Former Charleston students came together this past weekend to relive old memories and create new ones during the annual Alumni Weekend.
The weekend activities began on Thursday night, with a Gospel, Bluegrass and variety singing and performance, which was held in the Belle Museum Chapel with a packed house to watch the superb local talent. There were a large variety of performers taking part in the program; Tim Aldridge, Jennifer Verkamp, Louise Noel and Will Schmidt, Sam McFerran and Melissa McFerran, accompanied by Jeannie Wells, pianist, Dana Storey Crenshaw and Dr. A. J. Johnson, Delbert Hicks, Rylee Bagwell, accompanied by her father, Tommy Bagwell, the Bluegrass Thoroughbreds, James and Marcie Malicote and Justin and Marcie K. Newhart. All of the performers did a great job for a very receptive and appreciative audience and deserve a great big thank you.
The Museum, located on the corner of Main and North Greenwood Streets in Charleston, was open Thursday, Friday and Saturday and after the Sunday meeting. Several new exhibits were shown giving area residents and visitors a chance to reminisce about the areas history.
The Early Bird Reception, sponsored by Simmons First National Bank, was held in the Community Center and kept the weekend going in style, giving everyone a chance to do what they like to do best, just plain visiting. Simmons First National Bank sponsored the reception as well as furnished refreshments for the event, but more importantly furnished an avenue for Charleston Alumni to visit with old friends or to make new ones. A lot of both have happened throughout the years.
Saturday morning activities started off with a pancake breakfast, sponsored by the Charleston Lions Club that was held at the First United Methodist Church in Charleston. The donations made during the pancake breakfast support the Lions Club and will help provide eye exams and glasses for those who cannot afford them in our community.
The annual golf tournament, sponsored by the Charleston Chamber of Commerce, was held at Little Creek again this year. The team of Bryan Smith, Chris Smith and Chase Rainwater and the team of Bill Bowen, Mark Bowen and Alec Bowen tied for first with a 10 under score of 62. The team of Rodney West, David Burton and Hank Hancock finished third with an 8 under score of 64. Many prizes donated by area businesses were given away to the golfers.
Hug Chevrolet, Buick, GMC sponsored a hole in one with a grand prize of a new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu along with several other prizes. No one managed the elusive hole in one during the tournament. Golf tournament chairman, Jeff Stubblefield said he would like to thank HugGM for the hole in one prize, as well as all the sponsors who donated prizes and money to the annual event and to the players who entered. The money raised from the tournament is used to help fund a scholarship to a Charleston High School graduate.
Sunday activities started off with the annual dinner at the Charleston High School cafeteria. The dinner, sponsored by the Charleston Beta Club, drew a large number of alumni, who came to enjoy the delicious meal prepared by the Charleston Schools cooking staff. There was also a lot of visiting and reminiscing.
Class of 1963 graduates, Davis Pritchett and Pat Plummer presented the flags and led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance to open the annual meeting, which was held in Doll Means Auditorium in the Charleston Middle School. Charleston High School graduate Jennifer Verkamp sang the National Anthem. Wendell Grubb gave the invocation. Jeff Stubblefield, Superintendent of Charleston Public Schools, welcomed everyone to the meeting and updated everyone on the events of the past year at Charleston High School as well as outlined some future plans for the school.
Jeff Stubblefield presided over the election of officers with the same officers as last year re-elected, Paul Gramlich as president, Shane Storey as vice-president and Dorothy Lawrence as secretary/treasurer.
Mr. Stubblefield also conducted numerous drawings throughout the afternoon with gifts given by, Simmons First National Bank; The Presbyterian Church Chapel and the Belle Museum, Delbert and Mary Belle Ervin; Charleston Express; Charleston Super Stop, Wade and Susan Dunn and Paul and Dianne Dunn; CV’s Family Foods; Greenhurst Nursing Center, Fred, Kriss and Jonas Schaffer; Hug Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC; Medisav Pharmacy, Joe and JoAnn Larkin; P&S Propane, First National Bank; S&B Ready Mix, Everett Buckner; Buckner Charolais, Everett and William Buckner; Buckner-Fleming Concrete Contractors, Everett Buckner and Smith Mortuary.
Mary Belle Ervin presided over the roll call of classes with 31 classes represented at the meeting. The earliest class represented was 1932 with Lois Sharpe Doran. The latest class, represented was 2008, with Jennifer Verkamp and Morgan Moore. Approximately 80 people represented the classes in between, with the class of 1963 having the most members present.
Joe Dick Burt, Everett Buckner and Delbert Ervin accepted donations from those present with approximately $375 collected for the Alumni Association. The Association voted to give $2000.00 to the Charleston Schools to help replace the curtains in Doll Means Auditorium in the Charleston Middle School.
Jennifer Verkamp entertained the group with two songs.
Rose Davidson gave a memorial service for deceased alumni.
The meeting was closed with a benediction given by 1963 graduate, Carl Haney.
After the meeting a reception was held.