The Share America Foundation, Inc. announced its second 2019 scholarship winner at Ringgold’s Patriot Hall.
The Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship honors students excelling in the Appalachian musical arts. 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."
Musician Logan Puryear, 19, of Soddy Daisy, was selected as a Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship winner. He expressed his sincere gratitude for the $1,000 scholarship received.
“Music is important to society because it is something that gets us through the bad times and even the good times," said Mr. Puryear. "I haven’t always loved old-timey music but in the last few years it’s something I have fallen in love with."
He said that his late great-grandmother Colleen Puryear of Hixson introduced him to the music of Country Music Hall of Fame members the Carter Family.
"Now that I am older and more mature, I don’t think you can get any better than Appalachian music,” he said.
His interest connected him to the autoharp and helped him find a teacher who would invest into his hopes.
“Appalachian music and keeping the music of the Carter Family alive has taught me the self-discipline and decorum,” said Mr. Puryear.
He added that those attributes will be great assets throughout his life.
Each year the organization selects two recipients. Mr. Puryear said the scholarship will assist in him studies as he goes to Chattanooga State this fall.
“Logan is very talented and Share America is excited to encourage his future with the legacy of this scholarship,” said Share America Chairman Gary Knowles.
Mr. Puryear graduated from Soddy Daisy High School this year. He is the son of Jessica and Andy Puryear of Soddy Daisy, grandson of Kay Hobbes of Soddy Daisy, and great-grandson of U.C. Puryear of Hixson.
"My late mother Pearl had a great affinity for the autoharp, it was the only instrument she found comfortable in her hands,” said Share America President Randall Franks. “I know she and my late father would be proud to see what this investment in Logan’s future will inspire in years to come.”
Share America Foundation Board members include Mr. Franks, vice chairman Jimmy Terrell, chairman Mr. Knowles; secretary James Pelt; and Jerry Robinson, Sr., vice president.
The Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship is funded by donations, special events and special projects such as the Share America Foundation’s recent #1 CD – “Americana Youth of Southern Appalachia.” The album is #1 on the APD Top 50 Americana Global Albums charts. It features 30 youth including previous scholars from Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina and was released in partnership to radio by AirPlay Direct. The project was supported with grants from North Georgia Electric Membership Corporation Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Ringgold and the Wes and Shirley Smith Charitable Endowment. Folks may support the effort by donating at www.shareamericafoundation.org or the CD may be downloaded on iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon, and Google Play. It is available locally in Ringgold at UnikTings, It’s Sew Time, both on Nashville Street, and Country Traditions-Stuff 4 Less on U.S. 41 south of Ringgold.