SYLVANIA - Recently named the State Teen Volunteer of the Year for Georgia Health Care, some may think of Macie Brannen of Sylvania as a young Renaissance woman, as she shares her many talents with audiences at nursing homes across the region.
In her tour as state teen volunteer, 13-year-old Macie has captivated audiences at Syl-View Nursing Home in Sylvania, Azalea Nursing Home in Metter, and Brown's Nursing Home in Statesboro this month, sharing her love for serving the elderly, while showcasing her talent as an entertainer with clogging and singing.
Macie is an eighth grader at Screven County Middle School in Sylvania.
While she began dancing eight years ago, it wasn't until 2008 when she began visiting her "Papa" every morning before school at Syl-View Nursing Home that she realized her ability to touch the lives of all the people who live there.
At the invitation of activities director Betty Scarborough, Macie began performing at Syl-View's monthly fun night.
She soon began visiting after school and during the summer months to take part in activities like holiday parties, exercise programs, and any other event in which she could bring smiles to residents' faces, Scarborough said.
Macie has often designed and assembled various decorative themes to brighten up the nurse's station and activities area for seasonal or holiday events. As an entertainer, Macie has been known to don costumes and model in the nursing home's Hat Parade.
Once she was chosen as Syl-View's Teen Volunteer of the Year, Macie's portfolio was sent for review to the state health care panel of judges, who then named her Georgia's Teen Volunteer of the Year.
"We are so proud of Macie," Scarborough said, "as she is truly a shining star."
Macie and her family will be traveling to Savannah on Oct. 4 to attend an awards banquet at the Hilton where she will be honored for her accomplishments.
Macie is the daughter of Marie and Pete Brannen, Jr. and the granddaughter of Elizabeth Brannen, the late Pete Brannen, Sr., and the late Wallace and Evelyn Scott. She has one brother, Mark Snell.
In addition to the many hours Macie spends volunteering at nursing homes, she is also an active member of Memorial Baptist Church in Sylvania where she sings in the choir. She plays the French horn in her school band, participates in food drives, Toys for Tots, Relay for Life, and Red Ribbon Week. She also donated her hair to Locks of Love.
Macie is the vice president of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter at her school and an officer in the 4-H Club. Through these clubs, Macie has won first and second place ribbons for her mini-exibits at the Kiwanas Ogeechee Fair in Statesboro and at the Georgia National Fair in Perry.
Macie won the showmanship award at the Screven County Livestock Festival, where she showed her award winning "Preshuss the Pig" last fall at her seventh show for the year. She went to Athens last weekend to show her newest project, Leroy the Lamb.
Macie said it was her Papa who first talked her into showing pigs. Continuing to do so nine months after his passing, she says, "I do it for Papa."
Macie has plans to go to Georgia Southern University when she graduates high school, where she is considering a major in Special Education.