North Carolina Newspapers

    December 2007
Volume 47 Issue 3
The Fortner Community and Writer Awards Recoginize Four
By: Gary Greene
St. Andrews Presbyterian College hon
ored five contributors to the arts community
during the 22nd annual Ethel N. Fortner Writer
and Community Awards on Thursday, Nov. 15.
While four of the recipients knew they
were receiving the award, the fifth recipient did
Paul Baldasare, college president, sur
prised the coordinator of the Fortner Awards
by presenting Ron Bayes with the prestigious
award. Baldasare said it was only fitting that
Bayes’ name be among those listed who have
received the award.
Others receiving the awards were are
poet and supporter of the arts Martha Cross
“Nancy” Bradberry, Laurinburg Exchange Life
Times Editor Dot Coble, poetry slam producer
Todd Davis, and poet Robert Malloy.
“This award recognizes persons who
have been outstanding contributors to the
writing community creating a very real, posi
tive community dynamic,” said Bayes, Fort
ner Awards committee chair and St. Andrews
The Ethel N. Fortner Writer and Com
munity Awards were instituted in 1986 to honor
a friend of writers and frequent contributor to
the St. Andrews Review. Fortner earned a Mas
ter of Arts degree from Columbia University in
New York. After a career in teaching at the Or
egon School of the Blind, she and her husband
moved to Estacada, Ore. She committed herself
to writing and became editor of Human Voice
Quarterly. A frequent contributor to the St.
Andrews Review, she was the earliest benefac
tor of the St. Andrews Press. She believed that
a fiall community embraced and encouraged the
craft of writing.
Nancy Bradberry of Southern Pines has
long been a poet and supporter of the arts. She
was active in poetry circles in Sheridan, Wyo.,
where she received awards and recognition for
her work. Her “other art form” is photography.
A former member of the St. Andrews
Presbyterian College Board of Visitors, Brad
berry currently serves as chair of the Friends of
St. Andrews College Press.
She received the Sam Ragan Award for
Contributions to the Fine Arts of North Caro
lina in 1995 and was one of five North Caro
lina women poets featured in the Quintessence
anthology published by the St. Andrews Press.
“Her contributions to the St. Andrews
writing community are so numerous that just
last year the student literary magazine. Gravity
Hill, established an annual Bradberry Prize,”
said Bayes. “The award is for an outstanding
poem written in traditional rhyme and meter.”
Rockingham native Dot N. Coble came
to Laurinburg in June of 1970 and started work
at the Laurinburg Exchange as a general report
er hired by John Henry Moore. Her initial work
focused on reporting crime, accidents, fires,
features, community news stories and activities.
Yet her work soon moved toward the feature
side and in 1972 she took over the society
Coble used her insights and skills to
transform those pages into a more modem
section, known as Life Times. That section,
currently appearing in every Wednesday and
Friday edition of the Laurinburg Exchange, has
brought attention to Coble in the area.
“Dot is an amazing contributor to the
local community,” said Bayes. “She has done
so much not only to promote the work of the St.
Andrews Press, but also everything in the Lau
rinburg community. Dot is a rare journalist in
this day and age who finds the feel good story
and shares the positive energy with the world.”
Coble won awards from the North Caro
lina Press Association in the categories of news
writing, feature writing and column writing.
Scotland County organizations have recognized
her with such honors as Outstanding Business
and Professional Woman for Scotland County
presented by the Pilot Club of Laurinburg, Club
Member of the Year for the Laurinburg Junior
Women’s Club, and the Boy Scouts of America
Western District Good News of Scouting
Coble has spent much of her time in
the Laurinburg community, having served on
the 1996 Scotland County Board of Education
Bond Referendum Campaign Committee to
build news schools, various Laurinburg-Scot-
land County Area Chamber of Commerce com
mittees, ENCORE! Theatre Board of Directors,
Scotland County Red Cross Board of Directors,
and the Scotland County Arts Council Board
of Directors. She currently serves on the Scot
land County Aging Advisory Council, Scotland
County 4-H Advisory Council and is a member
of the Melancholy Babies \yomen’s Barbershop
She is a former member and Children’s
and Adult Choir director at Spring Hill Baptist
Church in Wagram and is a current member of
First Baptist Church in Laurinburg. She gradu
ated from Rockingham High School and at
tended Pembroke State University.
