Award Recipients Announced, Vendors Invited to Participate in 22nd Annual Athens-Concord Town Social

For Immediate Release: 
Jul 09 2008

CONTACT: Anita Moody, Director, Public Relations/Marketing

Award Recipients Announced, Vendors Invited to Participate in 22nd Annual Athens-Concord Town Social

Athens, W.Va. – Get ready to enjoy toe-tappin’ music, free food, and great company at the 22nd annual Athens-Concord Town Social, to be held Sunday, August 10 on the front lawn of Concord University from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The ACTS (Athens-Concord Town Social) Committee announces that the following awards will be given at the Social: the Business Longevity Award, the Elder Citizen Award, the Beautification Award and the Total Community Involvement Award.

The dental practice of Dr. Charles Lane Jr. has been selected to receive the Business Longevity Award. Dr. Lane continues the practice founded by his late father. Since 1985, the office has been located just south of Athens along W.Va. Route 20, on land that was part of his father's 400-acre farm.

The best part about working in the Athens area, Dr. Lane said, is "just knowing the people as more than just patients. You know them for their whole lives… and, being part of the community."

"Athens is a good place to raise kids," he said. "That's probably the biggest reason I moved back here." He had spent five and one-half years in dentistry with the U.S. Air Force in Florida after graduating from West Virginia University.

His father started his dentistry practice in McDowell County. The elder Lane's military service was re-activated for the Korean Conflict, and when he got out of the service, he took over an established dental practice in Princeton. He then moved his office to its current location.

The younger Dr. Lane said that dental work is "something I've been around all my life." He views the field as "a nice mix of science and mechanics."

In addition to his thriving practice, he devotes time to his own 100 acres of farmland. "That keeps me pretty busy," he said.

Ms. Irene Benson will be recognized as “Elder Citizen.”

Irene Kirksey Benson was born on October 31, 1916, in Taylor County, Georgia. She was the oldest of five children of Lester and Beatrice Kirksey. Irene’s mother died when Irene was 10 years old, so she quickly had to assume many of the duties typically held by the mother in a family.

Irene attended Georgia Southwestern College where she studied to become a teacher and then began her teaching career in Taylor County at Crossroads School in 1938.

While teaching at the school, a new principal arrived: Mr. Arthur J. Benson. Kirksey and Benson married in 1941.

Ms. Benson taught for 26 years in the Taylor, Marion and Clayton school systems before she and her family moved to Athens in 1964 when Mr. Benson accepted a position at Concord College.

Ms. Benson taught at both Montcalm and Mercer Elementary, ending her teaching career in Mercer County after 16 years.

Ms. Benson has been a member of the Athens Baptist Church where she has served as Sunday school teacher, helped with vacation Bible school, welcomed and oriented new pastors and served as a friend to all.

She served Princeton Community Hospital as a volunteer “pink lady” more than 15 years and was an active member of the Athens Women’s Club.

The Lions Club of Athens will receive the Beautification Award for their work in the ball field at the Athens School. “The Club repaired and repainted the dugouts, cleared and leveled the playing field, fixed the fence, laid water pipe, and removed and replaced the roof on a storage building,” noted Lynne White, chair for the Town Social Committee.

The Total Community Involvement Award will be given to Ms. Jean Beasley for her support of the ACTS and many other community endeavors.

Jean Dressler Beasley is the wife of Concord University President Jerry L. Beasley. She has taught Communication Law, Business Law, and English and Latin, and she has performed legal work for law firms in West Virginia.

She is a former member of the West Virginia Women’s Commission, an inactive member of the West Virginia State Bar Association, a founding board member of the Mercer County Hospice, member and former chairperson of the Mercer County Academic Boosters, member and former trustee of the Concord United Methodist Church and former member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

The Marsh Memorial Carillon will ring in the Town Social from noon to 1 p.m., and then the bells will again toll from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Joe Lively will serve as emcee again this year, having served in this function for around 10 years.

ARAMARK provides the fixin’s for the free-of-charge picnic. So, mark your calendar for this annual event, sure to please even the most discriminating tastes!

The theme for this year’s event is “A Celebration of Jean Beasley’s Service.”

Vendors are invited to set up a booth, free-of-charge, to display and sell their handicrafts.

FOR VENDOR INFORMATION, CONTACT: Sharon Griffee, 1-304-384-3243, Ann O’Sullivan, 1-304-384-7353

FOR GENERAL INFORMATION, CONTACT: Lynne White, 1-304-384-4117


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.