|UC Kiwanis Club recognizes local students’ achievements |
|Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013 9:03 pm |
| By GLENDA CAUDLE |
Special Features Editor
In a community focused on young people and their education, Union City Kiwanis Club puts its money where its heart is.
The local organization honors five exemplary students from Obion County Central and Union City high schools each month during the school year. To close out the academic year, seniors from each school who have been honored in the monthly luncheon sessions are invited back for a special banquet to celebrate the positive completion of their high school careers.
The Kiwanis Club Student of the Year Banquet for 2013 was held in the commons area at UCHS recently and featured Dr. Samuel Jones, the vice president of Spiritual Development at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, as the guest speaker.
Following Jones’ address, 12 students were announced as $500 scholarship recipients and two outstanding graduates were named Student of the Year from UCHS and OCCHS: Savannah Blackwell and Allison Wicker. They received $500 awards, as well.
The club is able to provide this recognition of excellence because of the dedicated fundraising efforts that take place throughout the year. These include the annual and locally popular Pancake Days in November; the upcoming Burgers in the Park event, set for May 30 at Kiwanis Park in downtown Union City; banquet placemat “ads” placed by local businesses and supporters of the Kiwanis Club efforts; and a new family-friendly opportunity to showcase man’s best friend, the Dog Days dog show, which the club hosted recently.
Jones, a native of Tupelo, Miss., who has also been a Church of Christ minister and has been affiliated with several institutions of higher learning, including Mississippi State University, provided the young people who are about to receive their diplomas with five ideas to help them make good decisions:
• be willing to make a difference in the lives of other people;
• be willing and be not afraid to fail;
• take time to express appreciation to people who have encouraged you and sacrificed for you;
• be driven by a vision;
• have a belief in a being greater than yourself and a positive image of yourself.
He completed his address by asking students what they plan to do to make this nation a better place.
Five of the scholarships awarded were provided in memory of valued Kiwanis Club members. Mary Helen Driver from OCCHS claimed the Turner Kirkland Scholarship. Mallori Conley from OCCHS received the Francis Lin award. Patrice Dewalt from UCHS was selected for the Bill Hairston scholarship and Victoria Reedy of UCHS was tapped for the Harold Jenkins award. Grant Ransom, another UCHS student, was awarded a scholarship in memory of E.H. “Happy” Harton and in honor of his wife, Myrtle Harton, who was on hand for the announcement.
Receiving recognition in honor of Kiwanians were Andrea Martin of OCCHS, who received the Robert Wood award and Garrett Ransom of UCHS, who took the Presidential Award in honor of John Fry. Additional scholarships went to Ashley Yates, Imelda Rodriguez and Billie Dee Preuett, all of OCCHS, and to Drake Parker and Clay Treece of UCHS.
The evening closed with the special recognition of Miss Wicker and Miss Blackwell.
Miss Wicker has already been named as the top student in her class and has claimed the highest grade point average for numerous classes during her high school career. She was voted “Most Intelligent” by her classmates and has been a Top Ten student each year. A cheerleader, she was a Girls State delegate and a clinical intern and has been a member of Beta Club, Pep Club, Key Club, Art Club, Foreign Language Club, Health Occupation Students of America and Students Against Destructive Decisions. She is also very active in her church and community. She plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Martin or Union University in Jackson for pre-pharmacy studies and then move on to UT for pharmacy school.
Miss Wicker is the daughter of Brennan and Melinda Wicker of Union City.
Miss Blackwell is a Tennessee Scholar and has been a Top Ten standout each year of high school. She received Tornado Pride recognition and has been class president and a Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader. She is a member of Pep Club; Beta Club; Spanish Club; Future Business Leaders of America; Science Club; Art Club; the Academic Quiz Bowl Team; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; and the yearbook staff, in addition to her commitments to church and community.
She is the daughter of Melissa Blackwell of Union City and Andy Blackwell and plans to attend UT Knoxville to major in pre-medicine.
Supporters of the Kiwanis Club Student of the Year banquet also include Commercial Bank, First Citizens National Bank, First State Bank, Reelfoot Bank and Ameriprise Financial.
Published in The Messenger 5.13.13