Share America Foundation Chooses Bluegrass Vocalist and Musician for Scholarship

The Share America Foundation, Inc. announced its 2010 scholarship winner recently at its Sacred Sounds Fridays concert at the Ringgold Depot in Ringgold, Ga.
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 scholarships honor students excelling in the Appalachian musical arts.
Raven Welch, 18, of Mineral Bluff, Ga. was selected as one of the 2010 recipients. She received a $1,000 scholarship.
While presenting the award Share America Chairman Joe Turner praised the young performer that he has known from her childhood.
“Raven is such a talented young lady who I know will go far with whatever she does in life,” he said. “Along the way, I know she will bring with her this wonderful musical heritage that she shares to encourage others.”
She graduated from Fannin County High School in Blue Ridge, Ga. Welch said she will use the scholarship towards her educational needs at North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega to become a physical therapist.
“As long as I can remember, music has always played a major role in my life; I can’t remember my life prior to becoming involved in music,” Welch said.
Welch said she began her musical studies on piano and moved on to other instruments including the mandolin.
“Not only have these instruments taught me the importance of practicing and patience, but it has helped me to develop a higher level of confidence in a public forum.”
Welch formed the Raven Welch Band in 2007. She said the opportunity to work regularly with other passionate musicians on stage has enhanced her musical and vocal abilities.
“While on stage, I thoroughly enjoy performing, but I also love to see the joy and fun that it brings to the audience,” she said. “Music has enriched my life and it has helped me to meet many new people and learn life lessons.
“I want to share the love and joy that music has brought to my life,” she said.
Welch appeared at Sacred Sounds Fridays performing two sets with her band featuring David Anderson on guitar, Jamie Mason on banjo and Rhett Dennis playing bass.“I know that Raven will yield great success and many opportunities through her love of music,” Franks said. “She has a wonderful presence, tremendous talents and no matter where God leads her in life, the gift of love from those who support our Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship go with her.”She said she plans to continue performing around her studies. Her latest CD is entitled “More to Go to Heaven For” and more information can be found at is the daughter of Jeannene Welch of Mineral Bluff, Ga. and Alton Welch of McCaysville, Ga. and the granddaughter of Sam and Shirley Jones of Mineral Bluff, Ga. and Rhoda and the late Earl Welch of McCaysville, Ga.
Share America Foundation Board members include Franks, Turner, Gene Lowery, vice chairman; Adam Cathey, secretary and Jerry Robinson, Sr., vice president.For more information about the organization and its programs, contact Share America, P.O. Box 42, Tunnel Hill, Ga. 30755 or visit or