Junior Auxiliary of Taney County Encourages Local Teens to Continue Their Learning by Awarding Six Scholarships

Four deserving seniors were honored recently with college scholarships from Junior Auxiliary of Taney County (JATC).  JATC provided a $750 non-renewable scholarship to a graduating senior at each of the four Taney County high schools.  This year’s recipients were Collin Gwin, Forsyth High School; Kourtney Shipley, Bradleyville High School; Madison Hatfield, Hollister High School; and Tawny Denzer, Branson High School.  Selection of these recipients was based primarily on volunteer service to their communities, above and beyond any school requirements, in addition to academic accomplishments and personal recommendations. 
The other two scholarships are $750 Scholarcare renewable scholarships.  This award is available for up to four years and is presented to a graduating senior who can benefit from the money as well as a little extra personal encouragement and care packages that JATC members provide monthly throughout the year.  This year Sophia Meltke from Bradleyville High School was selected to receive this award based on her personal essay and recommendations accompanying her application.  She joins our other Scholarcare Student, Shana Topka, a graduate of Branson High School who met the eligibility requirements to renew her scholarship award.  We are also proud to announce that Ashley Shockey, a graduate of Branson High School, has completed her four years with us as a Scholarcare student and is graduating from Truman State University in Kirksville with a Bachelor of Science in Biology this May. 
JATC is proud to be able to provide support and encouragement to these students as they pursue their education and move into adulthood.  These Scholarships and Scholarcare Awards are just one of the many projects and services offered in Taney County by the members of JATC.  More information about the organization and its projects is available on the website, JATCMO.org.  Membership in the organization is open to women over 21 years of age who wish to make a commitment to support children, youth and families in Taney County.  More information about membership also may be found on the website or by calling Cathy Brown, Membership Chair, at (417) 335-1366 or Mary Jo Green, Co-Chair, at 417-337-1836. 
JATC is more than a nonprofit organization, it’s a group of women united by a single cause and dedicated to helping the children of Taney County.  That’s the magic of JATC.  It was chartered by a group of caring, enthusiastic women in 1998 and continues to grow and thrive throughout Taney County.  Approximately 50 members annually contribute more than 4,000 volunteer hours as they strive to improve the mental, physical, social and emotional well-being of children in Taney County.  
JATC projects include Tender Critters for children in trauma; Santa’s Gift House; College Scholarships for a senior at all four Taney County public high schools; Scholar Care provides financial and monthly support for a college student each year; Prom Dresses for girls in need; Heart of the Arts supporting arts activities for clients of the Developmental Center; financial and labor support for the Women’s Crisis Center including birthday
parties and kid therapy so that moms may attend counseling sessions; School Supplies “refreshment” in January for elementary schools in Easter Taney County; Hip Hop into Fitness at the area’s elementary schools where kids get exercise in various fun obstacle stations; and Homework Helpers for children who live in extended-stay motels.  
Members raise money for these projects through one major event - a fun Trivia Challenge with dinner, live entertainment, a raffle and a Silent Auction held in the spring each year. This year the 18th Annual Trivia Challenge and Silent Auction was held at the Radisson Hotel in Branson on April 14, 2018, and raised over $22,000, all of which was reinvested in our community.   This year the theme was Sherlock Holmes; after all, “It’s elementary, my dear Watson.” 
JATC also raises money from other events such as Belk’s Charity Days, Schwan’s Cares, AmazonSmile, Mr. G’s Annual JATC Days, Paddle Party, grants and individual donations.  Generous local businesses and individuals also donate to JATC’s various events including Doug Baker State Farm Insurance, Ozark Mountain Ear Nose & Throat, Binswanger Glass, Chateau on the Lake, Big Cedar, State Park Marina, Central Bank of Branson, First Community Bank of Branson, Branson Hot Tubs & Pools, Branson Bank, Lowe’s, Ozarks Family Vision Center, AAA Insurance Agent-Mary Ann Dailey, Sir Speedy Printing, Edward Jones-Mitch Holmes, The Farmhouse Restaurant, Judge Tiffany Yarnell, and many more.  Recently, Palmerton & Parrish, Inc Engineering and Treat Architects, P.C. provided assistance for our “Playground Project” at the Women’s Crisis Center. 
JATC is part of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA), a non-profit organization founded in 1941 with headquarters in Greenville, Mississippi.  NAJA has more than 15,500 active, associate and life members in 96 chapters located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.  Their slogan is “Care Today-Character Tomorrow”.  

Published: Branson Tri-Lakes News, Wednesday, June 27, 2018