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Share America Foundation Scholarship To Mandolinist Kayla Ray

By Mandolin Cafe
August 18, 2009 - 8:15 am

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Kayla Ray (center) receives the 2009 Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship from Randall Franks (right), Share America Foundation president; and Joe Turner, Share America Foundation chairman. (Share America photo)

Kayla Ray (center) receives the 2009 Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship from Randall Franks (right), Share America Foundation president; and Joe Turner, Share America Foundation chairman. (Share America photo)

Ringgold, Ga. — The Share America Foundation, Inc. announced its first 2009 scholarship winner recently at its Sacred Sounds Fridays concert featuring Mountain Faith and Exception to the Rule 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.

Fiddler and mandolinist Kayla Ray, 17, of Royston, Ga. was selected as the 2009 recipient. She was home schooled and now attends Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Ga.

"I'm very passionate about trying to help spread bluegrass music to others my age, so I was very honored and thankful to have received the 2009 scholarship," Ray said.

She performs with her siblings Sara, 23, Laura, 21, Jason, 19, in the band Exception to the Rule.

Kayla and her siblings were joined at the event by their father pianist Mark Ray sharing two 20-minute bluegrass gospel sets.

Kayla received a $750 scholarship towards her college studies.

"Kayla is carrying on the traditional music of this region. She has a unique flair that shows in both her instruments," said Randall Franks, Share America president. "I know my Mom and Dad would be pleased."

Kayla said she plans to use the scholarship towards her educational needs to study communications and music.

She is the daughter of Mark and Anita Ray of Royston, Ga. and granddaughter of Boyd and Geneva Ray of Royston, Ga. and Talmadge and Eloise Cole of Carnesville, Ga.

Share America Foundation Board members include Franks, Joe Turner, chairman; Gene Lowery, vice chairman; Adam Cathey, secretary and Jerry Robinson, Sr., vice president.

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