"Carry Me Back to Ole Virginny" was written by James A. Bland. This is special music to the Lions in Virginia. The Lions Clubs of Virginia sponsor a music contest for school students called the "Bland Contest" in honor of James Bland.

The Annual Bland Music Scholarships Program was established in 1948 to assist and promote cultural and educational opportunities for the musically talented youth of Virginia. The program consists of elimination contests starting at club level and continuing through “State Final Contest.” The program is open to any boy or girl, vocalist or instrumentalist, properly sponsored by a Virginia Lions Club. Any resident of Virginia (or within the club jurisdiction) and attending elementary, junior, or senior high school is eligible to participate. Awards shall be furnished by the State Bland Committee as follows:

Over $25,000 is awarded yearly in state, regional, district, and local scholarships and cash awards. The total amount awarded can vary from year to year. To obtain information on the awards or to participate in the Bland Contest, please contact the Lions Club in your area.

Bland Foundation Board Members

Shirley Wilson
President (24-L)
Clark Vandergrift
Vice President (24-C)
Howard Dixon
Treasurer (24-L)

Board Appointees

Phyllis Hurt

Sub-District Bland Chairs

District 24-L:  Shirley Wilson

Northeast Region (Zones A-F): Shirley Wilson
Southeast Region (Zones G-J): Shirley Wilson
Blue Ridge Region (Zone K-N): Roland Santos)
Shenandoah Valley (Zone O-Q): Jim Christensen

District 24-C: Clark Vandergrift

Regions (1 & 2): Clark Vandergrift
Regions (3 & 4): Priscilla Hall or Phyllis Hurt

District 24-I: Ann Ragland

Zones (A-H): Ann Ragland
Zones (I-Q): Vickie Kennedy

Scroll to Top