Poet Todd Davis has published in nu
merous literary magazines and is the author of
two books of poetry. Sun + Moon Rendezvous
and Criminal Thawts. He worked in Seattle as a
writer and performer for the award winning live
comedy show Carlotta’s Late Nite Wing Ding.
For several years, Davis was the producer of the
Seattle Poetry Slam, a nightclub poetry show
which garnered national attention for its consis-
tently high quality, its overflow crowds and its
Ron Bayes accepts his awani. Photo courtesy of Rooney
Ms. Dot Coble accepts her award. Photo courtesy of
Rooney Coffman
showcasing of the best performance poets in the
country. He co-founded a nonprofit literary arts
organization to support the Seattle Slam and
served as vice president of the Board of Direc
tors, Poetry Workshop Coordinator for schools
and colleges in the Pacific Northwest, publi
cist and newsletter editor. He coproduced and
performed on the Seattle Poetry Slam Live CD,
a compilation of 24 of the best Seattle perfor
mance poets.
Davis received his B.A. degree in English from
St. Andrews in 1971. He received his M.A.
degree in Creative Writing from Western Wash
ington University in Bellingham, Wash. He
currently resides in Asheville, N.C.
Recently retired Laurinburg Police Chief Robert
Malloy has been writing poetry since his return
from the Vietnam War. His first book. Words
from the Heart, was well received on its appear
ance and he has two follow-up manuscripts.
Malloy has read in many venues, including past
appearances at the St. Andrews Writers’ Fo
rum, local civic organizations and in the public
schools. Malloy’s poems are often instructional,
often inspirational and almost always celebra
tory of every day life despite its challenges.
“He is the John Charles McNeill of our era,
down-home, pfoud of it and ready to tell you
why,” said Bayes. “Robert could, with his
marvelous reading projection, make you glad to
listen to the telephone directory, but he has sub
stance - and often humor - and a unique style.”
Every little girl dreams about playing a
part in a Cinderella story. Most are the princess
trapped by the evil dragon but wearing a gor
geous dress. Some are a little more feisty and
battle the dragon themselves while wearing the
beautiful dress. Even when a girl is little she
likes having the best of both worlds.
That is exactly what The Cinderella
Project is striving to do, to give teenage girls
the best of both worlds. The economic status of
Scotland County is no secret and the impact on
its citizens is apparent. The Cinderella Project
aims to provide rental prom dresses to junior
and senior high school girls for the cost of dry
cleaning (approximately $15).
By renting the dresses the girls do not
suffer the self-esteem effects of receiving char
ity and do not have to worry about dry cleaning
costs since monetary donations to the project
will cover cleaning. The girls who come in for
this service also have the chance to wear a dif
ferent prom dress every year without the cost of
buying another expensive gown every year.
A Cinderella Story
By; Maeghan Swann
All sizes of prom dresses are needed
from size 0 to 16+. Over 20 prom dresses/
bridesmaid’s gowns/evening gowns have been
donated with a few that are hand-made. Dress
shoes, jewelry, hair decorations, wraps/cover-
ups, and unopened, new makeup are also
needed. The dresses should be at least knee
length and should not show the midriff. All
donated items should be in a gently used, like
new condition but no fake hair will be accept
ed. The project would be greatly helped if all
dresses came dry cleaned and on a hanger in a
clear plastic garment bag (may be a cheap gar
ment bag). All sets of jewelry, hair jewels, etc.
should be placed in clear Ziploc bags so the sets
can be rented as one unit. Any donation that
can not be used will be taken to the thrift store
in town. Monetary donations will also be ac
cepted to cover costs of dry cleaning and other
“Look at the lilies and how they grow.
They don’t work or make their clothing yet
Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as
beautifully as they are.” (Luke 12;27). The
Lord calls us to be willing to be used to bet
ter the lives of others. A formal dress that is
wasting away in the closet can be put towards a
much greater cause. The girls we will serve are
the lilies of the field and the Lord will use us to
clothe them in compassion, consideration, and
I am excited to get this project up and
on its feet. I can be reached through email at for questions or to turn in a

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