The Kanawha Alumni Association (KAA) moved one year closer to its centennial reunion celebration with the observation of its 98th Annual Reunion at the end of May. Festivities for the weekend began on the evening of Friday, May 26 with the annual Burnsville School Reunion on the football field behind the school. There, a large crowd enjoyed a potluck buffet and cookout. Melodies of gospel and bluegrass music emanated from the stage as classmates and old friends reminisced.
On Saturday, May 27, activities started off with a parade that featured Burnsville High School graduates Jerry Kelley and Shirley Singleton Lloyd as parade marshals. The theme for the parade and other festivities was 'The Best Years of Our Lives.'
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 three parade participants: first place, BHS Class of 1962; second place, BHS Class of 1967; and third place, BHS Class of 1957.
Burnsville natives Danny Heater and Jamie Summerlin also took the stage to be recognized. The pair were being honored by the Burnsville Public Library as hometown heroes. Both gave brief remarks about their love for the town of Burnsville, thanked their friends and family for support, and spoke about the importance of honoring the community.
Later, 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. and kicked-off with a short video clip showing a montage of classic movie scenes and old-time Hollywood stars. The meeting was then called to order by President Tom Crutchfield after the opening curtain revealed a recreation of the old Burnsville Theatre. The set was a picture-perfect replica of the exterior entrance of the old building complete with overhead marquee, period movie posters and the smell of popcorn in the air. Those on stage included Crutchfield, KAA recording secretary Paul Peck, and Jennings Dancy who later delivered the invocation and benediction. Thirteen current Burnsville Elementary School fifth and sixth grade students who acted as servers for the dinner were introduced. Those students were: Karl Boyce, Josh Wimmer, Paxton Conley, Nova Newhouse, Haley Morris, Erica Nicholson, Riley Hunt, Dreyven Luzader, Michaela Cool, Allison Cosner, Mackenzie Bailey, Rylan Prunty, and Peyton Butcher. Gilmer County High School student Lindsay Chapman also assisted the servers; she is the granddaughter of Ronald and Joann Smith.
Five graduating seniors and one honorary member took the oath and became official association members. They included Tristen Brown, David 'Luke' Ramsey, Justin Vankirk, Logan Wilson, Tiffani Workman, and Debbie Brown.
The John Godwin Memorial Scholarship, presented by A.J. Godwin, was given to Justin Vankirk. The Lion's Club Tom Casto Memorial Scholarship was given to Tristen Brown. The Claude 'Bud' Mick Scholarship was presented to Logan Wilson, Justin Vankirk, and Tristen Brown. That same trio also received additional scholarship funds from the Kanawha Alumni Association, as well as Tiffani Workman.
Danny Heater was presented with the Bruin Award. The Alumnus of the Year award was presented to Jack Bosley, Class of 1962, and the Alumna of the Year award was given to Tessie Morton McGinnis, Class of 1952. Additionally, Howard Conley and William 'Bill' Wiant (Class of 1945), and Iverna Bouch (Class of 1949) were recognized as the oldest alumni in attendance at the event.
It was also announced that a plaque would be placed outside the school gymnasium to commemorate the 135-point basketball scoring record set by Danny Heater in 1960. The record, for most points scored in a high school basketball game, still stands and is recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records.
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 Terry Vankirk, held an auction for items donated to the association which raised over $800.
Following the meeting, a baked steak dinner was served to around 200 returning alumni, newly inducted seniors, friends, and guests. The full day of events concluded with music and dancing in the school gymnasium. Entertainment was provided by local DJ, Don Niles.
More photos from the weekend can be seen on the KAA Facebook page by searching for Kanawha Alumni Association. Go Bruins!
