a.m., with a shotgun start at 9:15 a.m. The tournament will feature two flights and will have “most accurate drive” and “closest to the pin” prizes, as well as chipping and putting contests. Mulligan packages will be available for $10 each.

All players hitting a hole-in-one on hole #10 will win a 2016 Jeep Cherokee sponsored by Auto World of Big Stone Gap. There is also a prize of $1,000 for hitting to within 12 inches of the pin on hole #10. If more than one player accomplishes this feat, they will divide the prize money. There will be fabulous hole-in-one prizes on all par-3 holes.

Following the tournament, there will be a cocktail reception featuring delicious heavy hors d’oeuvres. During that time, golfers may bid on a number of quality items during the live auction.  There will also be a silent auction which will be ongoing throughout the event. Minimum bids are required on all silent auction items.

The entry fee of $100 per person includes breakfast, goodie bag, cart and green fees, range balls, post-tournament reception, and a chance to win great door prizes.

Hole sponsorships are available for a $100 gift to the MECC Foundation. Hole sponsors will be recognized in the golf tournament program and by signs erected on the golf course.

Tournament Sponsorships are available at three levels – Bronze, Silver, and Gold for $500, $1,000, and $1,500 in support respectively. All tournament sponsors will receive a complimentary team and will be recognized during the tournament welcome and in the printed materials for the tournament. Bronze level sponsors will be recognized on one printed hole sign erected on the course. Silver will be recognized in the same way on two holes, and Gold on three.

Individuals or businesses who would like to provide an auction item or door prize may contact Jeri Bledsoe, Tournament Coordinator, by e-mail at jbledsoe@mecc.edu, or by telephone at 276-523-2400, extension 287.

Registration is available online at the MECC Foundation website. Registrations may also be faxed to 276-523-7485, or e-mailed to Jeri Bledsoe at jbledsoe@mecc.edu, or by telephone to 276-523-2400, extension 287.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the scholarship program at Mountain Empire Community College.

MECC Foundation to Host 40th 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 40th annual John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival, featuring presentations by guest authors Robert Prather and Holly Goddard Jones, on Wednesday, March 16th at 10 a.m. in the Goodloe Center of Phillips-Taylor Hall.  Books will be available for purchase and signing.

The MECC Foundation will also host the 29th Annual Lonesome Pine Short Story Contest and the 12th Annual Lonesome Pine Poetry Contest, in partnership with Lonesome Pine Arts & Crafts, Inc. Individuals interested in obtaining contest guidelines should contact the MECC Foundation Office at (276) 523-7466 or click here.  Short stories and poems in the adult, high school (grades 9 through 12), and middle school (grades 5 through 8) categories must be submitted to the MECC Foundation office by Monday, February 29th at 4:30 p.m.  Contest winners will be announced during the Literary Festival on March 16th, and cash prizes will be awarded.

Holly Goddard Jones’ first book, Girl Trouble, was published in 2009 by Harper Perennial.  Stories from the collection were published in various journals and anthologies, including Best American Mystery Stories 2008, New Stories from the South 2007 and 2008, The Southern Review, Epoch, The Gettysburg Review, The Kenyon Review, Shenandoah, and The Hudson Review. ​The Next Time You See Me, Holly’s debut novel, was published in February 2013 by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Robert A. Prather and his wife reside near Garrett, Kentucky, where they own and operate a small business.  Mr. Prather is author of The Strange Case of Jonathan Swift and the Real Long John Silver. As a project field editor, Robert Prather has worked with Acclaim Press developing county history books.   In 2012, ​ Reader’s Favorite awarded it a Silver Medal for the Historical/Cultural category. The book has also received the prestigious Silver ADDY for its cover and overall design. In February of 2012, the book’s primary subject matter was presented on History Channel 2 on its popular series America’s Book of Secrets, the “Fort Knox” episode.

The John Fox, Jr. Festival will be followed by a reservation-only luncheon with the featured speakers 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 on the MECC Foundation, please visit our website at www.meccfoundation.org.

Concert Raises Over $4,000 for Scholarships for Dickenson County Students

imgallery-JOMC_by-Irene-Young2A host of Mountain Empire Community College supporters filled the Jettie Baker Center in Clintwood on Thursday, November 5, to enjoy a reception and concert by celebrated folk musician, John McCutcheon.

McCutcheon has emerged as a respected and beloved folksinger. As an instrumentalist, he is a master of a dozen different traditional instruments, most notably the rare and beautiful hammer dulcimer. McCutcheon’s songwriting has been hailed by critics and singers around the globe and his thirty recordings have garnered every imaginable honor including seven Grammy nominations.

Proceeds from the event were over $4,000 and will benefit the Dickenson County Endowed Scholarship. Because it is endowed, the scholarship will be a permanent source of support for Dickenson County students throughout the years to come. The MECC Foundation is grateful to everyone who supported the event.

Event Raises Over $6,700 for Scholarships for Scott County Students

A crowd of over 100 Mountain Empire Community College supporters filled the auditorium at the Scott County Career and Technical Center on Thursday, October 1, for an evening of dining and entertainment at the MECC Foundation’s annual special event for the Scott County Endowed Scholarship. This year’s theme was “Celebrating Americana.”

MECC President, Dr. Scott Hamilton, recognized the event committee for its excellent work on the event and acknowledged the sponsors of the event, as well as accomplished MECC student from Scott County, Reece Williams, who was in attendance.

An excellent program of varied music from years past and present was performed by talented vocalist, Janie Dixon, and guitarist, Mark Spivey.  The musical numbers they performed ranged from “Crazy” by Patsy Cline to “It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls. Their exuberant performance had many in the crowd on the dance floor.

Proceeds from the event were over $6,700.  The Scott County Endowed Scholarship will be a lasting source of support for Scott County students attending Mountain Empire Community College. The MECC Foundation is grateful to the event committee, sponsors and patrons for their support.

Event Photo Gallery

MECC Foundation Hosts Fundraiser Featuring a Concert by John McCutcheon

imgallery-JOMC4_byIreneYoungCLINTWOOD, VA – The Mountain Empire Community College Foundation will present a special evening of music with John McCutcheon as part of its fundraising event for the Dickenson County Endowed Scholarship.

This special fundraising event will be held Thursday, November 5 at 6 p.m. at the Jettie Baker Center in Clintwood. Patrons will enjoy a reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m., followed by the concert by McCutcheon.

McCutcheon has emerged as one of our most respected and loved folksingers. As an instrumentalist, he is a master of a dozen different traditional instruments, most notably the rare and beautiful hammer dulcimer. McCutcheon’s songwriting has been hailed by critics and singers around the globe and his thirty recordings have garnered every imaginable honor including seven Grammy nominations. He has produced over twenty albums of other artists, from traditional fiddlers to contemporary singer-songwriters to educational and documentary works. His books and instructional materials have introduced budding players to the joys of their own musicality.

Tickets for the event are $30 and will cover the reception and the concert. Tickets may be purchased by contacting Doris Rife, Chair of the Event Committee, at 276.926.8745, by e-mailing Jeri Bledsoe at jbledsoe@mecc.edu, or by calling 276.523. 2400, ext. 287.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the Dickenson County Endowed Scholarship Fund may donate online at meccfoundation.org, or by mailing a check made payable to MECC Foundation to MECC Foundation, 3441 Mountain Empire Road, Big Stone Gap, VA, 24219. Please note in the memo section of the check that it is for the Dickenson County Endowed Scholarship.

For more information, contact Jeri Bledsoe, MECC Foundation Annual Fund Coordinator, 276-523-2400, extension 287, or by e-mail at jbledsoe@mecc.edu.