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Junior Auxiliary awards scholarships

Several area high school seniors were grateful recipients of scholarships from the Junior Auxiliary of Taney County,


Nine Taney County students were awarded scholarships, giving them a little financial help as they head off to college.

Four seniors each received scholarships in the amount of $1,000. The students were selected primarily due to their outstanding service to their community: Charli Gillan (Branson), Nickolas Guy (Forsyth), Kalea Snow (Branson) and Kaylee Umbright (Branson) were all honored to receive the JATC scholarships. Shanna Tilley, JATC member, presented the Forsyth award, and JATC Life Members Madeline Allin and Mary Jo Green presented the Branson awards.

Two area students were able to renew their awards for JATC’s ScholarCare program. Kylie Calhoun, Forsyth, was a fourth-year recipient of JATC's ScholarCare and Gemma Reding, also of Forsyth received the ScholarCare award for the second year.

Two new ScholarCare students were selected this year by the JATC: Kierra Greco (Branson) and Rajan Raghani (Branson). Each will receive a $1,000 scholarship for this year, as well as regular treats and encouragement throughout the school year from JATC members. ScholarCare students may have their scholarships, along with JATC support, renewed for up to four years provided they continue in school and maintain an acceptable grade point average.

The JATC Joan Anderson Memorial Scholarship recipient is Anna Zerbe (Branson). Zerbe received the $1,000  scholarship that is awarded to a student who plans to major in accounting, business or IT.  This scholarship is funded, in part, by the family of Joan Anderson, who was a Life Member of the JATC. 

"These scholarships are just one of the many projects funded and carried out by JATC," noted Junior Auxiliary's Sheryl Schiller. "Periodically, JATC assesses the community’s needs and establishes service projects to address those needs. Many projects have been sustained for years, such as these scholarships, stuffed animals (we call them Tender Critters) for children in the local hospital, and at the Taney County Health Department, mid-year replenishment of school supplies and hygiene products for Taney County elementary schools, and Santa’s Gift House where children may shop with a JATC elf for up to four items made by JATC members for a nominal cost."

Schiller continued, "One of our newer projects is Kindness Effect Cards Project where JA members, their neighbors, children or grandchildren, various school classes, etc. write cards of encouragement to residents of assisted living facilities or nursing homes.


One of our revamped programs is Celebrate Reading whose major goal is to get books into the hands of children, but along with that we have an event each year. This year that event is “Reading Around the Campfire” whichwill be held on Saturday, June 1, 2024, at the Tri-Lakes Newspaper Community Room. Children in Grades K-6 are invited to attend. Pre-registration is not required, and there is no fee."

The members of the Junior Auxiliary of Taney County strive to improve the mental, physical, social and emotional wellbeing of children in Taney County. Their slogan is “Caring Hearts, Helping Hands, Changing Lives.”

More information on JATC can be found on their Facebook page, Junior Auxiliary of Taney County, or their website,  You may also contact them via email at

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