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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gwen Norwood Passing

From John Roddy and Shirley Burnette Powers of Chattanooga:

Please pray for our family as our Grandmother and sister, Gwen Norwood, passed away early this morning (Monday, June 25, 2012) in Chattanooga, TN. She was a beautiful person and true Angel. She will be deeply missed, but it is truly a blessing to know she is in Heaven with the Lord and reunited with her husband. Thank you in advance for your prayers and May God bless your family!

John Roddy & Shirley Burnette Powers

FROM THE EDITOR:  Miss Gwen's annnouncement will be posted at the PASSINGS AND OBITUARIES link soon.  I'm told she will be funeralized in Chattanooga, and laid to rest at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Johnson City, Tennessee later this week.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

2012 New Vision Prom: The Yearly Tradition Continues!

An annual tradition continued on the evening of June 16, 2012, as the New Vision Youth came out to attend their prom.

"This is our ninth year," says New Vision director Johnnie Mae Swagerty.  "We started out in 2003 in the gym at the V.O. Dobbins Community Center... went from there to the 229... from there, we went to the Renaissance Center... and from there, we went to the Kingsport Civic Auditorium, where it's been going great for the past few years."

Click here to see a slideshow of the 2012 New Vision Youth Prom for the younger and older kids.

Mrs. Swagerty says the New Vision Prom is broken up into two parts.. the first prom at 5 PM was for children ages 4 to 12 years old.. the second prom was for the older kids, ages 13 to 17. She says, the event grows every year.

"Some kids don't get to go to a prom and experience the fun the other kids have," she says. "Sometimes, it's the age they are or the grade they're in.. this prom is for them. Even the kindergarten kids ages 4 and 5, we've had three of them just today.. all the way up to 17 years old and up."

Royalty came in pairs at the Prom, and were duly crowned. For the young kids, the 2012 New Vision Junior Prom Princess is 11 year old Maddilyn Soto and her Prince is 5 year old J.J. Smith. In the older group, the 2012 New Vision Senior Prom Queen is 14 year old Luisa Valdez of Sullivan Central High School, and the Prom King is 14 year old Tyrik White of Dobyns-Bennett High School. The winner who brought the most guests to the Junior Prom is Jais Soto, and the winner for bringing the most guests to the Senior Prom is Briesha Camp and Maria Soto.

"They all get a joy out of it," says Mrs. Swagerty, "they make new friends and get to see old friends, too.. everybody just having a good time. We've even had several new kids join New Vision from Sullivan Central High School and over in Virginia."

Mrs. Swagerty says it takes a community effort to make sure the kids have fun at their Prom.

"We thank everybody for helping to support the New Vision Youth."

Special thanks go to the city of Kingsport Parks and Recreation, Titlemax, the South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation, the Fire Escape Christian Club for Teens and Kathy Christian, "Miss Linda" with the city of Kingsport Maintenance Department, the Soto family, the family of Joquetta Delaney, the Williams family, the Turner family, the Overbeu's, the Camp's, Angel Pruett, and the Sons and Daughters of Douglass website.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bethel AME Fundraiser: Fun Fun for the Tum-Tum!

Diets went out the window on Saturday morning, June 16, 2012, but it was for a good cause.

Congregation members of the Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church in Riverview held a fundraiser that morning, that tested the taste palates of the most determined dieters.

"The pancake breakfast was one of the events our team, one of the Bethel 75th Anniversary Teams, did for a fundraiser," says organizer and church member Sissy Graves. "We're raising money on this anniversary to help pay off our mortgage."

To see a slideshow of the Bethel AME Zion Pancake Fundraiser, please click here.

Friends, parishioners and church members feasted on pancakes, sausages, and coffee or soft drinks, with tickets selling for 5 dollars apiece. The event was held at Applebee's on Stone Drive at Eastman Road in Kingsport.

"I'm so excited at how things went," says Ms. Graves. "I would have like to have done more, but not everybody is a big pancake eater. A lot of people didn't come to eat pancakes.. they stopped by just to give us a monetary donation, which we appreciated."

"The New Vision Youth came to help us," she says, "and we were so tickled to have them. They took signs outside and held them out on the street, so that travelers could see them. My Bethel family came and supported us, and some of the other churches supported us, too, and I was so happy for that. It's a wonderful community when members of other churches come by and remember the family that we all are."

The pancake breakfast was one of several different fundraisers undertaken by the Bethel congregation.

"We've raised money from the sale of tee-shirts, raffle tickets to win a basket," says Ms. Graves. "Different color groups have done different things.. my color group is Green and White. There's a Gold and Black team, a Red and White team, and we're Green and White. Our committee members are Deborah Arnett, Sandra Wilmer, Aaron Hutchenson, Wendy Smith, my two daughters Tiana and Shana Graves, Gail Arnett and others. The other teams are responsible for raising money through other fundraisers assigned to them."

The pancake breakfast was busy all morning, but towards the end at 10 A.M., business REALLY picked up.

"Of course, everybody stopped by when it was time to go home," Ms. Graves remembered, using the situation to chide the community a little.

