Rotary Club of Whitesburg 

 

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The Whitesburg Rotary Club is pleased that you have ventured into our home on the web.  Our club meets every Tuesday at noon at the Pine Mountain Grill (located at 45 US-119 S).  If you are visiting Whitesburg, or just passing through, please join us.
 

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On Saturday, September 20th, the Imagination Library joined the Kids Day fun on Calvary College Campus to register children for the program.  Miss Micah Boggs, daughter of Mary and Michael Boggs of Isom registered for the program and received the book, The Little Engine That Could.  Rotarian Barbara Ison and Imagination Library volunteer Bessie Shepherd were on hand to register eligible children.  Children under the age of five are eligible to receive a free book each month mailed directly to the home. There are no income guidelines. 
 
The program is currently available in 18 of the 24 zip code areas of Letcher County.   For more information on the program and how to register your child, contact Margaret Hammonds at 821-8165 or Barbara Ison at 634-2106. 
 
 
 

 
 
Hunter Allen Branham, a 2014 graduate of Jenkins High School was presented with the 2013-14 Rotary Club of Whitesburg annual scholarship in the amount of $1000 during a recent Rotary Meeting.  Applicants for the scholarship were evaluated based on academic achievement; participation in academic, social and athletic activities; community service; and, financial need.  Of the nineteen applicants, Hunter was the number one choice.  He is currently attending Morehead State University majoring in nursing and he plans to complete a Master’s Degree in Nurse Anesthetist. 
While attending Jenkins High School, Hunter was a member of the Interact Club, National Honor Society and Beta Club.  He served as a Pee-wee basketball coach/referee, member of Operation Unite, two-time Mountain Heritage Ambassador and assisted with the Imagination Library literacy program.  During the summer of 2013, he was selected as a Governor’s scholar.  He ranked first in his graduating class.  He received dual credit for advanced placement classes through the University of Pikeville. On behalf of the Rotary Club of Whitesburg, we congratulate Hunter on his many accomplishments and wish him the best of luck with his educational pursuits.
 

 
 
 
The Imagination Library recently expanded to include the Eolia and Partridge zip code areas!  Margaret Hammonds and Evelyn Hensley registered children from these areas during Literacy Night at Arlie Boggs Elementary School at Eolia.  Each child that registered that evening received a free book "The Little Engine That Could".  There are currently 20 children registered in these two areas.  The Imagination Library is an early childhood literacy program started in 1996 by the country music singer Dolly Parton.  Eligible children who register for this program will receive a free book in the mail each month from birth until they reach their 5th birthday, regardless of family income.  The Imagination Library is now covering 14 of the 24 zip codes in Letcher County, with plans to bring in all zip codes in the county in the near future.  If you would like to have more information on how to register your child for the Imagination Library, or make a financial contribution to this program, please contact Margaret Hammonds at 633-8200 or Barbara Ison at 634-2106.  The Imagination Library is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Whitesburg. 
 

 
 
First Place Winning Team  L to R:  Denley Lucas, Bryan Fleming, David Hampton, Jr., Lenny Taylor
 
Second Place Winning Team  L to R:  Billy Long, Chad Bowling, William Campbell, Duran Sparkman
 
The Rotary Club of Whitesburg and Letcher County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Golf Scramble at Raven Rock Golf Course in Jenkins on May 31.  Seven teams participated in the scramble.  The first place team with a score of -17 was Community Trust Bank, Inc., with players Denley Lucas, Bryan Fleming, David Hampton, Jr. and Lenny Taylor.  The second place team with a score of -13 was Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital with players Billy Long, Chad Bowling, William Campbell and Duran Sparkman.  The putting competition was won by Bryan Fleming.  Jeremy Coleman won closest to the pin and the longest drive was made by Chad Bowling.  Other teams participating in the scramble were UK Gill Heart Institute, Letcher County School System, Hazard ARH, EQT, and Tim Wilson’s team.  Funds raised through the golf scramble will be used to fund scholarships associated with the Chamber of Commerce Work Ethics Program and Rotary service projects.  Thanks to all the teams, hole sponsors and Rotary and Chamber members who made this event a success.  A special thanks to Rachael Breeding for all her help in organizing and working the event. 
 
