I’ve always been proud to work for WYMT-TV. But last night was one of those extra special moments. I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of what this station, through the generosity of our business partners and donors, has accomplished in the last 25-years.
This week the WYMT Whayne Supply Mountain Basketball Classic is celebrating its Silver Anniversary.
Last night we tipped off the Classic with our first ever Scholarship Reception and Awards program. It was amazing to watch as 142 students from all across Eastern Kentucky walked across the stage to receive their scholarships.
That first Classic back in 1988 raised $9,000 to provide nine students with a college scholarship.
Today, Eastern Kentucky businesses and private individuals have raised more than two million dollars for local students and schools. Your generosity has provided more than 1,000 scholarships to Eastern Kentucky high school seniors.
Tonight, the action on the court tips off at 6:30 with the Hazard Bulldogs and the Harlan County Black Bears.
It’s basketball that generates the bulk of headlines for the Mountain Classic. But it is that unique marriage of sports and academics that has made the Classic a mountain tradition.
Each time you give toward a Mountain Classic Scholarship you’re investing in the life of a young person.
I’d like to share a “thank-you” letter from one of our former scholarship winners. This is how your investment made a difference in one student’s life.
Dear Ms. Cornett,
I am writing you to express my sincerest appreciation for being awarded a Mountain Classic Scholarship and update you on how the scholarship has impacted my life. When I received the scholarship in 1998, I was a senior at Leslie County High School and very much wanted to attend Transylvania University to play baseball and pursue a degree in business administration. My mother had saved a considerable sum since my childhood expressly for my college education, but the cost of attending a prestigious private school like Transy still seemed just beyond my family's budget. With the Mountain Classic Scholarship and Transy's 1.5x match of the scholarship, my family agreed I could attend Transy without saddling the family or myself with significant debt far into the future.
While at Transylvania, I was given the opportunity to be academically curious and was encouraged to pursue areas of study about which I was passionate. This encouragement ultimately resulted in my graduation with majors in business administration, Spanish, and economics from Transylvania in 2002. During this time, I also played baseball for four years and negated even more of the cost of my education by becoming an RA and being awarded the Transylvania Scholarship, meaning that I was able to attend Transy without any costs my senior year.
Upon graduation, I took a position with Eli Lilly and Co. pharmaceuticals as a sales representative back in eastern Kentucky. During my 3 1/2 years in this role, I was successful enough to garner a promotion to Lilly's corporate headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana where I held a position creating financial models and negotiating contracts for Lilly's managed care contracting business unit. After 18 months in this role, I was moved into Lilly's Six Sigma division where my title was "Six Sigma Black Belt", and, essentially, I was a project manager for any number of projects across sales and marketing. Two years in this position allowed me to further develop my leadership skills, and I soon applied and was admitted to Duke University's Fuqua School of Business where I recently was awarded a Master's in Business Administration. Instead of returning to Lilly, I chose to take a position in hospital administration, where I could be more directly involved in helping others with their illness and wellness. I have now been in my role as Vice President of Operations at Summerville Medical Center in Summerville, SC for 6 months, and I greatly enjoy what I do every day.
I have meant to write this email to you for several years now--ever since a "WYMT" envelope with your name as the return address arrived at my parent's house in late 2005. I was in the process of moving to Indianapolis at that time, and the envelope and its contents were lost in the chaos of the move. However, I did resolve to make contact with you at some point to (finally) update you on how the scholarship impacted my life, since that was what the original letter requested. My memory was jogged over Christmas when my wife (also a Leslie Countian) and I traveled back to Hyden to spend Christmas with our families. My mom was playing old VHS tapes that she had, and one was the 1998 TV broadcast where the scholarship winners were awarded their scholarships on air. Viewing that tape made me reflect on just what that scholarship meant to me at the time, and what it would ultimately mean to my life. In 1998, it cost $24,000 per year to attend Transylvania. Although the Mountain Classic Scholarship was only $1,000, it, combined with Transy's match, effectively paid for 10% of the total cost. Had I not received the scholarship, I very likely would have chosen not to attend Transylvania, and my life could have turned out very differently.
Again, I thank you and everyone who ever has been or will be associated with the Mountain Classic Scholarship and hope that you recognize the sizable impact it can have on the kids from my home region. If I can ever be of assistance to the program, whether to serve as a board member or to give a testimonial, please don't hesitate to ask. My wife and I are hoping that my chosen career path will ultimately lead us back closer to Kentucky, but regardless of where we are, the mountains will always be home.
J. Christopher Mosley
Vice President of Operations
Summerville Medical Center
295 Midland Parkway
Summerville, SC 29485
I hope you’ll get a chance to stop by Knott County Central this week to check out some of the best basketball in the state.
And on Championship Saturday, we will induct five people into the WYMT Whayne Supply Mountain Classic Hall of Fame. One of those recipients is former WYMT Sports Director Jay Crawford. You can catch Jay everyday on ESPN2’s First Take.
Jay, who did play-by-play for the first Mountain Classic, will join Brian Milam and Jim Frasure for Saturday’s Championship game.
I hope to see you there!
Thanks for making WYMT-TV your source for news and information. We appreciate your trust.
God Bless America!
Neil Middleton <><
WYMT Mountain News
Appreciate Freedom – Thank a Vet!
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