Share America Foundation Chooses Dobro Player For Scholarship

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Owen Schinkel jokes with the audience about how he is adopting a Southern accent since starting school in East Tennessee
Owen Schinkel jokes with the audience about how he is adopting a Southern accent since starting school in East Tennessee
- photo by Loletta Lita Grant

The Share America Foundation, Inc. announced its 2017 scholarship winner at Ringgold’s Patriot Hall in Ringgold.

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 scholarship honors students excelling in the Appalachian musical arts.

“The call of Appalachia reaches around the world,” Mr. Franks said. “Our latest scholar is the perfect example of how someone from Holland found their way to Appalachia to study and change the direction of their life.”

Dobroist Owen Schinkel of Johnson City, Tn. was selected as a Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship Designee. Designees receive a $1,250 scholarship from the organization continuing his music studies. While in Ringgold, he also appeared on the long-running Ringgold Opry at the Ringgold Depot and toured the region’s historical sites meeting many locals and tourists.

“I greatly appreciate the opportunity that Share America and all those who support its efforts have given to me,” Mr. Schinkel said.

Mr. Schinkel is a freshman musician at East Tennessee State University as part of the Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies program in the Appalachian studies department. He is an international student from The Netherlands. He came to the U.S. in January 2017.

“The focus is preserving the Appalachian traditions and culture and of course its music,” he said. “Moving to East Tennessee and studying Bluegrass, Old Time and Country music is a big step in my career learning and understanding this Appalachian music and its culture.

“I’ve got two main education goals for the time I am in the United States. One is to become a master on my Instrument by playing with a lot of people in a lot of different situations,” he said. “ETSU is actually making this possible. Before I was never able to play serious bluegrass music with people from my age. While here, I’m jamming almost every day. I’m thinking about missing this when move back to Holland again.”

He said his second goal is to build up a network of friends/musicians/promoters to increase the popularity of Bluegrass, Old Time & Country music overseas.

“I fell in love with mountain music when I was 16 years old, it changed my life,” he said. “I stumbled over a video from Jerry Douglas and Dan Tyminski playing the song ‘The Boy Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn’ on the Transatlantic Sessions.

“After doing some research I found out that Jerry was playing a Dobro, I immediately fell I love with the sound of the Dobro and knew I wanted to play that instrument,” he said. “I purchased a Dobro and started my journey. Several years of practice brought me where I am now: The United States of America. A part of the study at East Tennessee State is the participation in student (Bluegrass) bands.”

He is already participated in three school bands and an outside band.

“Being part of four bands since my arrival is a lot of fun. I feel my playing progress every day since my arrival in the United States,” he said.” My heart and mind are telling me to pursue my dreams, and that is what I am doing right here, right now.”

“Encouraging the future of youth is the focus of what we do and our name Share America has never been more appropriate as we help a young man bring Appalachia with him when he completes his education and returns to Europe,” said Share America Chairman Gary Knowles.

Share America Foundation Board members include Mr. Franks, Mr. Knowles, Jimmy Terrell, vice chairman; James Pelt, secretary; and Jerry Robinson, Sr., vice president.

The next Sacred Sounds Fridays is Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. featuring the Hullender Family and Testimony Quartet at the Ringgold’s Patriot Hall. Admission is a $10 donation. Mr. 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 www.shareamericafoundation.org .

From left are Share America Secretary James Pelt, President Randall Franks, Schinkel, Chairman Gary Knowles and Vice Chairman Jimmy Terrell
From left are Share America Secretary James Pelt, President Randall Franks, Schinkel, Chairman Gary Knowles and Vice Chairman Jimmy Terrell
- Photo2 by Ryan Stinson


Illusionist, Evangelist Brock Gill Featured On Big Church Night Out Tour Has New Book

Illusionist and evangelist Brock Gill, who is featured on Big Church Night Out Tour Friday at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium, has a new book and video series releasing Oct. 2.  Review for Brock Gill: Celebrating 20-years of ministry, astounding audiences around the world with his edgy, daring and unique performances as one of this generation’s leading illusionists, ... (click for more)

Southern Adventist University’s Symphony Orchestra Launches New Concert Season

The Southern Adventist University Symphony Orchestra presents its first concert of the season on Sunday, Oct. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists. The concert opens with the “Pomp and Circumstance March No. 3, op. 39” by Edward Elgar. “Peer Gynt Suites No. 1 and 2” by Edvard Grieg brings the first half to a close. The evening will ... (click for more)

3 Firefighters Carry Unresponsive Woman From Burning Lookout Valley Home

Three Chattanooga firefighters early Wednesday morning carried an unresponsive woman from a burning house in Lookout Valley.   At  3:08  a.m., firefighters were dispatched to a house fire at 111 Centro Ave.The 911 dispatchers told the responding firefighters that someone may be trapped inside. Upon arrival, the firefighters observed smoke and flames coming ... (click for more)

Prosecutor Asks Jury To Find Morse Guilty In Massacre At Lookout Valley RV Park

Prosecutor Cameron Williams on Tuesday asked a Criminal Court jury to find Derek Morse guilty of three counts of first-degree murder as well as attempted first-degree murder in a massacre at a Lookout Valley RV Park on April 9, 2014. Morse, who was 19 at the time, is standing trial in the courtroom of Judge Barry Steelman. Skyler Allen, who was 22 when the shots rang out, ... (click for more)

Send All Ed Johnson Donations To The Greater Chattanooga Community Foundation

To all concerned, I believe there was mistake printed in a recent article stating to send donations to me at the school. I would ask that all donations be sent to the Greater Chattanooga Community Foundation to the attention of the Ed Johnson Memorial. This project is in no way affiliated with HCDE schools. All funds are housed there and are tax deductible. Mr. Savage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Where’s God In This?

Over half of Florida is still trying to catch its breath and now there is another murderer, one named Maria, mauling Puerto Rico this morning on her way to the United States. On August 25 Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. It killed an estimated 50 people, displaced more than a million people and damaged some 200,000 homes in a path of more than 300 miles. The bills haven’t been sent out ... (click for more)