 
 
 
Pictured from L to R:  Rotary President Larry Whitaker, Barbara Ison, Margaret Hammonds and District Governor Jack McAllister
 
During the May 20, 2014 Rotary meeting, District Governor Jack McAllister presented Rotary President Larry Whitaker with a check in the amount of $2000 to expand the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program in Letcher County.  Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is an early childhood literacy program that provides an age-appropriate book each month to children from birth until they reach their fifth birthday.  The goal of the program is provide children with books so they can be better prepared academically and socially to attend school.  Having books in the home encourages parents to read to their children and encourages children to tell and retell stories, demonstrate knowledge of the alphabet, recognize letters and words, identify objects, initiate communication, ask questions and use words to express their feelings and thoughts.
 
Since the program started in January 2012, 530 children have received books through the program.  A total of 446 children are still receiving books.  Books are mailed directly to the home at no cost to the children’s family regardless of household income.  The program is currently available in Whitesburg, Jenkins, Burdine, Neon, McRoberts, Jackhorn, Isom, Letcher, Blackey, Jeremiah, Premium, Eolia, Partridge, and Hallie Zip Code areas.  The District Grant funds will be used to expand the program to one or more of the remaining ten zip code areas in Letcher County.  All zip code areas will be included when funds are available.
 
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is coordinated by Rotarians Margaret Hammonds and Barbara Ison.  For more information on the program or to register a child, please contact Margaret at 633-8200 or Barbara at 634-2106.
 

 
 
 
 
Interact President Sara Gilley and Treasurer Hunter Branham accepted the 2013-14 Rotary Presidential Citation from District Governor Jack McAllister at the Rotary Club of Whitesburg meeting held on May 20th.  This award recognizes Interact Clubs that participate in four of nine required events throughout the school year.  Jenkins Interact students earned this recognition by participating in the Shoebox Ministry, reading books to children as part of the Dr. Seuss Read across America literacy project, registering children for the Imagination Library program and reading letters to Santa on WTCW Radio Station.  Students attended meetings twice each month, and one hundred percent of the Interact students held a leadership position or served on a committee.  This is the second year the Interact Club has received the Presidential Citation for outstanding community and international service. 
Interact is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young people ages 14-18.  Interact provides students an opportunity to participate in fun, meaningful service projects while developing leadership skills.  The Interact Club was chartered during the 2011-12 school year and is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Whitesburg. 
 

 
 
Ms. Vern’s Preschool Class at Burdine
Back Row L to R:  Kaydn Revis, Hunter Anderson, Jayden Fugate, Kaiden Quillen, Joseph Collins; Middle Row L to R:  Adaisha Adams, Brylee Austin, Arabella Carty, Benjamin Reyes, Tony Wyatt; Front Row L to R:  Abram Webb, Gunner Stanley, Hailey Gross, Bristol Narramore, Gabriella Hall
 
Mrs. Campbell’s Preschool Class at Burdine
Back Row L to R:  Makayla Sturgill, Alyssa Collier, Jesse Hamilton, Kaleigh Sturgill, Haley Cook; Middle Row L to R:  Kayne Hairston, Stonie Amburgey, Mackiah Wright, Maleik Wright; Front Row L to R:  Zackery Combs, Nazariah Duty, Haylee Thacker, Olivia Kelly
 
Thanks to the help of Debbie Watts, Superintendent of Jenkins Independent School District, children attending the Burdine preschool classes taught by Ms. Vern and Mrs. Campbell are now registered for the Imagination Library literacy program. Students are already receiving books through the program. 
 
Children from birth up to five years of age who register for the Imagination Library program will receive a free book each month mailed directly to their home.  Having books available in the home encourages children to develop reading skills and reinforces what they are learning in preschool.  Reading at the preschool level focuses on understanding the words conveyed in a story and identifying characters in familiar stories to help preschoolers get ready for kindergarten. It also encourages children to tell their own version of stories they are familiar with or to create stories of their own.  The Imagination Library currently has 171 children registered in the communities of Jenkins, McRoberts, Burdine and Neon.  Children living in the community of Jackhorn are now eligible to register for the program.  For registration information, please contact Margaret Hammonds at 633-8200 or Barbara Ison at 634-2106.
 

