Sat, Feb 17, 2018 09:30 PM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-10-17 communities
Benefit raises more than $8,000

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PRESTONSBURG How many people can point to one life experience and credit it with turning them around and profoundly affecting their future?

Charlie Sizemore, local bluegrass music legend and now a Nashville attorney, did just that last Saturday night as he came out of retirement to give a benefit performance at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. Country music legend Tom T. Hall introduced Sizemore to a crowd already warmed up by the locally famous Five Miles From Nowhere band.

Sizemore explained how he came to Prestonsburg Community College as a young man, unsure of what the future held or how to prepare for it. The crowd grew quiet as they listened to the story of how Tom Whitaker, an instructor at the college, mentored the young Sizemore, instilling in him feelings of self worth, giving him direction and helping him to find his way. Sizemore spoke of others at the college who helped him learn to study and to develop a work ethic which he has employed throughout his career. He went on to say how much he appreciated the education he received that prepared him to succeed.

Through the years he spent traveling, recording and performing with Ralph Stanley's Bluegrass Band and later with his own band, Sizemore said he never forgot his roots and he is happy to be able to give back to the college that gave him so much.

Sizemore was not the only alumni of Prestonsburg Community College on the stage. Performing with him was his wife, Robin Tackett Sizemore, a PCC alumni who went on to finish her master's degree and become an elementary school teacher.

The Bluegrass for Education Benefit was a venture for the Big Sandy College Educational Foundation, Inc.

"I am happy to announce that the benefit generated over $8,000 to be used for scholarships, student emergency loans and other financial needs to benefit students of Big Sandy Community and Technical College," said Dr. George D. Edwards, president of Big Sandy Community and Technical College. "I want to thank all of the people who worked so hard to make this benefit a reality. We are planning to make it an annual event."

Formerly Prestonsburg Community and Mayo Technical colleges, Big Sandy Community and Technical College serves students in Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin and adjoining counties.

The Bluegrass for Education benefit was sponsored by Citizens National Bank and American Electric Power, and Sizemore donated his time and performance. All of the money raised by the concert will directly fund educational needs of students.

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