"We had a bunch of people on that C.P. time, you know," she laughed, "so we had to work a little extra for them."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Time to Get Your Gospel On!


Douglass Alumni Scholarships: A Second Chance to Sign Up


Due to a computer glitz, all applicants did not receive an application for the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Scholarship Award.

As a result, the deadline has been extended to July 20, 2012.

Please be advised that anyone who is a descendant of someone that attended Douglass High School in Kingsport, Tennessee is eligible to apply for this scholarship award.

Also an acceptance letter from the college or university that the student plans to attend, must accompany the application.

 Below is an application form to be filled out by those persons eligible to apply. 

Sons and Daughters of Douglass, Inc.
301 Louis St., Suite 104
Kingsport, TN 37660-5181

List two references (Not related/teachers, employer, minister, etc.) along with their telephone number.
·         Application must be received no later than July 20, 2012
·         Acceptance letter from college or university must accompany application by deadline
·         An essay of 500 words typed and double space for 10 extra points or printed legibly on the subject of “The Importance of Black Youth and Their Success” or “My Goals for the Future and How I Intend to Achieve Them.”
·         All applications must be mailed to the following address:
          Mrs. Lillian Leeper
          1113 Eldorado Court
          Church Hill, TN 37642
         (423) 357-6690

*Note: All scholarship awards will be mailed to the college or university the student plans to attend.             Name_______________________________________                        Address_____________________________________             City/State_________________________________________________            
Parent or Alumni Relative_____________________________________            
High School________________________________________________                       Address____________________________________________________           
College/University attending______________________________________           Address_____________________________________________________          
Community Service/ Activities_____________________________________

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Vision Youth Invades Washington, D.C. (In a good way, of course!)

"It was a great experience, and it was real fun."

"I very much want to come back."

That was the general feeling among the New Vision Youth, at the end of a whirlwind tour of some of the sights in Washington, D.C.

13 year old McKenzie Fullen, 9th grader at Dobyns-Bennett High School says, she even loved the bus ride from Kingsport to the nation's capital.

"My favorite time was when we were riding around and we were hearing about all the places while we were riding along. It was fun going up to the statues and monuments, reading what they had on them and taking pictures," she said.

Click here to see a slideshow of the New Vision Youth visit to Washington, D.C.

"The kids enjoyed Calvin Sneed, our tour guide and one of our mentors, telling them what they needed to know about the buildings they were seeing and the monuments that they were visiting. They had plenty of questions and really learned a lot."

"For example, Calvin took us on a tour of the National Mall," says Mrs. Swagerty, "and on the way, he pointed out several brick buildings that rose above the treeline. On the other side, we saw them and he pointed out that the buildings were the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.. that all the money in the United States is printed in those buildings. The kids had heard of the Federal Reserve System, and they were surprised to learn that money is printed at the bureau first, then sent to the banks in the Federal Reserve system. That was something they didn't know."

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was the first stop on the walking tour of the National Mall.

The monument of Dr. King was conceived under the theme "Build the Dream." It is actually two separate stone structures, the first called the "Mountain of Despair," which is split into two separate pieces. The second slab of stone, called the "Stone of Hope" is the one with Dr. King's likeness etched into it.

In 1996, the U.S. House of Representatives authorized the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity to establish a memorial in Washington to honor Dr. King. Master sculptor Lei Yixin captured the likeness of Dr. King, at a cost of $120 million dollars to build and maintain the memorial and the grounds. Today, thousands of visitors pay their respects to Dr. King and the dream on the edge of the National Mall.

But the sheer beauty of the monument is the most impressive aspect of the memorial.

"That was pretty cool," remembered 12 year old Savion Camp, 6th grader at John Sevier Middle School. "He's the first Black man to be in a statute like that I have ever seen. He set an example for everyone else, just because people of different races, they should be treated the same. I agree with that, and I like him for that."

"It was a pretty big statute to him."

The King Memorial also made an impression on McKenzie, too.

"Dr. King... that was an amazing statue," she said. "He deserves that.. it was really nice. There were a lot of people taking pictures.. it was really nice."

"Just seeing the statue made a huge difference in history," says McKenzie. "He changed a lot of things with how we are today. I read the staying and quotes that were posted around the statue that he said. It difinitely makes you want to be more like him."

"He was a grat man.. there's nothing bad you can think about him. He made a huge difference in history."

Among the other sites on the Mall Walking Tour was the giant Washington Monument, the giant stone monolith, exactly halfway between the U.S. Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.

The monument is the tallest structure in Washington, D.C., standing 555 feet tall, surrounded by 55 flags symbolizing the 50 states in America.

The New Vision Youth were mesmerized by the tall stone monument, that is undergoing major renovations right now. Several months ago, the monument was severely damaged by an earthquake that struck the area, knocking several stone panels off the structure. The damage was still visible when the New Vision Youth visited, and many of them commented on the blemishes they saw.

The Lincoln Memorial really made an impression on the young minds.

