The GFWC Woman’s Club of Vinton held its annual Scholarship Banquet and Installation of Officers for 2017 on May 30 at Logan’s Restaurant.
Each year the club awards a scholarship in the amount of $1,000 to a William Byrd senior based on academic achievement, community service, and overall good character. This year’s recipient was Leeann Williamson, daughter of Jennifer and Kenneth Williamson of Vinton.
Williamson plans to enroll at Shenandoah University, majoring in chemistry or biology (with a minor in human interaction) in the fall with the career goal of becoming a hospital pharmacist.
In announcing her as the winner, Woman’s Club member Kathryn Sowers read from the essay Williamson submitted in the application process.
“I am excited to see where life after high school will take me, and how God plans to use me in order to help other people with various problems and health concerns,” said Williamson. “The reason that I want to go into pharmacy within the hospital level is because there is so much knowledge available about drugs and all of their side effects that can ultimately cost someone their life if they are not careful with drug interactions within their medicines.”
Williamson is a valedictorian in the Class of 2017. She has been involved in numerous extracurricular activities at school, in the community, and at Vinton Baptist Church. She belongs to the Leo, Beta, Reindeer, and Prevention Clubs and the Federation of Christian Athletes.
She mentors and tutors other students through the Math Pound, RELATE, and Byrd Buddies groups at William Byrd. She is a member of the VBC church choir and Praise band. She plays school and travel volleyball. She takes music lessons with the Susan Lewis Studio and she is employed at Cundiff Drug Store, working in customer service.
Williamson volunteers in the summer as an intern at the Vinton History Museum and has also volunteered at Manna Ministries, the Rescue Mission, and with Operation Reach Out, to name just a few of her service activities.
In recommendations written to support her scholarship application, she was described as “an exemplary model of character for the student body, with a big heart and a bright future.” One teacher noted that Williamson has “an incredible work ethic and never offers excuses.”
The Woman’s Club also recognized William Byrd senior Alexis Shail as the Best All-Around Female at William Byrd— a coveted award voted upon by the faculty and announced at an awards banquet in May by Woman’s Club President Lois Creasy.
Marlene Wine, past GFWC Virginia president, installed a new slate of officers for the coming year. Amber Holdren has been named as president, succeeding her mother Lois Creasy, who has served in that position for the past two years. Hazel Moody will serve as first vice president, Mary Kay Brown as second vice president, Camilla Cabaniss as secretary, and Kathryn Sowers as treasurer.
Individual Woman’s Club members were recognized for their years of service to the club. Judy Banik received a three-year pin; Jane Banton, a four-year pin; Shirley Montgomery, a five-year pin, and Hazel Moody, an eight-year pin.
Amber Holdren, was recognized with a pin for nine years of membership; Patty Feazell, 13 years; Maggie Angell, 16 years; Cheryl Wilson, 22 years; Ardy Kidd, 38 years; Mary Kay Brown, 38 years; Camilla Cabaniss, 39 years; and Linda Holsclaw, 39 years. Sandy Hill has been a member for 40 years, Lois Creasy for 42 years, and Sue Basham for 48 years. Kathryn Sowers was applauded for her 50 years of dedication to the local club and at state and regional levels.
New members Peggy Phillips and Brenda Hardy were welcomed.
The Vinton Woman’s Club originated with 14 members at a meeting at the Vinton War Memorial on March 5, 1954.
Each year the Vinton club partners with the Vinton Police Department to plant the Pinwheel Garden at the Municipal Building to make the public aware of child abuse. They present scholarships to WBHS seniors. Members deliver treats to the Vinton Police and Fire Departments each month on the 11th day in remembrance of September 11, 2001. They hold numerous fundraisers which enable them to contribute to a wide variety of community causes, and assist the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce at many of their events.