By Debbie Adams
The Vinton Breakfast Lions have continued their tradition of awarding scholarships to local students at both William Byrd High School and Staunton River High School.
At their June 9th meeting, they presented the Ryan Chambers Memorial Scholarships to two Staunton River High School students—Emily Duncan and Emma Jackson. Duncan will be attending Liberty University; Jackson will attend Black Hawk College.
The Ryan Chambers Memorial Scholarship was first presented in 2020 and is designated for students who are active in church ministry or missions.
Ryan Chambers passed away in December 2018 in an accident on an icy road in Bedford County at age 24. He was a graduate of Staunton River High School and Piedmont International University, with a degree in Church Ministries and a member of Goodview Baptist Church. Chambers played soccer at SRHS and basketball at Piedmont International.
His family said, “His love for the Lord took him to Guatemala, Mexico, Uganda, Tokyo, and Spain to spread the gospel. Ryan had a desire to reach those who had never heard the name of Jesus and share the saving news of the gospel with as many as he could. He loved people wholeheartedly and passionately.”
Lions Club President Chris McCarty said that Ryan went to work for him at Grand Rental in Vinton when he got out of college. McCarty knew his father Otis Chambers from sandlot coaching days when Otis was a referee. McCarty and Ryan became close friends when they worked together. They both liked sports.
“Ryan was big into missions and just liked to serve people,” so McCarty recruited him to join the Breakfast Lions Club. “The members really liked him, and he helped a lot with all of their projects.”
“We decided to give the scholarships through the Breakfast Lions Club since Ryan was a member and the club helped so much in raising the funds,” McCarty said. “The club will continue to build on what we did the first year and make the scholarship program bigger and better in the years to come.”
Ryan Chambers’ parents, Otis and Michelle, attended the presentation of the scholarships.
The Breakfast Lions presented six more scholarships at their meeting on June 23—this time to graduates of William Byrd High School. Recipients of Wallace Cundiff Scholarships include Kasey McKee who will be attending Virginia Tech to study Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise; Elizabeth Recktenwald, who will major in Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia; and Megan Thomas and Katie Wheeler who will be studying Nursing at Radford University.
The Leo Scholarship (the Lions sponsor the Leo Club at WBHS) was presented to Natalie Mullins and Keaton Band, who was named Best All Around Male at William Byrd. Mullins was also named the Best All Around Female at WBHS and received a scholarship from the GFWC Vinton Woman’s Club. Both Mullins and Band will be attending Virginia Tech in the fall.
Also at their June 23rd meeting, the Breakfast Lions inducted Travis Anderson, Assistant Principal at William Byrd High School, into the club. His sponsor was Lion Tammy Newcomb, WBHS Principal.