 
 
The Rotary Club of Whitesburg hosted its annual Christmas Dinner at Pine Mountain Grill in Whitesburg on Tuesday, December 17.  After enjoying a delicious meal prepared by the Grill, members were entertained by Lee Sexton, a master of drop-thumb banjo playing and his playing partners, John Haywood and Jack Adams. Lee Sexton learned to play banjo from his father and uncles at the very young age of eight.  He also plays the fiddle.  John Haywood began playing the guitar at the age of 13 and has been playing ever since.  He is a talented artist as well as musician.  Jack Adams is a student at Letcher County Central High School and began playing banjo at the age of 11 with Lee Sexton as his teacher.     The trio entertained Rotary members and guests with many old folk tunes and instrumentals.   Rotary members were honored to have Lee Sexton, a banjo master who has performed all over the nation and the recipient of the Kentucky Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, provide such enjoyable foot-tapping traditional music entertainment.
The evening would not have been complete without our very own Santa reading The Story of The Christmas Guest by Helen Steiner Rice.  Adorned in his Santa suit, Rotarian Jim Webb delivered the heart-felt story of Conrad and the visit from the Lord on Christmas Day which was enjoyed by all.
 

 
 
The Imagination Library once again expands to include the community of Premium 41845 zip code area.  On Saturday, September 21st, a kick-off event was held at the home of Barbara Ison at Premium from 2-4 p.m.  The kick-off event included face painting, games with prizes, and refreshments.  All children attending the event received the book, The Little Engine That Could, or another Imagination Library Book appropriate for their age.  The Premium community has a total of 16 children who are eligible for the program. Eleven of the 16 children have been registered and will receive a free book each month beginning in November and will continue to receive a book each month until they reach their fifth birthday.  The program will continue to expand to other communities as funds become available.  The program costs $30 per child each year which covers the cost of the books and postage. 
 

 
 
The Rotary Club of Whitesburg is pleased to announce the addition of two new members, Duran Sparkman and Tony A. Sergent.  Rotarian Randall C. Day, Jr. performed the induction ceremony during a regular Rotary meeting at the Pine Mountain Grill.
 
Duran Sparkman is self-employed through his firm, Benefit Solutions, and holds several adjunctive contracts with governmental agencies.  He provides specialty services for the Kentucky League of Cities, Kentucky Association of Counties and the Kentucky Medical Association. He is a benefit plan specialist and works with east Kentucky small businesses in health plan design, disability and retirement plans for small business owners. He previously held membership with the Hazard Rotary Club for two years.
 
Tony Sergent is the new superintendent of the Letcher County Public School District.  He began his duties as superintendent effective July 1. He has 25 years of experience in education.  He began his career as a mathematics teacher, served as a mathematics department chairperson, PLC facilitator, principal and district director.  He is a native of Letcher County and graduated from Whitesburg High School, Morehead State University and Union College.
 
Rotary is a service organization which focuses on local and international humanitarian efforts.  Membership of the Rotary Club is made up of community leaders who are committed to improving the lives of individuals worldwide.  Pictured from L to R:  Duran Sparkman, Randall C. Day Jr. and Tony Sergent.
 

 
 
On Saturday, October 4th, the Imagination Library kickoff for the areas of Isom 41824, Blackey 41804, Letcher 41832 and Jeremiah 41826 was held during the Kids Day Event at the former Calvary College Campus at Letcher.  Jerry Ison, son of Teresa and Eddie Ison of Blackey was the 400th child to register for the program.  He is currently participating in the Blackey Head Start program.  Every child who registered received the book, The Little Engine That Could.   A total of 42 children registered during the event.  Rotarians Margaret Hammonds, Barbara Ison, Evelyn Hensley and Darrell Holbrook attended the event.
 
Children under the age of five who did not attend the event can still register for the program by calling Margaret Hammonds at 633-8200 or Barbara Ison at 634-2106.  Applications can be picked up at Whitaker Bank and Community Trust Bank at Isom or Main Street Whitesburg locations.  Completed applications can be left at either bank or mailed to the address on the application.  Children living in the Whitesburg 41858, Jenkins 41537,  Neon 41840,  Burdine  41517 and  McRoberts  41835 zip code areas who have not registered can do so at anytime.  Books can jump start a lifetime of reading and learning.  Register your child today for this exciting new program in Letcher County and experience the joy of reading to your child.
 

