Monday, December 7, 2015

GFWC Poetry and Short Story Contest Local Winners

The GFWC Brentwood Woman’s Club is pleased to announce the winners of its 2015 Poetry and Short Story Youth Writing Contests:

Category 2 Poetry – Grades 4,5 and 6
Little Bob Mr by Jaya Gupta, Scales Elementary

Category 2 Short Story – Grades 4, 5, and 6
1st Place – Lizzie’s Secret Garden by Lauren Stockdale, Grassland Elementary
2nd Place – Sand Pirates by Rhys Clark, Scales Elementary
3rd Place –  The Diary of John Murphy by Rachel Clark, Scales Elementary

Category 3 Poetry – Grades 7, 8, and 9
1st Place – The Mouse Who Started the Great Fire of London by Robert Haukohl, homeschool
2nd Place – Light Is Love by Nyah Stanfield, homeschool
3rd Place – America’s Pastime by Drew Estes, Sunset Middle School

Category 3 Short Story – Grades 7,8, and 9
1st Place – Blinded by Lauren Smith, Page Middle School
2nd Place – A Fortune Cookie by Joseph Feduccia, Sunset Middle School

Category 4 Poetry – Grades 10, 11, and 12
1st Place – Handel’s Messiah by Alyssa Parker, Ravenwood High School
2nd Place – The Refining by Hannah Hubin, homeschool
3rd Place (2 winners):  A Light of Hope by Michael Hosale, Ravenwood High School
                                     A Time Not Forgotten by Lina Beach, Franklin High School

Category 4 Short Story – Grades 10, 11, and 12
1st Place – Sacre Coeur by Ashleigh Tyler, Summit High School
2nd Place – Liar by Megan Carneal, Franklin High School
3rd Place – A Different Pace by Hannah Hubin, homeschool

The first place winning entries are being forwarded to both the GFWC Music City District where they will compete with other first place entries from 6 other GFWC clubs and to GFWC of Tennessee where they will compete with all other winning entries from throughout the state of Tennessee.  The state winners will go on to complete internationally and be recognized at the GFWC Annual Meeting to be held in June, 2016. 

The Brentwood Woman’s Club has been pleased to hold this local contest for over 20 years and has had 4 international poetry contest winners .   A reception for our local winners and their families will be held on January 30, 2016, at the Brentwood Library.  

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Unicorn Fund, serving Morgan & Scott Counties in east TN.

On December 6, 1984 fate changed the lives of thousands of residents of Morgan and Scott Counties. Patti Melhorn Thomas was killed in an auto accident in Scott County, leaving behind a grieving family.  Husband John Thomas and parents George and Shelby Melhorn channeled their sorrow by creating the Unicorn Fund.  And, for the past 30 years, this fund has grown into a 501c(3) charity raising hope by helping thousands of families.

To increase operating funds the board of directors enlisted volunteers to help with fair booths, bake sales, beauty pageants, craft shows, angel trees, cookbook/t-shirt sales, and rock-a-thon/talent shows. The creation in 1986 of the Second Time Around Boutique, a clothing store featuring slightly used items, paved the way for the Unicorn Fund to extend its means of helping others.  With more money coming in, more help was given.  The $3000 in financial assistance distributed in 1986 has grown to to $21,227 distributed thus far in 2015.

Throughout the years many volunteers have stepped up to make the Unicorn Fund grow.  The employees of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Battelle provided toys to Head Start for over 20 years.  The TN Federation of Women's Clubs (currently known as GFWC OF TN) support the Unicorn Fund with clothing items for the Boutique and monetary funds annually.  Several of these clubs were and still are pivotal to the growth of the Unicorn Fund.

Another milestone for the Unicorn Fund was the creation of its Scholarship Fund that has provided almost 300 scholarships to students of all six of the Morgan and Scott County high schools.  The Fund has also given scholarships to mothers who want to go into nursing and students who have been out of school for a while but want to reconnect and further their education.  In 2015 alone the Fund awarded $12,817.00 in scholarships.  

In 2010 the Unicorn Fund, in collaboration with the GFWC Tellico Village Woman's Club and the Rock Mission, opened the Unicorn Fund Youth Center in Petros, TN.  It provides a place for children in the area to go and participate in activities of exercise, art, music, basketball, and computer education.

The Unicorn Fund volunteers participate in community events such as "Christmas in the Mountains", the Scott County Fair, parades, and the Big South Fork Fly-In.  An office in the Boutique is provided to the Salvation Army to facilitate faster assistance to those needing help.  And, the Salvation Army helps provide the Fund with supplies for area schools.  The Fund's largest event each year is its Christmas Gift Distribution.  Over 3000 gifts are provided to needy children throughout the holdiay season in Morgan and Scott counties.

The GFWC Brentwood Woman's Club has been able to donate $6000 to the Unicorn's scholarship fund since 2010 through its fund-raising efforts and twice annually donates clothing and small household goods for the Boutique.

BWC members Jean Hairston, Gail Miles, Jacqui Love, and Pat Grove with the Unicorn Fund Volunteers after delivering a load of donations for the boutique in 2014.