Good Weather Prevails for The 20th Annual Town Social

For Immediate Release: 
Aug 12 2006

Good Weather Prevails for The 20th Annual Town Social

Athens, W.Va. – Ed Hartman and the Midnight Ramblers launched the Athens-Concord Town Social by performing energetic blue grass and mountain music. In addition, Athens High School classes of 1956 and 1966 held their reunion at the annual affair—the 20th Town Social held in the Town of Athens.

Joe Lively served as emcee for the event. He invited guests to recognize those being honored for contributions to previous Town Socials.

Next, he introduced Mayor Robert Richardson to present the Elder Citizen award to Mrs. Sallie Friedl. Sallie Belle (Harlan) Friedl was born February 2, 1912, in Tompkinsville, Ky. She received a B.S. in home economics from Western Kentucky University and met her husband, Joe Friedl (now deceased), while he taught and coached at WKU. Mrs. Friedl is a proud mother of five children (Joe Jr., Chester, Henry, Dexter, and Sally Ann), grandmother to nine grandchildren and great-grandmother to nine great-grandchildren. She taught for 32 years in southern W.Va., Ky., and Va., and served as a reporter for the “Princeton Observer” (now, “Princeton Times”). She was editor of the “W.Va. Retired Teachers Magazine.” She has lived in Athens since 1948, and she is active in the Athens Methodist Church.

Mayor Richardson then presented the Business Longevity Award to the Deli-Mart. Jerry Peck is owner of the Deli-Mart in Athens. Peck, who previously ran a restaurant in Athens, has managed the business since 1984. The Deli-Mart is the place area folks have come for groceries, gasoline, farm feed and supplies. Peck also runs the adjacent laundromat. The store, which opens at 6 a.m. daily, goes through about 40 pots of coffee a day. Peck’s wife, Rosalie, accepted the award on behalf of her husband. “He’s at the store making coffee,” she quipped!

Dr. Jerry Beasley, president of Concord University, followed by presenting the Total Community Involvement award to Eddie Kessinger. Kessinger was recognized for providing years of service to the town of Athens. Kessinger worked at the Athens Post Office for over thirty-nine years, where he served as postmaster for thirty-five and a half years until his retirement in December of 1999. He is a former member of the Athens Town Council, and served on the Athens-Concord Town Social committee from 1986 until 2004. Kessinger currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Athens Volunteer Fire Department, and he is also an active member of the Athens Baptist Church, the Athens Lions Club, and the Princeton Gideon’s International.

Dr. Beasley presented the Extra Miler award to Mrs. Sharon Ofsa, recognizing her dedication to the Athens community. Ofsa is known as the town photographer, making sure her subjects always receive a copy of her work. Her caring nature often takes her to nursing homes and hospitals to show her support for friends, and she has even driven elderly friends to visit their children several hundred miles away. Her thoughtfulness shines through with every birthday or anniversary card sent. The holidays are always a special time for her to celebrate and spread joy with the children in the community. She also spends hours involved with a number of organizations for which she participates in community service.

ACTS Committee Chair Tom Bone surprised Jerry and Jean Beasley by awarding them the “Founder’s” award, recognizing their enthusiasm for the Town Social from its inception 20 years ago. He presented a hand-drawn plaque to the couple.

Lynne White, a member of the Town Social Committee, announced that Alicia Evans and Daniel White, students who attend PikeView High School, will be receiving scholarships from the ACTS committee for $500 each.

Representing the Athens Women’s Club, Mr. Anthony Bisaha presented their Beautification award to Carol and David Bard, for their work on the fire hydrant project. Mr. Bisaha represented his wife, Debra, who is president of the club.

Concord University Athletic Director and Football Coach Greg Quick gave the crowd a pep talk and he, along with members of the 2006 football team, formed a huddle and broke with a rousing cheer!

Billy Goat Gruff performed after the awards ceremony, and Town Social Chair Tom Bone served as clown again this year.

Kylene Babsky from Princeton designed the art on the Town Social’s t-shirts and mesh bags. She is a Concord University student and intern in the public relations office. The art was inspired by sculptures of mountain lions by local artist Michael Sizemore that will be unveiled this fall. Two bronze sculptures, one of a mature mountain lion representing experience and a young mountain lion representing youth will be installed in front of the Marsh Library this fall. Sizemore had the sculpture of the young mountain lion on display at the Town Social.

The Town of Athens and Concord University jointly plan the social, which is traditionally held on the second Sunday of each 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.

Thirty nine vendors, a record number, displayed their wares, and ARAMARK provided the fixin’s for the picnic, free-of-charge.

BB&T provided the mesh sport bags, given to each attendee at no charge, and First Community Bank provided the t-shirts.

Door prizes were provided by: A Taste of Memphis, Inc., Absolute Styles, Advance Auto Parts, Angelo’s Pizzeria, Auto Zone, Ba Ja Lawn & Garden, Barker’s Muffler & Tire City, Berkshire’s Frozen Custard Shop, Big Lots, Billy Goat Gruff, Brogan’s Long Shot, Captian D’s, Conner Printing, Douglas Sporting Goods, Dr. Charles E. Lane, Jr., Four Season’s Pharmacy, Gaylords, Hickman’s Pharmacy, Lowe’s , Matherly’s Barber Shop, M.N. “Mike” Pashion Book Store at Concord University, Pipestem Trading Post, Pizza Hut, Poffs’, Pro Nails, Ramey Motors, Robo Car Wash, The Showdown, Tudor’s Biscuit World and Virginia Hardware.


PHOTO: Town of Athens Mayor Robert Richardson presents a resolution from the Town of Athens to David and Carol Bard for their work on the fire hydrant project.

PHOTO: Jean and Jerry Beasley thank the Athens-Concord Town Social committee for the surprise “Founder’s” award.

PHOTO: Mayor Robert Richardson presents the Business Longevity award to Deli-Mart Owner Mrs. Rosalie Peck who accepted on behalf of her husband. Concord President Jerry Beasley is also pictured. “He’s at the store making coffee,” Mrs. Peck quipped about her missing husband.

PHOTO: Little Miss Callie Lamb, daughter of Mary Beth Caruth and John Lamb, and granddaughter of Lois Caruth, celebrated her seventh birthday at today’s Town Social.

PHOTO: Tom Bone serves as both the chair of the Town Social committee and the clown!

PHOTO: The ACTS clown pays homage to the new sculpture that will be installed in front of the Marsh Library. The sculpture was crafted by local artist Michael Sizemore and an official unveiling ceremony will be held during Homecoming weekend (October 6).

PHOTO: Mrs. Sallie Friedl takes the microphone to thank friends and the Town Social committee for being recognized as the Elder Citizen.

PHOTO: Sharon Ofsa received the Extra Miler award from the Town Social committee, which was presented by Dr. Beasley.

PHOTO: “Roar,” the Concord University mountain lion, strikes a pose with guests at the Town Social.

PHOTO: Eddie Kessinger receives the Total Community Involvement award, which was presented by Dr. Beasley.


Committee members for the 2006 Athens-Concord Town Social were Chair Tom Bone III, Co-chair/Treasurer Jean Beasley, Vice Chair Anne O’Sullivan, Secretary Pat Edge, Mary Edna Beckett, Kevin Bennington, Sarah Dalton, Sharon Griffee, Jim Hardin, Lori Keaton, Randy Keaton, Ann Kessinger, Larry Mann, Anita Moody, Margaret Ann Scott, Lynne White and Kati Whittaker.

CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679, extension 6086 if special assistance or help is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.