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


New Jazz, Inspiration And Talk Radio Station Now On The Air

Tune into WPTPChatt.com (100.1 FM) for the all new jazz, inspiration and talk radio, 24/7. WPTP is an Alton Park Development Corporation Production, a 501 C-3 non-profit organization. The station is located at the Chattanooga Civic Center at Mountainside (formerly the Piney Woods Elementary School), 701 Hooker Road. It is a non-commercial LPFM non-profit radio station whose mission ... (click for more)

Ashlyn Grayce Plays At The National Cornbread Festival Sunday

Ashlyn Grayce will be playing at the National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg on Sunday. For more information on the festival click here . Review for Ashlyn Grayce:  Country music singer/songwriter Ashlyn Grayce released her first EP, Somethin’ ‘Bout a Song, which debuted at #4 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter Chart and also appeared on the iTunes Bestseller list. ... (click for more)

TBI Puts Man Who Killed 4 At Waffle House On Its "10 Most Wanted" List

A man who killed four people and injured two others at a Waffle House near Nashville on Sunday morning is still on the loose and has been added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list. He was identified as Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, Ill., was arrested last year when he was in a restricted area at the White House in Washington, D.C. Reinking ... (click for more)

Dayton Teen Arrested After Running From Deputies On Highway 60; Passenger Caught With Drugs

Hamilton County Sheriff deputies caught up with a Dayton teen who drove off at a high rate of speed on Highway 60 on Sunday afternoon. A passenger in the vehicle was caught with drugs. At approximately  5 p.m. , deputies observed a white Chrysler 200 traveling south in the 7800 block of Highway 60 at a high rate of speed. The driver was improperly passing other vehicles ... (click for more)

Teachers Have Good Compensation Compared To Other Taxpayers - And Response

Hamilton County experienced a property tax increase of about 10.7 percent in 2017. By law the reappraisal of property shall not increase tax revenue. So after the reappraisal the state certified millage rate for Hamilton County was 2.4976 per hundred dollars assessed value. The county commission voted to raise the millage rate to 2.7652 per hundred. That's about a 10.7 percent increase ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Always Know The Facts

I adore the fact so many of America’s high school and college students are very active in our battle against violence in our schools but bemoan the fact that when you combine youth and ‘lack of experience’ they often are misguided and ill-informed. The best example came on Saturday when a reporter for Campus Reform walked around the Cal State-Santa Barbara campus asking the students ... (click for more)