17th Athens-Concord Town Social a Resounding Success
Athens, W. Va. - Setup was almost complete by 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 10, as organizers readied the front lawn of the Concord College campus for the 17th annual Athens-Concord Town Social (ACTS). For the second year in a row, the skies were a little overcast but cleared as ACTS Co-chair Jean Beasley welcomed guests. (It "officially" started raining at 5 p.m., at the conclusion of the event.) Close to 900 were in attendance.
"I'm looking for lots of sunshine, lots of people and lots of good fun," stated ACTS Committee Co-chair Jean Beasley. She thanked business sponsors for the event including: ARAMARK, BB&T, First Community Bank and Shrewsbury Machine and Casting, and the volunteers who contributed to the success of the event.
STAR95 from Princeton and WCIR from Beckley provided "live radio remotes" for the event.
ACTS Co-chair Georgia Kelley said that, "We are so happy that it is not raining, and we are pleased that the Concord College football team is helping with the children's games this year!"
Committee member Jim Hardin noted that this is the second year he has volunteered with the town social committee and he really enjoys the event.
ARAMARK Food Services donates the food for the event, and Steve Dodder, Assistant Director of Dining Services, stated that the food would be really good!
ACTS committee member Anne O'Sullivan was responsible for the vendor arrangements, and she noted that the 32 vendors were really pleased to be invited to the Town Social. She thanked employees from the Town of Athens and the Concord College maintenance staff for their hard work early Sunday morning to prepare the grounds.
First Community Bank-Princeton, Vice President for Financial Operations, Karen Browning stated that the Town Social folks are easy to work with, and the bank looks forward to familiarizing themselves with local residents at the event.
Homer Ball represented the Lions Club; they held a "silent auction" to raise money for causes they support.
The ACTS Committee gave awards to townspeople for their contributions to the community.
Carol Bard received the Total Community Involvement Award. "This is an opportunity to honor and pay tribute to people who contribute to the community," stated Jerry Beasley, as he presented the award to her. "Carol is a physical therapist who works tirelessly to help people in the community, she also 'adopts' Concord students who need a home away from home."
Virginia Butler received the Good Neighbor Award. This is only the third award given since the Town Social began. (ARA received the award in 1994 and Raymond Martin received the award in 1998.) "Mrs. Butler is known as the 'geranium lady.' Her porch is filled with lovely geraniums that Athens residents enjoy. She is the great-grandmother of 17 and one of her grandchildren will be attending Concord this fall," stated Jerry Beasley. "Mrs. Butler was elected 'Mother of the Year' recently at her church."
Athens Mayor Robert Richardson presented the Business Longevity Award to the Athens Family Practice. The Practice has been in business for 28 years and is currently operated by Princeton Community Hospital, with Dr. Omar Kassem serving as physician. Dr. Kassem noted that he hopes to continue to provide service to this area for a long time.
Mayor Richardson presented the Elder Citizen Award to Rosa Lee Wiley, who was born February 19, 1910. Mrs. Wiley has three great great grandchildren.
Rebecca Peyton, president of the Athens Women's Club, presented the Outstanding Citizens Award to the Athens-Volunteer Fire Department. Members of the department and the newly-formed auxiliary group accepted the award.
Ms. Peyton also presented the Athens Beautification Award to Norman and Missy Cole, who continue to make Athens a beautiful place to live.
High school students and Athens residents Candace Hall and Christina Hill received $500 scholarships from the ACTS Committee to pay toward their tuition at Concord College.
The first town social, held in 1987, was the brainchild of Concord President Jerry Beasley; official bylaws were adopted in 1992. The ACTS committee is comprised of volunteers from the Town of Athens and Concord College and the event is held annually on the second Sunday in August.
The committee for the 2003 Town Social was: Co-chair/Treasurer Jean Beasley, Co-chair Georgia Kelley, Vice-chair Anne O'Sullivan, Secretary Pat Edge, Mary Edna Beckett, Kevin Bennington, Tom Bone, Gene Fields, Jim Hardin, Bill Hodges, Elizabeth Kane, Lori Keaton, Randy Keaton, Ann Kessinger, Eddie Kessinger, Joyce Kessinger, Anita Lewis, Margaret Ann Scott, Lynne White and Kati Whittaker.
PHOTO: Carol Bard (left) receives the Total Community Involvement Award from Concord President Jerry Beasley.