Thanks to our $1,800 grant, a documentary of this historic event will be made. Back in 1925 here in Chattanooga, an old time fiddle contest was born to determine the best local fiddler who would then challenge Henry Ford’s self proclaimed “Champion Fiddler” Mellie Dunham. The annual event grew to be the premier old time fiddling contest of the south. Considered the “Southern Championship”, this was a huge deal for the music, musicians, and for Chattanooga, drawing over 5,000 spectators to the new Memorial Auditorium in 1927 for the contest. The event continued strong up until war and fuel rationing put an end to it in the 1940’s. Matt Downer revived the convention in 2010 and the response has been outstanding. Held in historic Lindsay Street Hall, everything is 100% acoustic, no microphones, amps, PA, etc. and is as authentic and true to its roots and the traditional music as it can possibly be. This documentary will bring youngsters and old timers together with a camera and lots of fiddles.
Recipient: Brenda Trigg | Grow Hope Urban Farm
Grow Hope Urban Youth Farm, in partnership with Hope For the Inner City, is not only providing food that's good for the neighborhood, but also serves as a gang-prevention activity, empowers young people to give back to the community, gain pre-employment skills, and moves the good food revolution one step closer to food justice. We are pumped about the good work this crew is doing out in East Chattanooga! So pumped that we are helping fund a water catchment project to expand their production in the spring of 2015. We also plan to volunteer at their MLK Day of Service project-- more details to come! Please join us.
Recipient: Run Chattanooga
Did you participate in Ironman Chattanooga this year? If so, you probably noted the $685 general entry fee (yikes). We’ve noticed a continuing trend of 5k and race events getting more and more expensive. However, this month we received an appy from Run Chattanooga for a FREE (yes, FREE) Half Marathon. Run Chattanooga hosts free group runs and workouts five days a week, and special events periodically, all over the Chattanooga area. We’re supercharging their upcoming Half Marathon FREEze your Half Off. Give them a LIKE on Facebook and get ready to run on January 10th!
Recipient: Relevant Hope
When Relevant Hope asked us to help fund a pilot program that would provide innovative winter coats to local homeless folks, we jumped at the chance. The coats double as sleeping bags, and are the brainchild of The Empowerment Plan, an organization based in Detroit that aids the homeless in their area. As a result of our grant, 22 coats were purchased from them, and distributed here just in time for that nasty cold snap in November. And with another harsh winter looming, the coats will be invaluable to those lucky enough to receive them. Here’s some more news coverage on the results. They may raise additional funds to expand the program and purchase more coats, so please follow them on Facebook to stay tuned!
Recipient: Hill City Neighborhood Association
The UnFoundation loves awesome neighborhoods, and we were so excited about this grant for the Hill City Neighborhood Association. The residents recognized the need for a safe and beautiful gathering place in the area, so they banded together and built a neighborhood garden on unused land. To keep their garden growing, the dedicated volunteers decided to add a neighborhood composting service. The UnFoundation provided the funds to pass out 100 compost buckets to residents and to spread the word about the service. Volunteers pick up the buckets weekly, literally turning their trash into a neighborhood treasure.
Recipient: Andy O’Brien, Katie Hargrave, Lauren Ruth
The Apothecary Art Gallery is a student run art gallery (created by the UTC Art Department) that is located in the MLK neighborhood. We weren’t sure what a “NeighborFloat” was, but once we figured it out, we were excited to provide them with a grant to purchase the needed materials to build it. It is literally a parade style float, that has since been designed and constructed by UTC students and neighborhood partners. The NeighborFloat project is an initiative designed create awareness and connections between the Apothecary Gallery and the MLK neighborhood. We can’t really think of a better way to create awareness and bring folks together than a parade!
Recipient: Kimberly Elbakidze | Red Bank High School
Kimberly Elbakidze has been on a mission to make her classroom the coolest one at Red Bank High School, and what’s cooler than a 3D printer!? Mrs. E’s students told her that they had to have one, and we at the UnFoundation agree. Thanks to our August grant, Red Bank High School purchased the See Me Educate 3D printer and 3D printing curriculum for the technology class. Now, over 240 students are learning how to 3D print, and we think that’s awesome.
Recipient: Lindsey Hagan
Wouldn’t you rather learn to play the ukulele than the recorder? I sure would, I mean, what cool band is looking for a hip recorder player? At least if you learn to play the ukulele you have a forever job in Hawai’i. Although still in the curriculum, recorders are loathed by many around the world, including Hamilton County teacher Lindsey Hagan. Ukuleles cost more than a recorder so public schools typically can’t afford them. Well, now Bess T Shepherd Elementary has 30 on hand, thanks to the UNFoundation, so hundreds of students each year are playing the ukulele instead of the recorder. #CHA is more awesome for many years to come!
Recipient: Jim Johnson
Stringer’s Ridge is a new 92 acre urban park located in Hill City on the Northshore. If you haven’t been, check it out! Friends of Stringer’s Ridge is a grassroots organization formed to promote this fantastic opportunity for Chattanoogans to enjoy the outdoors in an urban setting. Please view their fundraising campaign on Causeway. Their lastest cool idea was to host a symphony event on the peak of Stringer’s Ridge. WE FUND COOL IDEAS, and obviously had to jump on this one! On a crisp fall day, we sponsored a brass quintet to perform on that hilltop and had a great experience. Can’t say we’ve ever been to a symphony on a hilltop before. But we did, and it was awesome. Look for this event next year, it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Recipient: Steven Sharpe
Fun stuff should be for all kids, right? We think so. That’s why we granted to Camp Horizon. The purpose of Camp Horizon is to allow kids with physical disabilities the opportunity to broaden their horizons by spending time with other kids in similar situations in the outdoor environment. Broaden horizons wanted to be expanded upon by Steven Sharpe, husband of camp founder Lindsey, to include a zip line. Camp Horizon is held every August at Camp Lookout and through Peyton Manning's Peyback Foundation built the zip line and wheelchair accessible platforms. We funded the necessary hardware and safety equipment so kids in wheelchairs could use it too. And this is the only wheelchair accessible zip line east of the rockies, folks. Wow!
Recipient: Kevin Bate
Kevin Bate is no stranger to the UNFoundation - his MLK on MLK is one of the coolest and most visible UNFoundation grants to date. We were super excited to participate in his most recent project - the McCallie Murals. Kevin has engaged Orchard Knob Elementary School, the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, the Highland Park Neighborhood Association, Barger Academy of Fine Arts and the community at large to create a ‘drive-through’ mural experience for the community. Kevin is depicting 4 strong female characters that serve to inspire the community and anyone passing through.
Recipient: Emma Williams
Emma Williams defines the catchy phrase “Just Do It.” Power Lunch was launched by Emma with a simple vision: to help girls who may not otherwise be exposed to a diversity of career choices plan for bright, ambitious futures by connecting them with successful professional women in our local community. We love to see an individual go into the community and start making things happen, so when Emma submitted her appy for Power Lunch, we saw a great program making a real difference in the lives of young Chattanoogans and wanted to get involved. If you’d like to volunteer to speak at a lunch and explain your chosen career path to an enthusiastic group of young women, let us know and we’ll connect you with Emma.