"It was one of the things I was looking forward to seeing," McKenzie says. "I loved climbing up the steps and when you get to the top, you can see out."

All the kids admired the 36 big, tall columns made of both marble and limestone, making the entire monument seem like a Greek temple. There are 36 of them, because there were 36 states in the Union when Lincoln became president in 1861. Each of the states are inscribed into the top of the building.

Some of the group got to the 57 steps up to the doors of the memorial, opted not to make the trek. For those that did, a treat awaited them: a 19-foot tall statue of a sitting President Lincoln, made of Georgia marble.

"He's also a good person, just like Martin Luther King" says Savion. "We studied a lot about him in school. He set examples, too, for a lot of people. You'd think.. just because someone did something nice for the world, they should be remembered for something like that.

"There were a lot of people inside," McKenzie noted, "and they were all getting their pictures made with the statue, and that made it seem historic. It was huge and it was fun to see it."

The statue was sculpted by Daniel Chester French in 1915. The entire monument was began on Lincoln's birthday that year at a cost of $3 million dollars, and dedicated 7 years later. It stands 99 feet tall, and is visible from just about every spot on the mall.

One of the murals inside depicted the angle of truth, freeing a slave. That was a focal point during the tour, since Reverend King gave his famous "I have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. The inscription that marks the spot where he stood, was a source of wonderment for the kids who saw it, imagining what their ancestors experienced almost 50 years ago.

Among the other places on the Mall the kids spent time was the World War II Memorial.

"The kids enjoyed seeing all of the veterans who came out to visit the tribute to their service," Mrs. Swagerty says. "Whenever we saw a veteran, we told them 'thank you for your service' and applauded them. There were lots of veterans there, and you can imagine, there were lots of 'thank you's' and plenty of applause during our visit."

Later, the U.S. Capitol was a highlight for the kids, "the one building they see all the time on the news," Mrs. Swagerty says. It was explained that all of our country's laws and rules come out of the big building, with two wings on either side of it, one housing the U.S. Senate, and the other housing the U.S. House of Representatives. The kids were told that whenever they see the phrase "Senator so-and-so or U.S. House Representative so-and-so sponsored a bill or brought up legislation.. this was the building where they did that.

That also made a big impression.

The most exciting visit was next. First riding past the White House, the tour bus parked a couple of blocks away, and the kids that made the trip around the security checkpoints, were able to view up close, the home of the president of the United States, Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and the First Children.

Some of the smaller children were so enthralled by the White House they see on the news, that a couple of them did not want to leave, fearing they'd miss an opportunity to see the president, if he came out.

Other sites visited on the bus were Howard University, the National Archives building, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the buildings of the Smithsonian Institution, the Newseum, F.B.I Headquarters, and the National Gallery of Art.

"This trip was bigger than life for many of the kids," says Mrs. Swagerty. "We need to thank our chaperones, local artist Unome, Mrs. Louise Repass, Kitty Camp, Reverend Myrick, Darius Davis, Adam Lytle, Tiebow Tours driver Jackie Denning and his brother John, and Calvin Sneed, our tour guide and one of our mentors."

"It was a great experience and it was real fun," says McKenzie. "I learned a lot of stuff."

"Yes, yes, yes," echoed Savion. "I want to come back and explore and just find new things, learn new things about the country."

"I want to learn more about my culture."

Next yearly trip for the New Vision Youth group will be the Behama Mama Cruise in 2014.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Little Miss Vision Pageant 2012

Little Miss Vision Pageant is June 30, 2012!

7:00pm at Renaissance center 2nd floor.

Tickets are $7.00 and we are raffling off tickets for a 32" TV.

Tickets for the TV are $5.00 per ticket. Contact one of the committee members.

Come on out!!!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bethel AME Pastor's Appreciation

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sons and Daughters of Douglass Upcoming Board Meeting

There is a scheduled meeting of the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Board this coming Saturday, June 9th, at 1 PM in the Eastman Conference Room of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex.

At this meeting, we will finish reviewing the by-laws of our non-profit organization.

New Vision Youth Prom Scheduled

• KINGSPORT — New Vision Youth’s eighth annual prom will be held Saturday, June 16, at the Civic Auditorium on Fort Henry Drive.

This year’s theme is “Fun, Friendship and Memories.” The event is free and open to all students and youth.

The prom for participants ages 4 to 12 will be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m. A prom prince and princess will be crowned in this age category.

The prom for participants ages 13 to 17 will be held from 7 to 10:30 p.m. A prom king and queen will be crowned in that category.

The dress code for the event is semiformal. Participants are asked to wear dressier clothes than jeans and tennis shoes.

There will be free refreshments and music by DJ Smalls. The child who brings the most friends in each age group will receive a door prize.

For more information, contact Johnnie Mae Swagerty at 429-7553.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

William Evans Passing

Mr. William Evans, 86, of Dale Street, Kingsport, passed away at home this morning, Tuesday, June 5, 2012.

Funeral arrangements will be posted shortly at the PASSINGS AND OBITUARIES link.

Please keep the Evans families in your prayers.