ETN Writers' Hall of Fame

Monday, 24 October 2011
Friends of Literacy (charity I'm involved in) hosts the East Tennessee Writers' Hall of Fame each year as a major fundraiser. The evening went off without a hitch this past Thursday and we had many successes!

Melissa (Executive Director of Friends of Literacy), Tracy (FOL Volunteer) and I paused before the event to take a picture. At this point we were all pretty excited about the evening and hoping for an excellent award presentation and guest speaker!

We had an extra interest in a successful event this year. Melissa and I produced, wrote and participated in the editing of a 10 minute "call for support" video. We conducted the interviews and sourced video and photographs. My idea was to weave the stories of three adult literacy students throughout the information and call for donations that we needed. All-in-all the work took up about 22 hours so we had quite a bit invested in it. I was very pleased with the video and we took in an amazing amount of impromptu donations after the video. Hooray!

The awards ceremony went well and we honored five East Tennessee writers in different categories for our Hall of Fame. They were gracious and had lovely speeches prepared.

Inky Johnson (former UT football player) was our main speaker of the evening. He was incredible and highly inspirational. His story began in a poor neighborhood (Kirkwood) and he promised his grandmother that he would be the first in the family to graduate from college. He played for UT and was severely injured in game. He lost use of his arm but is using his position and story to inspire others. (Yes - he did get his degree!!) 

His message centers around faith and perseverance and even though it sounds cheesy, listening to his talk gave me a bit of a boost of energy for my doctoral program. He is very positive and determined. 

His book, Inky, An Amazing Story of Faith and Perseverance is available online and at Pilot stores in Knoxville. I can't wait to pick up a copy.

1 comment

CGFortner said...

Thanks for posting about Inky and I will check out his book soon.