Lillard-Shadow Scholarships Honor Students’ Commitment to Community Service

Volunteer Energy Cooperative rewarded four exceptional graduating seniors for their commitment to community service and their academic achievements by awarding them with VEC’s 2013 Lillard-Shadow Scholarships.

Each of the four students was awarded a $2,000 scholarship to attend the college of his or her choice.

The Lillard-Shadow Scholarship program was endowed to honor the lives and community service of J.W. Lillard and Willis A. Shadow. Lillard and Shadow were dedicated to improving the lives and livelihoods of community residents through electric power. And the two were instrumental in the organization of the Meigs County Electric Membership Corporation in 1933 – the organization that eventually evolved into Volunteer Energy Cooperative.

To honor this history, an independent panel of education professionals judged applications for Lillard-Shadow Scholarships based largely on students’ demonstrated commitment to community service.

Mary Gordon, a 2013 graduate of Alvin C. York Agricultural Institute in Fentress County; Fiona Retzer, a 2013 graduate of Cumberland County High School; Alison Dyke, a 2013 graduate of McMinn Central High School; and Abigale Dye, a 2013 graduate of Cleveland High School were winners of this year’s VEC Lillard-Shadow Scholarships.

VEC awards four Lillard-Shadow Scholarships annually. One is awarded in each of VEC’s four service districts. Gordon was the Jamestown Service District winner, Retzer was selected from VEC’s Crossville Service District, Dyke was the winner in VEC’s Decatur Service District, and Dye was the winner in VEC’s Cleveland Service District.

Gordon, the daughter of Douglas and Flora, has an extensive record of community service that includes volunteer work with the Rotary Club, the Red Cross, the Fentress County Fair Board, and dance, drama and ministering to homeless through outreach programs at her church.

She is planning to attend Tennessee Technological University where she plans to major in secondary education.

Retzer is the daughter of Ernest Retzer and Pauline O’Keeffe and has demonstrated her commitment to the community through numerous projects with St Alphonsus Church, American Legion, and Beta Club.
She plans to attend the University of Tennessee and is weighing biology and biomedical engineering as possible majors.

Dyke, the daughter of Patrick and Deborah Dyke, has served the community with volunteer work that includes 4-H, Interact Club, Girls Scouts, tornado relief efforts, Claxton Fire Department, Double Springs Youth, Equine Club, in addition to church service work that includes a mission trip to Montana and work with elderly and shut-in residents.

She plans to attend the University of Tennessee and study plant science and agri-business.

Dye, the daughter of Scotty and Deborah Dye, also has an impressive record of community service that includes tornado relief efforts, blood drives, collected food and clothing for local shelters, working with Creating Christmas Memories for underprivileged children, and vacation Bible school at North Cleveland Baptist Church.

She plans to attend Tennessee Technological University and study nursing.

VEC President/CEO Rody Blevins said these have shown a real commitment to serving others through community service and VEC is pleased to be able to help support their educational goals.

“Our scholarship winners are the types of students who can look beyond their own individual wants and needs and focus on the needs of those around them,” Blevins said. “These are the type of people who make communities strong. We are very proud to honor this new generation of civic leaders.”