The Kanawha Alumni Association (KAA) continued its tradition with the celebration of its 97th Annual Reunion during the last weekend in May. Festivities for the reunion began on Friday evening with the annual Burnsville School Reunion on the football field behind the school. There, a large crowd enjoyed an extensive potluck buffet and cookout. Attendees enjoyed bluegrass music and songs by the Burnsville Youth Choir led by Erin Bush.
On Saturday, May 28, activities started off with a parade that featured 1959 Burnsville High School graduates John and Margaret (Bragg) Armentrout as parade marshals. The theme of "My Hometown" was present throughout the parade and other weekend activities.
At the post-parade ceremony, American Legion Post 33 was on hand to lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance while the Braxton County High School Marching Band played the National Anthem and provided other musical entertainment.
Master of Ceremonies, Butch McPherson, led the crowd in a moment of silence in memory of veterans and fallen soldiers. Later on, he presented awards to the top four parade participants: first place, the Outlaws Little League baseball team; second place, a 'Stars and Stripes' entry honoring those who served the country driven by Arley Murphy; third place, the Class of 1966; and fourth place to the Braxton County High School Marching Band under the direction of Courtney Cole.
That afternoon, at the Burnsville Public Library, a reception was held in honor of former librarian Mary Susan (Brown) Black. Those in attendance were able to browse pictures, share stories, and meet her son David, who was on hand for the occasion.
Returning alumni and friends gathered at the school beginning at 4:00 p.m. Auction items were on display and the Alumni Center was open to visitors. The annual business meeting and scholarship presentations began at 5:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order by President Tom Crutchfield after the opening curtain revealed a recreation of the old Burnsville Taxi stand. The set was complete with signs, a life-sized replica taxi, and townsfolk shooting the breeze on a bench outside the stand. Those on stage included Crutchfield, KAA recording secretary Paul Peck, Jennings Dancy who later delivered the invocation and benediction, and KAA Vice President Donna (Conrad) Singleton. After the Andy Griffith Show theme song ended, the program began and eleven current Burnsville Elementary School fifth and sixth grade students who acted as servers for the dinner were introduced. Those students were: Lainey Hunt, Taylor Freeman, Dalton Butcher, Peyton Butcher, Olivia Ramsey, A. J. Godwin, Annabelle McMillion, Johnna Wimmer, Mackenzie Bailey, Allison Cosner, and Michaela Cool.
Seven new inductees then took the oath and became official association members. They were: Tessa Pritt, Dalton Dean, Destini Wolverton, Michelle Ramsey, Brooke Fincham, Kayla Hurst, and Tiffany Conrad. Barbara Godwin was on hand to present the John Godwin Memorial Scholarship to Dalton Dean. The Lions Club Scholarship was presented by Paul Peck to Tiffany Conrad. The Ingrid P. Powell Memorial Scholarship was presented by Rudy Powell to Brooke Fincham. Tessa Pritt and Dalton Dean were both awarded the $1,000 Claude 'Bud' Mick Scholarship and Destini Wolverton and Michelle Ramsey received $1,000 Kanawha Alumni Association Scholarships. Additionally, returning 2015 seniors Sarah Mallory and Megan Dean received renewals of their Mick Scholarships due to continuing academic success.
The Bruin Award was presented to Sandy (Burgett) Conrad, wife of Roger Conrad, Class of 1967. The 2016 Alumnus of the Year award was given to Dustin Crutchfield and the Alumna of the Year was given to Donna (Conrad) Singleton. Additionally, Imogene Cogar Slaughter and William 'Bill' Wiant and Howard Conley were recognized as the oldest alumni in attendance at the event.
With a vote of the members in attendance, the previous slate of KAA officers were reinstated for another year. At the end of the meeting, Dick Graff, with the assistance of Darwin Plumlee, held an auction for items donated to the association which raised over $700. Items included a handmade basket (donated by Jill Crutchfield Schiefelbein), a hand-etched lamp and cookie jar (donated by Sandy Conrad), several themed baskets that were donated by local businesses, a plush throw with an image of the Burnsville High School and reunion year printed on it, and much more. In addition, Tessie Morton McGinnis, Class of 1952, was announced as the winner of the handmade quilt made by Jan (Cosner) Crutchfield.
Following the meeting, a baked steak dinner was served to around 200 returning alumni, newly inducted seniors, friends, and guests. Special thanks to Anita Miller and Helen Harper for preparing the lovely meal. The full day of events concluded with music and dancing in the school gymnasium. Entertainment was provided by local DJ, Don Niles.
