The Story of g.r.i.t.s.

by Anne Cross

THE STORY OF GRITS STARTED about this time in 2005 when the CCA National Specialty host club posted to all members a reminder about making reservations for grooming spaces, vendor spaces, reserved seats, etc.   

In this timely reminder they included a plea for members and groups to support the National with trophy pledges, listing the ones either not covered yet, or not completely coverd.

I was STUNNED at the number of trophies FOR OUR NATIONAL that were still un-pledged.   Started my wheels turning!

Somewhere along the way in the past year I had seen the acronym GRITS that stood for Girls Raised In The South.  I thought it was hilarious, and so, so appropriate.  One of my favorite movies has been Steel Magnolias with so many of my favorite actresses, a good story line and depicting Southern girls as a different "breed" so to speak -- funny, strong, emotional, fiercely loyal and supportive of friends and family and forever courageous.

I can’t even recall the exact moment the thoughts about the CCA deficits in trophy pledges and GRITS merged, but they did.  I got online to a number of what I will call " ‘ol Southern girls" . . . who had been friends and fellow Collie breeders/exhibitors for years.

My goal was to get together a group of us who were "raised in the South" to pitch in to support one of the major (read "more expensive") awards for OUR National and help out.  Was I surprised at how well received the idea was?  YES and NO.   We ‘ol Southern girls are known to be generous and helpful to a fault, but the spirit of fun caught on, and almost everyone I contacted just LEAPED at the chance to be able to chip in a modest amount, support it with a group of friends, call the group such a fun name, and have lots of chuckles when others asked us 'what in the world GRITS means?"

So, we all chipped in our slice and sponsored the Rough, Best of Variety trophy for the CCA National Specialty in Oklahoma. 

It didn’t end there. 

We all ordered sparkly pins with the acronym GRITS to identify ourselves and generate some curiousity, AND we "spruced up" our names a bit (sometimes a LOT) to add to the fun and listed this in the premium list and catalog. 

WELL . . . Y’all . . . every time I was asked and told the story of GRITS to anyone (and if they didn’t ask, I volunteered the story!) I got chuckles and "Good for you all" . . . just warmed my heart, I am telling ya.’  SO much fun!

It still didn’t end there.

GRITS talked about continuing this into 2006 and beyond.  I mean, being good ol’ Southern Girls… we HAVE to continue at least through the 2007 CCA National, don’t we?  It is IN the South !  In Nawth Carolina for sho-re.

For 2006, members wanted to (1) cut the cost per GRITS down to around $20 . . . that was easy to do because we gained new members and (2) to sponsor awards for BOTH Roughs and Smooths.  Talk about FAIR!  So, we have accomplished both of those goals.

The other issue we discussed was to "challenge" . . . not a duel, you understand, just a good natured challenge to others to get together a group and follow our example. 

One of our members talked to a friend of hers in the Northeast and suggested getting together friends and calling themselves GRINS . . . that’s Girls Raised In Northern States . . . I chuckled and chuckled and chuckled over that . . . soooooo funny and appropriate.  You know, it could be GUYS . . . instead of GIRLS . . . so don’t you gentlemen feel left out, now!

Honestly, fellow CCA members . . . this has been so much fun that I really URGE you ALL to think about this.  What a wonderful way to support our National without taking a huge bite out of your CCA travel budget, and have fun doing it.

I know that many of you have clubs who sponsor awards each year, as my own East Tennessee Collie Club does.  That  usually comes from the show proceeds of your club, so it doesn’t hurt as much. You worked hard to put on that show and made a little profit, hopefully, so it is only right that you should do what you can to help the BIG show of our parent club.

Recently, Mary Wells, Trophy Chair for CCA 2006, sent an email reminder of the placements not covered as of January, a reminder that to be LISTED in the catalog, those must be submitted by the 31st of January.  I heard from her that the reminder got many of you to follow up and there were fewer awards left un-pledged shortly thereafter. 

So, what are the rest of you’all waiting for!  Get on the e-mail and have some fun with your friends!  Create a name if you wish.  Support your parent club’s BIG event of the year.

If you wish info about ordering pins, contact me at and I will be happy to send that.

If you wish to contribute to the general trophy fund, please contact Mary Wells at and pledge your support.

Thanks for listening to the Story of GRITS!

Anne Cross
a.k.a. Annabelle Louise Parker Cross of Shadowmont Farms in the shadows of Signal and Lookout Mountains in the Volunteer State of Tennessee

Come’on Y’all . . . Let’s Get Together Now !

G.R.I.T.S. -- Girls Raised In The South

Betty Abbott, Abbeyhill Collies
Jerri Alberti, Haw
keire Collies
Kathy Burke, Springcreek Collies
Maralyn Busse, Happy Talk Collies and Schipperkes
Diane Cauble, Caublestone Collies
"Mike" Cheatham, Southland Collies
Anne Cross, Shadowmont Collies
Babbi Dilbeck, Mello-D Collies
Bobbie Fairbanks, Azalea Hill Farm
K. Dale Futh, Starberry Collies
Karen Murphy Hawkins, Hawksnest
Rayleen Hendrix, Apple Valley Collies
Jackie Henson, Shelana Collies
Debbie Holland, Fantasy Collies
Anne Kocsis, Misselmoor Collies
Nancy Lawrence, Windkist Collies & Smooth Fox Terriers
Nancy McDonald, Barksdale Collies
Suzy McHughes, Memphis, Tenn.
Millie Meyer, Gay Mill Collies
Kathy Moll, Deep River Collies
Kathy Price, Shanarock Collies
Brenda Shreve, Collinwood Collies
Brenda Walker, Phantom Farm

The Collie presents an impressive, proud picture of true balance, each part being in harmonious proportion to every other part and to the whole.

– from the AKC Collie Breed Standard

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