A little over nine months ago, shortly after the death of my dearly-departed great-aunt, Eva McCall, a feeling came over me, telling me I needed to do something to keep Eva’s name alive, her legacy surviving long after she she departed this earth. Was it Eva telling me to do this? Maybe, maybe not. I think it was, though, and I took it to heart. I had promised her, prior to her death, I would keep her name and writing alive as long as humanly possible, and I planned on keeping my promise. That something developed into a plan to raise money that would be endowed in Eva’s memory, so students at Southwestern Community College, with the intention of pursuing writing as a career or hobby, could be funded in their education. A $15,000 endowment seemed like a daunting task, but I was up for the challenge. The McCall family was so supportive, and the adventure took off before I realized it.
I am pleased to finally announce that The Eva McCall Scholarship is FULLY funded! Thank you all so much for your support, either by sending well wishes, donations or by buying Eva’s or my books. This wasn’t my effort; it was the effort of Eva’s family, friends and fellow community members throughout the country, and we should all be proud of what we have accomplished. Eva would be so happy.
In case you haven’t seen my social media posts, I am also pleased to announce that the scholarship has already funded a recipient. The student is from Franklin, and one day, she hopes to publish a book of her poetry. I don’t think the SCC Foundation could have picked a better candidate, and I look forward to seeing her thrive with the money we raised for her.
If you made a donation, either via me, the GoFundMe page, or the SCC Foundation, and I have record of it, you will be receiving a personal thank you for your contribution. In the meantime, I would like to make a couple of personal shout outs:
- To the McCall family, who believed in this adventure from the beginning, and supported me in ways that I never expected. The last nine months have been hard for all of us, and too this day, I wake up and for a split second, believe she’s still her and I’ll be able to call her later in the evening. I feel that in losing Eva, I’ve grown closer to all of you, and for that, I am thankful.
- To my grandmother, Susie Stanley, for stepping up and being the co-fundraiser I needed. When I couldn’t hit the streets, she was, reaching out to people near and far to get this worthy cause completed.
- As always to my family: Ken, Melissa, Mekenzie and Miranda, for supporting me in yet another venture I’ve pursued. Thanks for letting me use all the resources at your disposal (aka spamming their Facebook accounts) to get the word out. And I must also thank each of them for their own financial contributions to the scholarship.
- Thank you to the Macon County Public Library and the SCC Jackson Bookstore, managed by Follett, for allowing me to have book signings at your venues, where part or all proceeds went to the endowment.
As I conclude this project and move onto another (obtaining my Master’s degree), I sit here and reflect on how much Eva impacted my life, and continues to do so to this day. This scholarship is just a small tribute to her, and I hope to do more to honor her wonderful life. There’s a manuscript by her yet to be published, and I promised her I would complete her unfinished sequel to Murder on Haint Branch, Beyond the Grave. My relationship with her hasn’t ended, it’s just changed.
She will always be a part of her life, and now, she’ll be able to live on through so many young people. Again, I think you so much for your support!