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Share America Foundation Chooses Pianist from Catoosa County for Scholarship

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Share Ryan Stinson AwardThe Share America Foundation, Inc. announced its first 2012 scholarship winner recently at its Sacred Sounds Fridays concert featuring Archie Watkins at the Ringgold Depot in Ringgold, Georgia. Ryan Stinson, 22, of Ringgold, Ga. was selected as the 2012 Catoosa County designee. He attends Luther Rice University and Seminary and is a beginning senior.

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.

"It is a great honor to receive the Share America scholarship," Stinson said. "I am preparing for full-time church ministry." He has played piano for 11 years. "I consider music to be my primary community ministry and I always look for ways of uplifting people through song," he said. "Music will always be a major part of my life."

Stinson is the son of Tony and Jill Stinson and brother of Kari Stinson of Ringgold, and the grandson of Jim and Joyce Terrell and Ruth and the late Richard Stinson, all of Ringgold. "We were honored to present a $500 scholarship to assist him as he completes his studies," said Share America Chairman Joe Turner.

Stinson was not aware that he was to receive the award, according to Randall Franks, Share America president. "One of our annual scholarships is set aside for a musician from Catoosa County, Ga. There were no applicants from Catoosa for 2011, so the board of directors chose to select a candidate," Franks said. "Ryan is carrying on the traditional music of this region through his learning the traditional styles of piano which have graced the musical genres of gospel and country music for many years. He has a unique talent that draws the listener into what he is doing."

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

For more information about the organization and its programs, contact Share America, P.O. Box 42, Tunnel Hill, Ga. 30755 or visit www.ShareAmericaFoundation.org or www.MySpace.com/ShareAmerica.

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