Athens-Concord Town Social Announces Awards Recipients

For Immediate Release: 
Jul 28 2009

CONTACT: Greg Quick
Concord University
Interim Vice President for Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
Office: (304) 384-5318 -

Athens-Concord Town Social Announces Awards Recipients

Athens, W.Va. – Awards recipients to be honored at the upcoming Athens-Concord Town Social are being announced by the event’s planning committee. The annual social will be held Sunday, Aug. 9 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the front lawn of Concord University in Athens and features craft vendors, live musical entertainment, door prizes, a complimentary hot dog lunch and more.

Individuals and businesses that have enhanced the community and campus life of Athens and Concord University are honored each year at the afternoon gathering during an awards presentation segment of the program.
Honorees for 2009 include two Athens residents – Merlie (Mert) Fain Turner and Otis Mann - who will both receive the esteemed Elder Citizen Award.

Turner, 93, is described by her family as “a true Appalachian woman.” Born in southern West Virginia, she loved to tell her children and grandchildren about riding to school in a covered wagon, no matter what the weather. Her vegetable and flower gardens were renowned in the area and she was especially fond of tending dahlias. She and her husband, Stewart Turner, moved to Athens in 1959.

Mann has lived in Athens for 73 years. He married Athens resident, Evelyn Oxley, in 1938. A World War II veteran, he received a bachelor’s degree from Concord and a master’s degree from Marshall. He was employed by the Mercer County School System for 32 years as both a teaching principal and a principal. Mann is a member of Concord United Methodist Church.
The Total Community Involvement Award is being presented to Paul Hodges for his tireless efforts on behalf of area activities and projects. A retired PikeView High School teacher, Hodges continues to volunteer at the school. He has been a member of the Athens Lions Club for 21 years and has served as the organization’s president for two terms.

As a member of the Athens Town Council for eight years, Hodges has participated in renovation and beautification projects including removal of old buildings and installation of sidewalks. He is a graduate of Concord and is a member of the Concord University Alumni Association Executive Council.

Senate Minority Leader Don Caruth, R-Mercer, is being honored with the Extra Miler Award. Prior to being elected to the Senate, Caruth, an Athens resident and an attorney, served in the West Virginia House of Delegates. He is a graduate of Concord and West Virginia University College of Law. Caruth serves as Athens Town Attorney and is a member of Concord United Methodist Church.

Poff’s Body Shop in Athens has been selected to receive the Business Longevity Award. For more than three decades, the people of the Athens area have depended on “Buddy” Poff to keep their vehicles on the road. The proprietor of Poff’s Body Shop once tried to retire, but eventually was pressed back into service. His willingness to drive to the site of a breakdown, on extremely short notice, is legendary in the community. Poff was honored in the 1990s as Athens’ Outstanding Citizen.
Recipients of the 2009 Outstanding Citizen Award, the Beautification Award and the town social scholarship awards will be announced during the social. Each year two Athens area students who will be attending Concord University in the fall receive scholarship funds. This year’s recipients will each receive $500 per semester.
Vendors are invited to set up a booth, free-of charge, to display and sell their handicrafts at the town social. For information and to reserve a vendor space contact Sharon Griffee at 1-304-384-3243. For general information on the social contact Lynne White, Athens-Concord Town Social Committee Chairperson, at 1-304-384-4117.


CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison at 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.