 
 
The Rotary Club of Whitesburg is pleased to announce the induction of Joan Curry, Medical Staff Coordinator for Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital as a new member of the Club.  Mrs. Curry was sponsored by Rotarian Dena Sparkman, Administrator of Whitesburg ARH and was officially installed by Rotarian Randall C. Day, Jr. on October 21, 2013.   The Rotary Club is an organization of business and professional people who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill in the community and throughout the world. The Rotary Club of Whitesburg sponsors the Imagination Library literacy program in Letcher County and participates in several community and international projects throughout the year.
 
Mrs. Curry attend the Carl D. Perkins Vocational School in Hindman, received an Associate Degree from Alice Lloyd College and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Morehead State University.  She worked for Beth-Elkhorn in Jenkins, Kentucky for seven years.  Prior to joining Whitesburg ARH in December 2012, Mrs. Curry worked for Jenkins Hospital for 13 years and Norton Community Hospital for 17 years.  In her spare time, she enjoys playing golf with friends, working with civic group fundraisers and walking several miles each week.
 
Her daughter, Kara, graduated from the University of Kentucky and is working in Pikeville as Associate Director of the A-Optic Program affiliated with UPike Medical School.  Her son, Brett, lives in Wichita Falls, Texas and works as an Engineer and Conductor for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad out of Fort Worth, Texas.
 

 
 
On Saturday, August 24th, The Imagination Library expanded to include Jenkins, Burdine, Neon and McRoberts.   Rotary and Jenkins High School Interact Club members signed up 48 children for the program from these four communities. Each child who registered received a copy of the book, The Little Engine That Could.  The first children to register were Allison and Christopher Anderson, Jr., daughter and son of Christopher and Deborah Anderson of Jenkins.   Layton Fleming, son of Jessica Fleming, was the 250th child to be registered for the program.  Caleb Fleming, his brother, was the 251st child to be registered. 
 
Rotary Club members (from L to R) Barbara Ison, Sherry Wright, Eileen Sanders, Debbie Watts and Margaret Hammonds help with registration.  Treasurer Hunter Branham and President Sarah Gilley (seated) from the Jenkins High School Interact Club also assisted with registration.
Children who register for the program will receive a book each month mailed directly to the home until they reach their fifth birthday.  The books are age appropriate and will expose children to the skills they will be expected to know when entering kindergarten.  Children who are registered at birth can expect to receive 58 books while in the program.  This is an opportunity for children to have their own personal library of books right at home which they can read over and over again. 
 
Registration forms can be picked up at Whitaker Bank and Community Trust Bank in Jenkins and Main Street Whitesburg and Community Trust Bank in Neon.  For more information on the program, please contact Margaret Hammonds at 633-8200 or Barbara Ison at 634-2106.
 
 

 
 
On Friday, September 13, 2013, the new officers of the Jenkins Independent School Interact Club for the 2013-14 school year were installed.  Margaret Hammonds administered the oath of office to President Sara Gilley and the new officers and Brenda DePriest assisted with the pinning ceremony.

Interact is a service club for youth ages 14-18 and is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Whitesburg.  Rotary members who provide support and guidance to the Club are Rotarians Barbara Ison, Margaret Hammonds, Debbie Watts, Brenda DePriest, Eileen Sanders and Sherry Wright.The Club was chartered during the 2011-12 school year with 39 members.  Club members carry out two service projects each year, one that furthers international understanding and one that promotes goodwill in the community.   Club members were awarded the 2012-13 Presidential Citation in recognition of their participation in activities which promoted community and international service.   There are over 250,000 Interact members in over 120 countries.
 
The officers for this year are:  From Left to Right:  Advisor Angie Collins, Secretary Charley Mullins, Vice-President Mercedes Boggs, Treasurer Hunter Branham, Director Caitlyn Estevez, Director Telena Stanley, Director Tiffany Ramey, and President Sara Gilley.
 
 

 
 
On August 24th, the Imagination Library participated in Jenkins Day festivities and began registering children in the Jenkins 41537, Neon 41840, McRoberts 41835 and Burdine 41517 zip code areas.  The first children to register were Allison Anderson and Christopher Anderson, Jr., daughter and son of Deborah and Christopher Anderson of Jenkins.  All children received a copy of the book, “The Little Engine That Could” just for registering.
The Imagination Library is a literacy program sponsored by the Rotary Club of Whitesburg and provides an age appropriate book to children from birth until they reach their fifth birthday.  The program is free regardless of family income and books are mailed directly to the home.  This is a wonderful opportunity for children to have a collection of books at home they can read again and again.  For more information on how you can register your child for the Imagination Library, contact Margaret Hammonds at 633-8200 or Barbara Ison at 634-2106.  This program is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Whitesburg
 
