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26th Annual Groundhog Day Breakfast Scheduled for Monday, February 2 at Concord

26th Annual Groundhog Day Breakfast Scheduled for Monday, February 2 at Concord

Athens, W. Va. – Concord Charlie, the most reliable weather prognosticator in these here parts, will make his annual end-of-winter weather prediction at 8 a.m., Monday, February 2, 2004, in the College Center Ballroom at Concord College.

The Groundhog Day breakfast tradition has provided a forum for Concord College officials to recognize those who have contributed to the history and color of West Virginia by awarding them the honor of “Grand Groundhog Watcher.”

Former “Watchers” include: 1978, A. James Manchin (deceased), Mr. Manchin was a former Secretary of State and State Treasurer of West Virginia; 1979, Jim Comstock (deceased), Mr. Comstock was the Editor of The West Virginia Hillbilly;

1980, Shirley Donnelly (deceased), Mr. Donnelly was a historian and a columnist for Beckley Newspapers Inc; 1981, Dr. E. Meade McNeill (deceased), Dr. McNeill was a Professor of Biology at Concord College; 1982, Don West (deceased), Mr. West was the Director of the Appalachian South Folklife Center, Pipestem, WV; 1983, James Dent (deceased), Mr. Dent was a humor columnist and cartoonist for The Charleston Gazette; 1984, Dr. Charles Kenneth Sullivan, Dr. Sullivan is Executive Director of the West Virginia Humanities Council; 1985, George A. Daugherty, Mr. Daugherty, "the Earl of Elkview," is a prominent Charleston attorney; 1986, Ken Hechler, Mr. Hechler is a former West Virginia Secretary of State and a former Congressman; 1987, Edward J. Cabbell, Mr. Cabbell, an Appalachian scholar, is the founder of the John Henry Foundation; 1988, R. T. Hill (deceased), Mr. Hill was the father of the Concord College Groundhog Day Breakfast and former Professor of Geography at Concord College; 1989, Reverend Harry Christie, Rev. Christie was the pastor of Princeton Presbyterian Church;

1990, Dr. James Bailey, Dr. Bailey is co-founder of Veterinary Associates of Princeton and a Mercer County civic leader; 1991, Nelrose Richards Price, Mrs. Price retired as Registrar of Concord College after working 41 years at the College; 1992, Jean Battlo, Mrs. Battlo is a published poet and playwright from McDowell County; 1993, Katharine Tierney (deceased), Mrs. Tierney was a Bluefield civic leader and longtime friend of Concord; 1994, Denise Giardina, A McDowell County native, Ms. Giardina is a successful novelist focusing on the vibrant culture of the coalfields; 1995, Thomas Conlin, Former West Virginia Symphony Artistic Director and Conductor; 1996, Frankie Ferrante (deceased), Owned Mercer County restaurant, Frankie’s La Salute, and was an active civic and community leader; 1997, Dr. Elliott J. Blaydes, Sr., Retired Bluefield eye specialist and philanthropist; 1998, Recent Concord College Retirees (Harold Bailey, John Seago, Paul Morgan, Bill Ryan, Bill Wells, Beryle Santon, Violet Martin, Kevin O’Sullivan, Ed Lowe, Dale Geiger, Carl Chapman, Shelva Rarick, Bernard Keirnan, Karl Fezer, Kenneth Baker); 1999, Jerry Jarrell, Retired Director of the National Hurricane Center, a Concord alumnus and Raleigh County native;

2000, Andrew Paterno, President and Chief Executive Officer of Acordia Mid-Atlantic, a Concord alumnus and Kanawha County native; 2001, Andy Ridenour, Larry Groce, Ridenour is originally from Washington, D.C., Groce is originally from Texas. Both are with West Virginia Public Radio; 2002, Dr. J. Douglas Machesney, Dr. Machesney was Concord’s Vice President for Development from 1986 through 2002; 2003, Dr. Jay Banks, Retired physician and author, lives in Union, West Virginia, with his wife, “Marty.”

Cost for the “ham and eggs” breakfast is $6.50, payable at the door or in advance. For more information or to make reservations, call 1-304-384-5348 / 6056 or e-mail


CHARLIE’S NOTABLES: An old Scottish couplet predicts: If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there be two winters in the year. February 2 is the ancient date for the Christian celebration of Candlemas. A tradition among European settlers in America developed that if the groundhog sees his shadow on the morning of February 2, he is scared back into his burrow and takes spring with him, producing six more weeks of winter.

CONCORD COLLEGE NOTES: Persons with disabilities should contact Rick Dillon, 1-304-384-5230, if special accommodations are required.