2015 Athens-Concord Town Social Award Recipients - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

2015 Athens-Concord Town Social Award Recipients



ATHENS, W.Va. – Award recipients being 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. 16, 2015 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the front lawn of Concord University in Athens and features craft vendors, informational displays, live musical entertainment and children’s games.

Individuals and businesses that have enhanced the community and campus life of Athens and Concord University are honored each year at the gathering. Several scholarships will also be presented to Concord University students.

The Athens-Concord Town Social Committee is presenting four awards: Total Community Involvement Award, Elder Citizen Award, Extra Miler Award and Business Longevity Award.

Mary Lu and Dale Geiger of Athens are recipients of the Total Community Involvement Award.

The Geigers have given back to both the Athens and Concord communities for many years. As longtime WE CAN volunteers, Mary Lu and Dale work with area children and have served on that organization’s board. They have also unofficially “adopted” many Concord students.

This community minded couple has devoted time in public service to the Town of Athens. Dale was once fire chief for Athens and Mary Lu served on the town council for many years. Dale also currently organizes volunteers for a local food pantry.

The tireless and selfless work of this husband and wife team has made the Athens-Concord community a better place. 

       Helen Ball of Athens is being honored as the 2015 Elder Citizen.

Helen was born in Gary, the daughter of a coal miner. When she was five years old, the family moved to Princeton where Helen attended the local schools. She graduated from Princeton High School.

During World War II, Helen served as a “Rosie the Riveter” without the rivets. She went to work for the Celanese Corporation in Pearisburg, Va. commuting there every day by bus. The plant supplied the war effort with material that was used to make parachutes. When the war ended and the men returned home, Helen went to work for J. H. Lilly who developed Lilly Grove in Princeton.

She also worked for the First Methodist Church in Princeton where she met Homer Ball through his sister. She and Homer married and she continued working at the church until their first child was born.

The family moved to Athens where Homer had a grocery store at the corner of Vermillion Street and Church Street. Helen also worked at Pipestem State Park in the office at the par 3 golf course.

Helen and Homer raised four children, Laura, Phillip, Greg and Martha (deceased). Helen has two grandchildren, Martha and Jackson.

Greg and Lisa Godwin of Athens are being recognized with the Extra Miler Award.

The Godwins epitomize lives led for others. Greg is pastor of Concord United Methodist Church in Athens and a scout leader. Lisa is a local elementary school teacher.

They continuously give of themselves and no task is too large or small in their service. They’re a friendly presence everywhere they go.

Their dedicated work and kindnesses extend beyond the walls of the church and school into the Athens-Concord community and beyond.

The View Bed & Breakfast on Rt. 20 in Athens is the recipient of the Business Longevity Award. This charming inn opened its doors on Jan. 1, 2000 and is the remodeled family home of proprietress Elizabeth Muldoon.

Situated on seven acres at the edge of town, The View offers a tranquil look at the valley and mountains from the deck and back patio. Indoors, guests enjoy the pleasantly decorated accommodations and Elizabeth’s warm and friendly hospitality.

Guests at The View have included family members of Concord students in town for commencement; international travelers vacationing in the area; and, individuals returning to their hometown for the Athens-Concord Town Social.

“I’ve had people from all over the world,” Elizabeth said. Countries represented by her guests include Japan, South Africa, Ireland, France, India, Brazil and Great Britain.

The Athens Lions Club will be presenting the 2015 Citizen of the Year Award and the Beautification Award during the Town Social.

Paul Hodges of Athens has been named the 2015 Citizen of the Year. Mr. Hodges developed the Athens Concord Trails (ACT) for use by citizens, students and visitors to the area. He is being recognized for his dedication to providing a stimulus for individuals to join walkers and runners in seeking to improve their health and increase opportunities to socialize.

Mr. Hodges came up with the idea to measure, map, mark and create three trails for walkers or runners. He mapped and marked a one mile, two mile and three mile trail. The formation of the trails took three years of planning by the Town Council, Concord University and Mr. Hodges.

The trails begin on the Concord campus near the parking lot at the football field. Large, permanent maps of the trails are located at the start of the trails and at the town park next to the Athens Post Office. Painted ACT signs which indicate the one mile trail in black, the two mile trail in white and the three mile trail in red, can be found on sidewalks on campus and throughout the town.  If the colors are combined in the ACT letters, the trails are also combined.

From many possible recipients in Athens, the Athens Lions Club has chosen to present two Beautification Awards for 2015. One award was selected for a formally manicured yard and a second for a year round seasonally decorated yard.

Anne and Ted Kessinger of West Broadway Street are the winners for their consistently manicured lawn and yard.  The foundation plants and plants edging the side yard are always perfectly clipped and weeded.  Small decorative trees fit the house snugly and have been kept perfectly shaped.  The yard has never been anything but mowed to an exact height.  Their property would fit well in a formal garden anywhere.

Srene and Roger Lokay of North State Street are the winners for their seasonally decorated home. The beautification of the whole property has been a project of the Lokays since they moved there.

The porch is the highlight of the property.  Each season the decorations are changed to match the spirit of the time.  For the summer season, they have lined the driveway with beautiful flowers that are visible from either end of the street.

The Athens-Concord Town Social Committee will present two scholarships to incoming freshmen from the Athens area that will be attending Concord University this fall. The recipients are Peggy Ballengee and Kristan Brabb.

The Jean Beasley Athens-Concord Town Social Memorial Scholarship will also be awarded at the Town Social. This is the first time the scholarship is being presented. The scholarship is in memory of Jean Beasley who was a community leader and former chair of the Athens-Concord Town Social Committee. She served as Concord’s First Lady for more than 20 years. 

The scholarship recognizes the hard work of incoming or current CU students who are from the Athens area. This year two $1,000 scholarships are being awarded to current Concord students Jonathan Pennington and Emily Stock.

Attendees should note that photographs, possibly for publicity purposes, will be taken at the Athens-Concord Town Social.

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