 
 
 
The Imagination Library joined in the festivities of Jenkins Day on August 24rd and registered the 250th child, Layton Fleming.  Brother Caleb Fleming was the 251st child to be registered.  Layton (L) and Caleb (R) are the children of Jessica Fleming of Jenkins, Kentucky. Both children received a copy of the book, “The Little Engine That Could” which was given to all children who registered.  
August 24th was the kick-off day for extending the Imagination Library program to the areas of Jenkins 41537, Neon, 41840, Burdine 41517 and McRoberts 41835. There are approximately 438 eligible children living in these zip code areas.  Children from birth until they reach their fifth birthday are eligible to participate.  There is no cost to the family regardless of income.  Please contact Margaret Hammonds at 633-8200 or Barbara Ison at 634-2106 for more information on how to register your child for this exciting new program in your community. 
 
 

 
 
 
Sara Gilley, 2013-14 president of Jenkins Independent School Interact Club, attended the July 30 Rotary Club of Whitesburg meeting where District 6740 District Governor Jack McAllister was the guest speaker. She attended a meeting with the Board of Directors and committee chairs and had an opportunity to share with the District Governor some of the activities the Interact Club participated in last year including sending a Gardner’s Basket to Equador through the Heifer International Project, participating in Dr. Seuss’ Read Across America and reading letters to Santa on WTCW Radio Station.  Sara will assume her duties as president with the opening of school. The Jenkins Independent School Interact Club received its Charter in 2012 and is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Whitesburg. Rotary Club advisors are Barbara Ison and Margaret Hammonds. Pictured with Sara are District Governor Jack McAllister and Whitesburg Rotary Club President Larry Whitaker.
 

 
 
Rotarians Barbara Ison and Margaret Hammonds attended Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Homecomin’ 2013 at the Music Road Hotel Conference Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee on June 11-14th  and had an opportunity to talk with David Dotson, President of the Dollywood Foundation.  The theme of the conference “Imagine More” showcased two full days of presenters sharing their personal stories of success with the Imagination Library. During the conference, participants had the opportunity to discuss ideas with other program leaders and learn how other states have implemented the Imagination Library and raised funds to support the program. Toni Buzzeo, Author of “One Cool Friend” was on hand to sign her book which has been made into a production now playing at Dollywood Theme Park. The highlight of the conference was a personal appearance by Dolly Parton. Over two hundred individuals from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada attended the conference.  
 
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library started in Sevierville, Tennessee and because of its popularity, it was made available to any community that was willing to partner with Dolly to support it locally.  Since the initial program began, nearly 40,000,000 books have been mailed to children in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.  Currently over 1600 local communities provide the Imagination Library to children every month.  Already statistics and independent reports have shown Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library drastically improves early childhood literacy.  The Rotary Club of Whitesburg sponsors the Imagination Library in Letcher County.  The program is coordinated by Rotarians Barbara Ison and Margaret Hammonds   
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This week the Imagination Library program in Whitesburg enrolled its150th child, Lily Alexandra Hall.  Lily is 8 months old, and is the daughter of Brandi and Nicholas Hall.  She received the book "The Little Engine That Could", and is having it read to her by the Imagination Library Coordinator Margaret Hammonds. The Imagination Library is an early childhood literacy program which was started by the country music singer Dolly Parton, where children receive a free book each month until they reach their fifth birthday, regardless of family income. It was started locally in January 2012.  Local eligibility requirements are children under 5 years of age, who live in Whitesburg, KY 41858 zip code.
 
There are approximately 700,000 children in 4 countries who receive free books each month through the Imagination Library.  If you have a child that meets the local eligibility requirements, or you would like to discuss ways that this program can be started in your Letcher County community, then contact Margaret Hammonds at 633-8200.
 
This program is sponsored locally by the Rotary Club of Whitesburg. 
 
 
 
President Joe DePriest passed the president's gavel over to the new President Larry Whitaker. Larry will serve as President from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.  He has been a member of Rotary for 18 years, and has served as President of the Rotary Club of Whitesburg from 1998-1999.  Larry lives with his wife Betty at Neon, KY.  Image
 

 
 
 
 
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