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, or by calling 276.523. 2400, ext. 287.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the Dickenson County Endowed Scholarship Fund may donate online at, 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

Lonesome Pine Hospital Auxiliary Creates Endowment for Scholarships at MECC

Big Stone Gap – Lonesome Pine Hospital’s auxiliary, which provides valuable assistance to patients and staff in the facility, has broadened its community support to include students at a local college.

The auxiliary recently presented a $10,000 check to the Mountain Empire Community College Foundation to start an endowment that will support scholarships for students in need.  Pat Bowden, the auxiliary’s treasurer, said the hospital volunteers are excited to be able to support education through the contribution of these funds.

“These ladies have worked hard over the years to earn this money, and we feel this would be the most worthwhile way to allocate these resources,” Bowden said. “Everyone knows how challenging it can be for college students to pay all the costs associated with their education, and we are grateful for the opportunity to help. It will be a lasting legacy for those ladies who have participated – in some cases for decades – with the auxiliary.”

Bowden said the auxiliary raised the money in a variety of ways, such as gift shop sales, jewelry shows, book sales and bake sales. The money was placed in a certificate of deposit, which recently matured, leading the auxiliary to examine the best use for the funds.

Applicants who live in Big Stone Gap will receive the highest priority for the scholarship, followed by those who live in Wise and Lee counties. At the auxiliary’s request, the college will also give preference to students who are majoring in a health care field.

“It takes a lot of effort to raise $10,000, and we’re so grateful the auxiliary has decided to share these funds with our students,” said Donna Stanley, executive director of the college’s foundation. “This will benefit students in the community tremendously and enable them to advance their academic pursuits with a little less concern about the financial impact.”

The auxiliary also uses funds from its multiple fundraising methods to assist the hospital with some of its needs.

Stanley noted the donation to the college from the auxiliary is not only money the hospital has provided. The Lonesome Pine Hospital Community Hospital Fund has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the school in support of nursing students. It’s that type of community spirit emanating from Lonesome Pine that pleases Dale Clark, the hospital’s president.

“The auxiliary is an outstanding group that provides integral support to physicians and co-workers, and the establishment of the endowment is just the latest example of the community spirit it has exhibited for decades,” Clark said. “And our community fund has made a palpable difference in Wise County with solid investments in the community and education that have enhanced the quality of life considerably. It is a privilege to work with these groups – and our physicians and staff – to meaningfully impact our community.”

MECC to Host 40th Anniversary Celebration of Registered Nursing Program

Alumni Postcard front from PrestonBig Stone Gap – The Mountain Empire Community College Foundation will host the first-ever reunion of registered nursing students and faculty, celebrating the program’s 40th anniversary.

The Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing Program (VATNP) at MECC 40th Anniversary Celebration will be held Saturday, August 15 beginning at 4 p.m.  All MECC RN graduates and VATNP faculty will be honored at this event in the Goodloe Center on the MECC campus.  VATNP enrolled the first MECC Registered Nursing students in the fall of 1975 and the program has grown significantly since its inception.

The celebration will include a special presentation of “Florence Nightingale: A Medical Revolutionary” performed by Kathy Kay Duckett at 4 p.m.  A reception for alumni, faculty, and guests will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and a recognition program honoring distinguished alumni.

For more information about the celebration or to update your current contact information, visit, email, or call 276.523.2400, ext. 292.

Tickets for the event are $50 and can be purchased by clicking here. Proceeds of the celebration will benefit the Alice Stallings Scholarship.  This scholarship was established in memory of one of the first MECC nursing faculty to provide assistance to second year nursing students.

“Florence Nightingale: A Medical Revolutionary” has been submitted to the Virginia Nurses Association for approval to award contact hours. The Virginia Nurses Association is accredited as an approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

MECC Foundation to Host 39th Annual John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival & Lonesome Pine Short – Story and Poetry Contests

The MECC Foundation is pleased to announce the 39th annual John
Fox, Jr. Literary Festival, featuring guest authors Donald Davis and Dr. David Sam, on Wednesday, March 18th at 10 a.m. in the Goodloe Center of Phillips-Taylor Hall. The festival will feature readings and discussion with the authors. The MECC Foundation will also host the 28th Annual Lonesome Pine Short Story Contest and the 11th 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. Contest rules are also available on the MECC website ( and the MECC Foundation website ( 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 23rd at 4:30 p.m.
Contest winners will be announced during the Literary Festival on March 18th, and cash prizes will be awarded.

Donald Davis was born in Western North Carolina, a Southern Appalachian mountain world rich in stories. He grew up absorbed in the gentle fairy tales, simple and silly Jack tales, scary mountain lore, ancient Welsh and Scottish folktales, and – most importantly – nourishing true-to-life stories of his own neighbors and kin. Davis remembers, “I discovered that in a story I could safely dream any dream, hope any hope, go anywhere I pleased, fight any foe, win or lose, love or die. My stories created a safe experimental learning place.” For Donald Davis, storytelling is a way of giving and living life. He invites each listener to come along, to pull deep inside for one’s own stories, to personally share and co – create the common experiences that celebrate the creative spirit. Mr. Davis is a graduate of Davidson College and Duke University Divinity School, and is a retired Methodist minister. He has served as Chair of the National Storytelling Association Board of Directors, and as a featured teller at the Smithsonian Institution, the World’s Fair, and festivals and concerts throughout the United States and the world. He is a prolific author and producer of books and tapes of his work, including Tales from a Free-Range Childhood (2011). He also teaches workshops and storytelling courses and guest hosts the National Public Radio program “Good Evening.”

David Anthony Sam was born and spent his early childhood in McKeesport, PA, a coal and steel suburb of Pittsburgh. Later, his family relocated with his father’s factory to Belleville, MI, a far suburb of Detroit. These childhood homes afforded him many opportunities to explore railroad tracks, woods, lakes, and rural farm fields. These adventures influenced his poetry as well as his sense of the holistic ecology of all things. A grandchild of immigrants and first-generation college student, Sam is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State University. He has taught creative writing, English literature, and composition at EMU, Marygrove College, Oakland Community College, and Pensacola State College. Dr. Sam has written poetry for forty years, and has two published collections, including Memories in Clay, Dreams of Wolves (2014). He has also been published in Carbon Culture Review, The Crucible, The Flagler Review, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Summerset Review, The Birds We Pile Loosely, and Literature Today. He currently serves as the President of Germanna Community College.

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