Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® President, Lou Ann Thompson, is very pleased to announce that Jacqueline “Jackie” Marie Griffin will serve as the Featured Speaker at the 2014 Festival Prayer Brunch presented by Knouse Foods/Musselman’s. A mother of three, a retired Army sergeant, a devout Christian and a top-flight communicator, Jackie is a remarkable lady in her own right; but, she is probably first recognized in the Shenandoah Valley region as the mother of Heisman Trophy winner, #2 overall NFL draft pick and Washington Redskins’ starting quarterback, Robert Griffin III (RG3.)
The Griffin family’s story is one of perseverance and unity. As they raised their children, both Jackie and husband, Robert Griffin II, were active-military Non-Commissioned Officers. They were determined to challenge their children to pursue greatness; but, greatness was not necessarily to be defined by athletic accomplishment. Although two of the three Griffin children were awarded athletic scholarships to Baylor University and to Northwestern State University, in the Griffin household, faith development was essential; and, education was considered the ultimate empowerment. Life in the U. S. Army provided a unique environment in which the Griffin children could grow. Jackie and Robert II were privileged to have assignments at Fort Carson, Colorado; Okinawa, Japan; Fort Lewis, Washington; New Orleans; Seoul, Korea and Fort Hood, Texas. The children were able to experience many different cultures, plus the dynamics of the fluid living conditions of a mobile military family. Jackie and Robert II focused on the unique opportunities afforded in each region. While assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington, the Griffin family could often be found visiting Mount St. Helens, walking the trails, climbing the snow covered slopes of Mount Rainier, or ice skating in Portland, Oregon.
Jackie and Robert II made sure that their children appreciated the land that they had taken an oath to defend. The Griffin family created a more traditional home in their final assignment at Fort Hood in central Texas. Jackie and Robert II were able to finish their own college degrees, setting a precedent and challenging their children to attain a higher education. In addition to instilling in them a strong faith and a strong belief in the power of prayer, the Griffins supported their children in all their endeavors. From Junior High to High School, Jackie attended every practice and game for RG3; and, all of his games and many of his practices while he starred at Baylor University. Whether Robert II was deployed in Iraq or performing other military duties; Jackie would videotape each practice and send it to Robert II, who in turn would dissect the film and help to develop skill-strengthening drills to better equip RG3 in his goal of becoming a complete quarterback and team leader.
When not traveling to speaking engagements, the Griffins are actively involved with community youth. Jackie serves as Administrator for the AAU Five Hills Track and Field Team led by Head Coach Robert II. Her appearance at the 87th “Bloom” is sponsored by Chick fil A and First Bank. She and Robert II will be attending many activities during the Festival including both parades. The Festival Prayer Brunch presented by Knouse Foods/Musselman’s will be held on Friday, May 2nd, 2014, at 9:30am, at the Fellowship Bible Church at 3217 Middle Road. This event has sold out every year since its inception, so ticket-purchasers are encouraged to buy early. Tickets for the event will be $22.00 per person for general admission seating. Tickets may be purchased at the Official Festival Souvenir Store and Ticket Outlet when it opens on Monday morning, March 31st, at 10:00am, at “The Railroad District at 302 North Cameron Street”; or, online.