Share America Foundation Chooses Fiddler For Scholarship

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Westley Harris, third from right, receives the 2013 Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship from Randall Franks, right. Others joining the presentation are, from left, James Pelt, Share America Foundation secretary; Joe Turner, SAF chairman.
Westley Harris, third from right, receives the 2013 Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship from Randall Franks, right. Others joining the presentation are, from left, James Pelt, Share America Foundation secretary; Joe Turner, SAF chairman.

The Share America Foundation, Inc. announced its third 2013 scholarship winner at its Sacred Sounds Fridays concert at the Ringgold Depot. 

The events help fund the organization’s Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship. Pearl and Floyd Franks are the late parents and former entertainment managers of actor/entertainer Randall Franks, "Officer Randy Goode" from TV's "In the Heat of the Night." The scholarships honor students excelling in the Appalachian musical arts.

Fiddle player Westley Harris of Copper Hill was selected as one of the 2013 winners. 

He is a sophomore at East Tennessee State University studying to be a music educator. He is graduate of Copper Basin High School in Polk County.

“I am really grateful for the recognition of the Share America Foundation,” he said. “I hope to carry on the traditions of Appalachian music through my teaching. ” 

Mr. Harris has played fiddle for seven years and also plays Irish flute, guitar, bass, mandolin, viola, and saxophone.  

He performs regularly with The Barker Brothers. 

 “We were honored to present a $500 scholarship to assist him as he continues his college studies,” said Share America Chairman Joe Turner.

Mr. Franks said that while the organization normally presents rising freshman, it had no regional applicants this year.

“Westley is an exceptional fiddler and brings with him a great deal of excitement in his craft,” he said. “I know that enthusiasm will be shared with all that he comes in contact with throughout his career.” 

Mr. Harris is the son of Terry Harris and Jeri McConnell of Copperhill. He is the grandson of James and Shirley Harris of Copperhill and Sue and the late Van Dilbeck of Copperhill.

The group’s latest CD is “Driven.” For more information about The Barker Brothers, visit

Share America Foundation Board members include Mr. Franks, Mr. Turner, Gene Lowery, vice chairman; James Pelt, secretary; and Jerry Robinson, Sr., vice president; and Adam Cathey.

The next Sacred Sounds Fridays is Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. featuring the Jeff Hullender Family and a special guest at the Ringgold Depot. Admission is a $5 donation. Franks will host the event. 

For more information about the organization and its programs, contact Share America, P.O. Box 42, Tunnel Hill, Ga. 30755 or visit or

Christmas Tree Lighting At Heritage Park Will Be Dec. 11

The East Brainerd Christmas Tree Lighting will be held on Friday, Dec. 8 from 6-8 p.m. at Heritage Park. There will be refreshments, Santa, elves, carolers and much more.  The event is free and everyone is invited. (click for more)

UTC Elder Scholars Meeting Will Be Held Dec. 8

The December meeting of the University of Tennessee Chattanooga's Elder Scholars will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. in the University Center, Signal Mountain Room. This is a change in rooms and it’s on the 3rd floor and near the front stairs.  If you come up the elevator, turn left into the long hall. The presentation is entitled “History of UTC ... (click for more)

Volkswagen Stockholder Files Suit Against Automaker At Chattanooga; Seeks Class Action Status

A Volkswagen stockholder has filed suit in Federal Court in Chattanooga against the automaker, charging that its stock was over-valued and that it has not plummeted due to revelations about emissions cheating. The suit was filed in behalf of Michael Wolfenbarger by Knoxville attorney Gordon Ball and Nashville attorney James Stranch III. It seeks class action status for those ... (click for more)

Woman In Critical Condition After Being Shot In The Face Saturday Night Near O'Rear Street

A woman is in critical condition after she was shot while driving in Chattanooga on Saturday night. Just after  9 p.m. , the Chattanooga Police Department responded to reports of a person shot. Once on the scene, police located a female victim near the 2500 block of O'Rear Street suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound to the face. The victim was driving a ... (click for more)

Misconceptions About Ban The Box

Mr. Exum,  I want to invite you as a guest speaker at the NAACP General Membership meeting.  I believe we can accomplish our goals and clear up any misconceptions about Ban The Box and the role of the NAACP in a much more meaningful manner face to face.   In that vein I would like to invite you to have coffee with me at Panera Bread.  I will not make a ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Great Thanksgiving

In order for you to best understand this, last Thursday was the first Thanksgiving I have ever spent alone.  Don’t misunderstand, I had a fistful of kind invitations but I am the only remaining member of my immediate family around here and I guess I started dwelling on that a little too much as the holiday neared. Making out my “thankful” list helped, and I ate enough with ... (click for more)