Any alumni that would still like to purchase a philatelic postmark commemorating the 97th reunion may submit a request to the Burnsville Postmaster within 30 days.
More photos from the weekend can be seen on the KAA Facebook Page by searching for Kanawha Alumni Association.
The following is a list of alumni and guests who attended (note: some individuals paid at the door and their names may not have been recorded): John Armentrout, Margaret Bragg Armentrout, Mackenzie Bailey, Sylvia Jean Barnette, Carl Blake, Esther Prunty Blake, Gentalee Steele Blake, Charlene Blake, Tom Blake, Kenneth Bosley, William "Jack" Bosley, Iverna M. Bouch, Larry Boyd, Margaret Blake Boyd, Barbara Brown Bragg, Denise Bragg, Joe Bragg, Paul Bragg, Diana B. Brooks, Jerry Brooks, Jr., Darrell Brown, Sherri Weidemayer Brown, Jerry W. Brown, Charles Eugene Buckhannon, Clyde Bush, Jr., Dalton Butcher, Peyton Butcher, Bernard Butler, Roberta Singleton Butler, Corene S. Carey, Betty Carson, Lamona Brown Casto, Twila McPherson Clark, Hilda J. Brown Clutter, Patty Graff Cobb, Barbara Conley, Carla Mick Conley, Howard Conley, Michaela Cool, Allison Cosner, Cortney Crutchfield, Dustin Crutchfield, Janette Cosner Crutchfield, Timothy P. Crutchfield, Tom Crutchfield, Ann Cunningham, Pam Brown Cuppari, Luella Nichols Dancy, April Dean, Carol Goodrich Dean, Colin Dean, Craig M. Dean, Dalton Dean, Jack Dean, Shila Doak, Bailey Doak, Linda Posey, Rebecca Wiant Durrett, Tom Durrett, Taylor Freeman, Jean S. Garber, Jane Malcomb Gibson, James L. Godfrey, Susie Godfrey, A. J. Godwin, Andy Godwin, Lisa Godwin, Bob Graff, Carolyn Pulliam Graff, Dick Graff, Linda Jeffries Graff, Richard Graff, Dean Townsend Grooms, Emma Hacker, Janet Allen Hannah, Homer Heater, Pat Heater, Rose Buckhannon Hefner, Tom Hefner, Brenda Allen Hind, Nobie Holley, Lainey Hunt, Bob Jack, Jerry Kelley, Linda Kelley, Mary Jane McPherson Kelley, Louise Crutchfield Knight, Linda Conrad Leggett, Shirley Singleton Lloyd, Geneva Williston Love, Leland Neil Love, Laurel Wine Martin, Dixie McCauley, Russell McClain, Charlotte McDougal, Tessie Morton McGinnis, Annabelle McMillion, Butch McPherson, Debbie Singleton McPherson, Doris Hardesty McPherson, Jennifer McPherson, Ted Myers, Carol Pando, Barbara Jeffries Parmer, David Parmer, Paul Peck, Destini Wolverton, Tina Riffle Wolverton, Darwin Plumlee, Sandy Mayse Plumlee, Betty Mallett Pritt, Tessa Pritt, Coy Pritt, Jr., Betty Graff Pulliam, Jimmy P. Pulliam, Kenneth Pulliam, Olivia Ramsey, Shawna Michelle Ramsey, Jackie L. Ratliff, Louise Bush Ratliff, Tom Ratliff, Wanda Malcomb Ratliff, Donna Rhoads, Jane Anne Riddle Richter, Patricia Wiant Ridpath, Bonnie Riffle, Jim Robinson, Junior Sanders, Phyllis Sanders, Ann Shearer, Virginia Singh, Betty Singleton, Billy Singleton, Donna Conrad Singleton, Doug Singleton, Linda Singleton, Ruth Mick Singleton, Sally Skinner, Emogene Cogar Slaughter, Jo Ann Bosley Smith, Ronald Smith, Judy Cayton Steele, Willard L. Steele, Ben Strader, Martha B. Taylor, Billy Ray Ware, Sharon Hardman West, Bonnie Godfrey Westfall, Irene Stump White, William "Bill" Wiant, Margret Wilson Willey, Eddie Williams, Linda Williams, Sharon Williams, Charles J. T. Wilson, Jerry Wilson, Reilee Wilson, Johnna Wimmer, Mary Pritt Wine, Ronald Wine, Jo Allen Worley, and Wanda McLaughlin Zolla.