Athens-Concord Town Social Award Recipients Announced

For Immediate Release: 
Jul 13 2005

Athens-Concord Town Social Award Recipients Announced

Athens, W.Va. – The 19th annual Athens-Concord Town Social will be Sunday, August 14, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the front lawn of the Concord University campus.

The Town Social committee is announcing the following award recipients:

The Total Community Involvement Award for 2005 will be awarded posthumously to Georgia Swan Kelley, who passed away July 4. Kelley, 77, came to Concord College in 1960 to begin her memorable 33-year career as the “mother of women’s athletics.” During her career, she founded and coached women’s basketball, volleyball, softball, tennis, track, field hockey and swimming. She also served as a sponsor for the Mountain Lion cheerleaders for 28 years and ran the women’s intramural program for many years. Highlights of her achievements and awards included coach of the year, coaching 28 first team all-conference players, Concord Woman of the Year in 1971, the first woman to win the Mike McLaughlin Award for service to the WVIAC in 1993 and the first woman to be inducted into the Concord College Hall of Fame in 1997. She also received the Linda Fink Service Award in 2002. Following retirement, she continued to be a faithful supporter of Concord and the Athens community by serving as member and later as chair of the Athens-Concord Town Social planning committee.

Bergie O. Thornton will be the 2005 recipient of the Elder Citizen Award. Her parents were Marion C. and Ethel Meador Oxley and she was born in Gardner, W.Va., and moved to Athens when she was in elementary school. She graduated from Athens High School and Concord College. She began her teaching career at Gardner-Union, and also taught at Spanishburg and Thorn schools. She retired in 1974 after 41 years of service. She married Luther C. Thornton in 1945. She has one daughter, Rose T. Kessinger of Princeton. Thornton is an active member of the Athens Baptist Church and a past matron of the Athens chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star. She enjoys reading, traveling and gardening.

The Trading Journal will receive the 2005 Business Longevity Award. The publication, begun in July 1977, lists a variety of goods and services at no charge to its advertisers. The Trading Journal has been run, since its founding, by Rosalie Peck of Athens. Until recent years, she was assisted by her mother-in-law, Marge Peck, who delivered bundles of the publication across a wide portion of southern West Virginia. Marge Peck said "our biggest problem in getting it started was that people didn't believe they could advertise for free. They thought there must be a catch." The publication is distributed in Mercer County and parts of Tazewell, McDowell, Giles, Bland and Monroe counties.

The recipient of the Extra Miler award will be announced during the town social festivities.

The Town of Athens and Concord University jointly plan the social, which is traditionally held on the second Sunday of August. The goal of the Town Social is to provide an opportunity for residents of the Town of Athens and surrounding areas, the Concord community and visitors to socialize in a small-town setting -- 600-800 guests typically attend.

Vendors are invited to set up a booth, free-of-charge, to display and sell their handicrafts, and local musicians provide toe-tappin’ entertainment for the guests. ARAMARK provides the fixin’s for a picnic, also free-of-charge.

FOR VENDOR INFORMATION, CONTACT: Ms. Sharon Griffee, 1-304-384-3243.

FOR GENERAL INFORMATION, CONTACT: Town Social Committee Co-chair Jean Beasley, 1-304-384-9712.

Additional information about the Town Social is available on the web. Log on to, click on “News & Events,” then “Events,” and “Community.”



The committee for the 2005 Athens-Concord Town Social consists of: Co-chair/Treasurer Jean Beasley, Vice Chair Anne O’Sullivan, Secretary Pat Edge, Mary Edna Beckett, Kevin Bennington, Tom Bone, Sharon Griffee, Jim Hardin, Lori Keaton, Randy Keaton, Ann Kessinger, Larry Mann, Anita (Lewis) Moody, Margaret Ann Scott, Lynne White and Kati Whittaker.

CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Persons with disabilities should contact Rick Dillon, 1-304-384-5231 if special assistance or help is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.