RICHLANDS, VA - Wrenda S. Fuller, formerly of Lebanon and currently from Abingdon, was honored last week by Southwest Virginia Community College Educational Foundation, Inc. as she received the Cultural Ambassador Award for 2015.
Begun in 1993, the first honoree was Appalachian Writer Lee Smith of Buchanan County fame. Other recipients of this prestigious award are Dr. Ralph Stanley, Dr. Joe Smiddy, Pavlina Dokovska, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr, Johnny Hagerman, Ellen Elmes, CART, Gene and Martha Hurst, Roy and Dorothy Wright, the W. G. "Bill" Jackson family, George Dickerson, Dr. Sam Schulken, Dr. Bob Sutherland and Shelby Jewell among others.
Fuller was recognized for her vision of the Southwest Virginia Children's Chorus, which she organized at SWCC and for which she was the first accompanist. She was also the originator of the MAD (Music, Art and Drama) Camp at SWCC which just celebrated its ninth year. Realizing that public schools are often unable to provide these cultural enrichment opportunities for young people, these two opportunities help fill that void.
The Cultural Ambassador Award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the cultural quality of life in their communities and especially throughout the SWCC service region. Mary W. Lawson, in presenting the award, said "this recognition is long overdue for Wrenda who has given generously of her time, talent, resources and organizational skills, not only for MAD Camp and the Children's Chorus, but during her tenure as a teacher in Russell County Schools." Lawson continues "the excellent concerts by the Children's Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Joseph Trivette, and the final program of MAD Camp testify to the importance and greatness of Wrenda's vision and influence. Many lives have been touched and transformed."