by TODD HERZOG
The fifth annual Bud Godwin Gospel Singing Concert will be held Saturday, April 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Warren County High School auditorium. The primary benefactor of this event is the local Citizens for Progress (CFP) Scholarship Program. For a number of reasons, this concert promises to be the best ever in terms of fun, attendance, and overall support.
This annual Bud Godwin Concert is named in honor of Bud Godwin of Warren County, a long-term enthusiast and radio announcer associated with the area interest and heritage of gospel music. Bud Godwin and gospel music are synonymous. In addition to the honor of recognizing Bud Godwin, the local concert also is offered in the memory of Zeke Pelham and Jennifer Lynne Clark.
The 2013 Bud Godwin Concert will feature Harmony Echoes as the local gospel singing group and the world-renowned Blackwood Brothers Quartet. The Blackwood Brothers are back by popular demand from the 2012 Bud Godwin Concert. They are in a word “fabulous.”
A new entry for this year is the new 72-person WCHS choir directed by Ms. Kennette Dixon. The choir will sing the national anthem and then the first two songs of the concert. They have been in practice since early January for this concert introduction.
There are several student groups selling Bud Godwin event tickets, including CFP students at Motlow-McMinnville, special education students at Motlow-McMinnville; dual enrollment Mechatronics students at WCHS, full-time dual enrollment students at WCHS & Motlow-McMinnville, other WCHS dual enrollment students, and the WCHS Choir.
Tickets are $12 each. They are available from these student groups, the downtown Chamber of Commerce, and at the WCHS auditorium door.
There will be several area merchant discount coupons available to each Bud Godwin ticket holder. Merchants offering special discounts include Kidd Ford, Boskey’s Grille, Cumberland Caverns, and Foodland Plus. The individual coupon value is $2 off or more.
There are three sponsors for the Bud Godwin Concert that cover 100 percent the event cost. Any ticket purchase or donation therefore goes into the event revenue stream. There is also a “love collection” that is taken during the concert for CFP. Students receiving CFP aid will volunteer as event ushers, love collection basket handlers, and on-stage interviewees while the love collection is occurring. The average annual contribution from this event for the CFP fund is $5,000.
This year the planning committee has asked over 20 area churches to consider making a donation of $100 each for the event love collection. We expect several churches to comply. All told, we are optimistic the 2013 event will contribute a record level to CFP.
The Citizens for Progress Scholarship Program began in July 2007. We are in the second semester of the sixth academic year since CFP started. Through this year, we will have raised over $350,000 for CFP and awarded almost $300,000. About 200 students have received CFP aid since the program inception. Last fall we had a record 55 students receiving CFP aid.
This spring the number dropped to 34 which is our second highest headcount. Monies have been given by the state of Tennessee (2007), Warren County, the city of McMinnville, private donors and companies, and have been raised by our top CFP fund raisers – Bud Godwin Concert and the annual WillowBrook Pro-Am Golf Classic. Scholarship aid awarded during 2012 was over $51,000 for Motlow-McMinnville and the Tennessee Technology Center at McMinnville. CFP demand has risen sharply with the growing popularity at WCHS of dual enrollment options and the soaring popularity of Mechatronics which is offered at WCHS and Motlow-McMinnville. There are 70 students taking Mechatronics classes in Warren County at this time. Motlow-McMinnville now has four full time faculty members living in Warren County.
Bottom line is CFP and Mechatronics are very successful programs for Warren County.
There is a steering committee which meets twice a year to review, monitor, and adjust as needed the CFP program. Serving on this committee are Rodney Boyd, Shannon Gulick, Mike Birdwell, David Wideman, Steve Stanger, Bobby Cox, John Pelham, Jimmy Haley, Melody Edmonds, Dr. MaryLou Apple, Bill Zechman, Tony Cassel, Alicea Weddington, and myself. We believe the higher education of our youth is a highest priority.
Now we need your help! Please consider the purchase of one or more Bud Godwin Concert tickets to aid our CFP program and to treat yourself and family/ friends to two hours plus of great entertainment at the very comfortable WCHS auditorium. Every seat is a good one. Please come join us for an event you will enjoy. Thank you for your consideration.