Athens-Concord Town Social Committee Awards Scholarships and Honors Those Who Volunteer

For Immediate Release: 
Aug 13 2005

Athens-Concord Town Social Committee Awards Scholarships and Honors Those Who Volunteer

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

Lynne White, representing the Athens-Concord Town Social Committee presented Kimberly Jennings and Christopher Traylor scholarships of $500 each from the Town Social committee.

The Town Social committee announced the following award recipients:

The Total Community Involvement Award for 2005 was awarded posthumously to Georgia Swan Kelley, who passed away July 4. “Many of you knew Georgia and her spirit looms large here,” stated Concord University President Jerry Beasley. “Georgia was a pioneer and a tough woman and a giver to the community.” Jim Kelley accepted the award on behalf of the family.

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.

Robert Richardson, mayor for the Town of Athens, presented the Elder Citizen award to Bergie O. Thornton. “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,” stated Mayor Richardson. “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 Mayor presented The Trading Journal the 2005 Business Longevity Award. “The publication, begun in July 1977, lists a variety of goods and services at no charge to its advertisers,” noted Mayor Richardson. “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.”

Concord University President Jerry Beasley presented the Extra Miler award to Joe Lively and Bob Rollins.

“Joe loves and promotes bluegrass and old-time music, commented President Beasley. “He was involved in establishing the Appalachian Highlands Music Association, which fosters and preserves old-time and bluegrass music, and currently serves on its board of directors. He volunteered several years for WAEY radio station, hosting ‘The Bluegrass and Old-time Music Program’ on Sunday nights. Nowadays, Joe can be heard Sunday nights hosting bluegrass and old-time music for Kicks Country radio.”

“Bob Rollins started his career with Concord in 1958 as a dishwasher and worked his way up to manager of the catering service,” announced President Beasley. “When the company he worked for lost the contract with Concord, he was offered a job with them in New York. Rather than move from his home, he quit and got a job with Concord’s maintenance department as a painter. He retired from the College in 1995.

“Today, although Bob is officially retired, he still keeps plenty busy. Mornings he can be found at the post office acting as a ‘Goodwill Ambassador’ and keeping the place spotless. He always has time for a neighborly greeting or to help you out the door with a heavy package. You might see him with his grandson at little league games handing out refreshments. He mows seven lawns and five cemetery plots for folks who can’t do it themselves. In the winter, his walk is always one of the first ones shoveled. He stepped right up and pitched in to help with this year’s town clean up by getting out early and cleaning up his walk. He even patched the holes in the sidewalk in front of his house.

“Bob has shown many of us what small town neighborliness is and he’s a real asset to Athens and Concord,” concluded President Jerry Beasley.

Mary Lu Geiger represented the Athens Women’s Club and presented the Citizen of the Year award to Carol Bard and the Beautification Award to Jack Fredeking.

Athens own Tom Bone III handed out balloons as he served as the official Town Social clown for the ninth consecutive year.

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.

Approximately 28 vendors set up a booth to display and sell their handicrafts, and local musicians provide toe-tappin’ entertainment for the guests. ARAMARK provided the fixin’s for a free picnic.

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.”


PHOTO: Lynne White, representing the Athens-Concord Town Social Committee, presented Kimberly Jennings and Christopher Traylor scholarships of $500 each from the Town Social committee.

PHOTO: Concord University President Jerry Beasley presented the Extra Miler award to Joe Lively.

PHOTO: Concord University President Jerry Beasley presented the Extra Miler award to Bob Rollins.


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.