The following were in attendance: John Armentrout, Margaret Bragg Armentrout, Kristen Blake, Thomas Blake, Piper Strauser, William Jack Bosley, Kenneth Bosley, Shirley Bosley, Iverna Bouch, Sharon Conrad Brady, Paul Bragg, Barbara Brown Bragg, Jerry Brown, Darrell Brown, Sherri Weidemoyer Brown, Tristen Brown, Debbie Brown, Susan Duncan Burroughs, William Butt, Carol Butt, Betty Carson, Lamona Brown Casto, Larry Casto, Sondra Wine Casto, Hilda Brown Clutter, Patty Graff Cobb, Howard Conley, Barbara Conley, Lane Conrad, Karla McPherson Conrad, Gary Crutchfield, Jan Cosner Crutchfield, Tim Crutchfield, Tom Crutchfield, Cortney Crutchfield, Dustin Crutchfield, Carl Dexter Cunningham, Brenda Conrad Dancy, Jennings Dancy, Luella Nichols Dancy, Jack Dean, Linda Posey Dean, Rebecca Wiant Durrett, Tom Durrett, Carol Love Flitcraft, Paul Flitcraft, Beulah Conrad Ford, Jane Malcomb Gibson, James Godfrey, Susie Godfrey, Dick Graff, Janita Sumpter Hawkins, Nova Newhouse, Rylan Prunty, Erica Nicholson, Josh Wimmer, Danny Heater, Rose Buckhannon Hefner, Mary McHenry Kaufman, Jack Kaufman, Jerry Kelley, Mary Jane McPherson Kelley, Robert Kelley, Shirley Straley Kelley, Linda Conrad Leggett, Shirley Singleton Lloyd, Betty Buckhannon Long, Dixie McCauley, Russ McClain, Donna McClain, Charlotte McDougal, Tessie Morton McGinnis, Doris McPherson, Jennifer McPherson, Carla Mick, Linda McCauley Moore, Robert Moore, Jennifer Dancy Morrison, Logan Morrison, Ted Myers, Don Miles, Shalee Nottingham, Stoney Nottingham, David Parmer, Barbara Jeffries Parmer, Paul Peck, Judith Skinner Persinger, Frank Posey, Betty Posey, Wanda Kuhl Pratt, Kenneth Pratt, Betty Mallett Pritt, Jimmy Pulliam, Kenny Pulliam, Betty Pulliam, Jearl Ramsey, Lois Smith Ramsey, Cherry Dale Ratliff Ramsey, Luke Ramsey, Thomas Ratliff, Louise Bush Ratliff, Wanda Malcomb Ratliff, Ann Kelley Redcliff, Donna Rhoads, Jane Riddle Richter, Pam Brown Roberts, Terry Roberts, Peyton Butcher, Allison Cosner, Paxton Conley, Mackenzie Bailey, Karl Boyce, Terry Roberts, James Robison, Phyllis Sanders, Ray Sanders, Janet Nicholson Schlinder, Bill Schlinder, Ann Shearer, JoAnn Kelley Simmons, Ralph Simmons, Virginia Singh, Bill Singleton, Donna Singleton, David Singleton, Jane Singleton, Emogene Cogar Slaughter, Ronald Smith, Joann Bosley Smith, LindsayChapman, Gail Smith, Shirley Brown Stalnaker, Willard Steele, Mary Steele, Judy Steele, Deanna Brown Stewart, Pat Stewart, Ellen Lynch Stilwell, Phil Stilwell, Mary Blake Talbott, Ruth McLaughlin Updike, George Updike, Jessica Hosey Vandernick, Nick Vandernick, Justin Vankirk, Terry Vankirk, Peggy Wine Vankirk, Adrian Vankirk, Billy Ray Ware, Edith Hardman West, Robert Westfall, Larry Westfall, Bill Wiant, Homer Earl Williams, Sherrill Williams, Jerry Wilson, Logan Wilson, Mary Pritt Wine, Lewis Wine, Larry Wine, Dawn Wine, Everett Wine, Tiffani Workman, Jamie Workman, Dreyven Luzader, Michaela Cool, Haley Morris, and Riley Hunt.