Groups come together to recognize persons of the year
Citizens in Macon County came together Tuesday night at the county’s extension center to honor their respective community development associations. The groups were extremely appreciative of the Macon County Board of Commissioners for their support, and they were also grateful to have the opportunity to come together and celebrate all of their hard work.
The community development associations began in the 1950s and have been going strong ever since. The associations do a variety of different things in their communities, including fund raisers for people in need, scholarship awards, beautification projects, road clean-ups, musical events, and historic renovations among other things.
“One of the things that has started in Macon County in the past few years has been community gardening, and a lot of that has come from the hard work of some of our association members,” said Macon County Extension Director Alan Durden.
Macon County gives each group $275 a year to support the organizations, and that investment goes a long way in laying down a foundation for the association’s group leaders to work with. “You would be surprised with how far that money can take an organization,” said Durden. “That amount could pay a power bill for the entire year. And you have to recognize our county commissioners for their support. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but I know our associations appreciate what they give to them,” he said.
The monies are not wasted, however. After observing and listening to the group’s leaders talk about this year’s projects and events, it is fair to say the small amount of money is well spent.
“I thought the night’s dinner was a success,” said Macon County Extension Director Alan Durden. “The participants seemed to enjoy the meal, the speeches, and the award recognitions. The people that were awarded, and everybody associated with the groups, do a lot of great things in their communities. I thought it was a great opportunity to be able to recognize them for all that they do to make Macon County a better place to live.”
The communities of Nantahala, Pine Grove, Upper Cartoogechaye, Holly Springs, Otto, Cowee, Carson, Cullasaja, and Clarks Chapel were all represented at the event. Each member voted to recognize two people from their associations at the event, and award them for their efforts during the past year.
Carson Community awarded Walter Coggins and Faye Leatherwood; Clarks Chapel awarded Ernie Taylor and Brenda Taylor; Cowee recognized Rich Robb and Susan Ditch; Holly Springs awarded Don Seagle and Dorothy Seagle; Nantahala recognized Tom Oswalt and Anna Lee Rowland; Otto awarded Barry Cabe and Gail Stiwinter; and the county’s oldest association of Pine Grove recognized Steve Kahler and Kathy Kahler as its Man and Woman of the Year.