Room to Keep Growing

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Minor Has Major Interest in Norris Area Community Foundation Founding Membership

In 2014, East Tennessee Foundation (ETF) was pleased to welcome the Norris Area Community Foundation (NACF) as its newest affiliate fund. There were initially eight founding members: Linda Ahlstedt, Ellalyn Crossno, Donnie Curtin, Fred Fields, Jim Hayes, Timothy Hester, Elizabeth Morgan, and Loretta Painter.  When Jim Hayes, NACF Advisory Board Chair and Founding Member, was asked if there could be a “minor” founding member, he had to consult others on the Advisory Board. Twelve year-old Nicholas Harshbarger had heard about NACF and wanted to be a part of its beginning. A positive response to include Nicholas initiated a fund raising frenzy of extra chores. With a $10 donation, Nicholas became NACF’s ninth founding member and is one of its most ardent advocates having successfully issued donation challenges to his family and peers.

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East Tennessee Foundation’s “ThankFul” List

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East Tennessee Foundation (ETF) Announces New Scholarship Opportunity to Benefit Visually Impaired Students in Tennessee

The Debbie Van Cleave Memorial Scholarship was established in memory of Debbie Van Cleave, an East Tennessee award-winning artist whose talent in pottery was not diminished by the fact that she was blind. The scholarship is intended to benefit legally blind students pursuing higher education.

Scholarship applications, detailed descriptions, and eligibility criteria for 2015 will be available at December 1, 2014.

ETF scholarship program requirements range from financial need to scholastic achievement. Several scholarships are targeted toward specific schools or counties, particular fields of study, students involved in certain extracurricular activities, or those who may not display the highest scholastic rankings yet still possess great potential and motivation.

In fall 2014, over $250,000 was disbursed in scholarship awards for 158 students participating in ETF scholarship programs. Scholarships provided through ETF help fulfill the dreams of those students wishing to obtain a secondary education, whether they are graduating high school seniors or returning adult students.

Scholarships administered by ETF allow individuals and groups to honor loved ones while helping change the lives of those pursuing higher education. Many of the scholarships have been established to honor the memory of a parent, spouse or child. Some have been founded to honor teachers, coaches or prominent community leaders.

For more information, please contact Beth Heller, ETF Scholarship and Program Officer, at

(865) 524-1223, toll free at 1-877-524-1223 or by e-mail at For additional information about the scholarships available through ETF, please visit

East Tennessee Foundation (ETF) is a nonprofit organization created by and for the people of East Tennessee. Serving more than 25 counties within East Tennessee, ETF consists of many donors joined together to make the region they love a better place.  ETF builds endowment, thus creating a permanent source of philanthropic funding for the East Tennessee region.

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Senator Ken Yager recently hosted the 2nd Annual Grant Conference at Roane State Community College in Harriman.

Senator Ken Yager recently hosted the 2nd Annual Grant Conference at Roane State Community College in Harriman. The conference is designed to help nonprofits in Senator Yager’s district become more competitive and successful at securing grants. Trudy Hughes, ETF’s Director of Regional Advancement, was invited to give a presentation and participate as a member of the panel. Pictured in the top photo are: left to right, Joe Woody, Area Director, Rural Development, USDA Dave Jones, State of TN Tourism Director Melissa Browder, Director of Adult Education, and Trudy Hughes.

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Etowah Arts Commission Honors the Late Nancy Dender

Will, Bill, and Wash in front of the dedication plaque
with Nancy Cantrell Dender’s picture.

Left to Right: Dender Family Members – Chase, Wash, Liza, Bill, and Will

The Etowah Arts Commission recently held a reception and Gallery Dedication where the display, “The Works of Nancy Cantrell Dender,” included over 30 hand-painted items. “The Nancy Dender Gallery,” renamed in Nancy’s honor, is located at 700 Tennessee Avenue, Etowah, Tennessee. The late Nancy Dender was an East Tennessee Foundation Board member who was instrumental in helping ETF with a Wallace-Reader’s Digest matching grant for the Arts Fund and an untiring advocate for regional communities.

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Norris Area Community Foundation Holds First Advisory Board Meeting

Members of the Norris Area Community Foundation (NACF), an East Tennessee Foundation affiliate fund, recently held their first advisory board meeting and new board member orientation. Trudy Hughes, ETF’s Director of Regional Advancement, led board orientation, officers were elected, and strategic planning was scheduled. NACF is East Tennessee Foundation’s newest affiliate fund. Attending: Jim Hayes, Chair – Dennis Curtin, Vice-Chair – Scott Hackler, Sec/Trea – Kathy Fearing – Donna Sumner – Eddie Campbell – Tim Marema

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Michael David Greene Memorial Scholarship

L to R: Janet Greene, Emily Liske, Jennifer Holt, and David Greene

Janet and David Greene, who established the Michael David Greene Memorial Scholarship in honor of their son, share a moment with 2014 winners Emily Liske and Jennifer Holt at the Farragut High School Band Banquet.

Beginning in 1994, the Michael David Greene Fund has awarded annual scholarships to FHS college-bound seniors who are or have been a members of the FHS Band, have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and who exhibit Michael’s qualities of real and fervent effort, kindness, courage, determination, and dignity. The Michael David Greene Memorial Scholarship honors a remarkable young man, provides a legacy of helping future young people to make a difference, and serves as a model for giving back to the community in which we live.

Janet explains, “The scholarship is a legacy to help students who share Michael’s qualities to go out into the world and make it a better place.”

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Norris Area Community Foundation (NACF) is ETF’s Newest Affiliate Fund

East Tennessee Foundation (ETF) was recently pleased to welcome the Norris Area Community Foundation (NACF) as its newest affiliate fund. East Tennessee Foundation affiliate funds serve a specified community, county, or geographic region. Communities choose to affiliate with ETF to create a local presence for philanthropic giving and grantmaking as well as to gain the technical expertise and support provided by ETF staff.
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Johnson County High School Student Council members attend Leadership Seminar at Disneyworld.


This group of
These students spent 16+ hours one way on a bus to enjoy learning about leadership styles and how to work together more effectively in various leadership roles.
And they had a bit of time to enjoy with some of Disney’s most notable characters!
ETF assisted in funding this project with the Johnson County Community Foundations’ approval of a $600 Margaret M. Wach’s Youth Leadership Fund grant. The total cost of the trip was over $17,000 – again these students experienced great leadership development as they worked with their faculty (led by Priscilla Davis, Johnson County High School Counselor and member of the Johnson County Community Foundation Advisory Board) to raise these funds.

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