The Kanawha Alumni Association (KAA) moved one year closer to its centennial reunion celebration with the observation of the 99th Annual Reunion at the end of May. Festivities for the weekend began on the evening of Friday, May 25 with the annual Burnsville High 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 26, activities started off with a parade that featured Burnsville graduates Jerry Wilson, Class of 1966, and Margret Wilson Willey, Class of 1963, as parade marshals. The theme for this year's festivities was 'Let's Go to the Spot' - recalling Burnsville's iconic restaurant, The Spot.
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, under the direction of John Kimble, played the National Anthem.
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: Class of 1978 (first place), Bruin statue (second place), and Class of 1953 (third place).
As part of the weekend of events, the Burnsville Public Library held an open house and honored members of the Burnsville Volunteer Fire Department as hometown heroes. Fire Chief Summers gave brief remarks during the event and accepted a certificate from Library Director Beth Anderson. Visitors were also able to view several displays featuring photos of current and former BVFD members, accident scenes, and fire trucks.
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 began at 5:00 p.m. The meeting was then called to order by President Tom Crutchfield after the opening curtain revealed The Spot restaurant. The set was a recreation of the interior of the restaurant, complete with counters and stools, milkshake mixer, and candy display. Crutchfield was joined on stage by KAA recording secretary Paul Peck and Jennings Dancy, who later delivered the invocation and benediction. Fourteen current Burnsville Elementary School students who acted as servers for the dinner were also introduced. Those students were: Aurora Andritsis, Shae Arnold, Karl Boyce, Paxton Conley, Emma Conrad, Allison Cosner, Haley Morris, Nova Newhouse, Erica Nicholson, Kaden Nottingham, Bailey Pritt, Lauren Pritt, Allie White, and Josh Wimmer.
Four graduating seniors took the oath and became official association members. They included Seth Arnold, Amber Belknap, Beth Ramsey, and Abby Wilmoth.
The John Godwin Memorial Scholarship, presented by A. J. Godwin, was given to Abby Wilmoth. The Lion's Club Tom Casto Memorial Scholarship was given to Seth Arnold. The Claud 'Bud' Mick Scholarship was presented to Amber Belknap. All four graduating seniors also received additional scholarship funds from the Kanawha Alumni Association. Seniors from the previous year - Logan Wilson, Justin Vankirk, and Tristen Brown - all received second year renewals of their Mick Scholarship due to satisfactory academic progress in their ongoing college endeavors.
Dick Graff was presented with the Bruin Award. The Alumnus of the Year award was presented to Jerry Wilson, Class of 1966, and the Alumna of the Year award was given to Jan Cosner Crutchfield, Class of 1982. Additionally, Howard Conley (Class of 1945), William 'Bill' Wiant (Class of 1945), and Iverna Bouch (Class of 1949) 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 Terry and Justin Vankirk, held an auction for items donated to the association which raised nearly $750. Special thanks to David Parmer, Sandy Conrad, Boody Talbert, and Lost Road Candles in Flatwoods for their donations.
Following the meeting, a baked steak dinner was served to around 150 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!
Those attending included: Ann Kelley Redcliff, April Ramsey Boyce, Karl Boyce, Arthur Brooks, Betty Mallet Pritt, Betty Carson, Bill Singleton, Donna Conrad Singleton, Billy Ware, Ann Ware, Tammy Ware, Brenda McPherson Conley, Carla Mick Conley, Carolyn Pulliam Graff, Charles Lane Conrad, Chuck Bucklew, Corene Stump Carey, Irene Stump White, Darrell Brown, Sherri Weidemoyer Brown, David Parmer, Barbara Jeffries Parmer, Dean Townsend Grooms, Deanna Brown Stewart, Brittany Stewart Pescetto, Debbie Singleton McPherson, Butch McPherson, Dick Graff, Dixie McCauley, Don Niles, Dorothy Hardesty McPherson, Dustin Crutchfield, Ellen Lynch Stilwell, Phillip Stilwell, Gary Crutchfield, Gentalee Steele Blake, Hilda Brown Clutter, Howard Conley, Barbara Conley, Iverna Bouch, Jack Dean, Donna McClain, James H. Robison, James L. Godfrey, Susie Godfrey, Jessica Cook, Jane Riddle Richter, Jane Gibson, Janet Jeffries Simmons, Janet Nicholson Schindler, Bill Schindler, Jan Cosner Crutchfield, Timothy Crutchfield, Jennings Dancy, Brenda Conrad Dancy, Jerry Kelley, Jim Kelley, Robert Kelley, Scott Tomich, Deborah Tomich, Jerry Wilson, Jimmy Pulliam, Joan Wiant Fields, JoAnn Simmons, Ralph Simmons, John Brown, Loretta Brown, John Burgett, Connie Posey, Judith Cayton Steele, Justin Vankirk, Terry Vankirk, Kenneth Bosley, Shirley Bosley, Kenneth Pulliam, Betty Williams Pulliam, Lamona Brown Casto, Larry Wine, Dawn Wine, Everett Wine, Lawrence Losh, Brenda Edmondson, Darrell Edmondson, Lawrence Posey, Crissy Posey, Lewis Wine, Mary Pritt Wine, Linda Conrad Leggett, Reilee Wilson, Linda McCauley Moore, Robert Moore, Anita Miller, Linda Posey Dean, Terry Dean, Laura Singleton Spencer, Treva Racette, Lloyd Franklin Posey, Betty Posey, Margret Wilson Willey, Mary McHenry Kaufman, Pamela Brown Cuppari, Patsy Morrison Reckert, Patty Radabaugh, Kim Bohon, Patty Graff Cobb, Paul Peck, Paul Bragg, Barbara Brown Bragg, Roberta Butler, Bernard Butler, Ronald Smith, JoAnn Bosley Smith, Ronnie Brown, Tammy Brown, Rose Buckhannon Hefner, Betty Buckhannon Long, Rose Riffle Murphy, Ruth McLaughlin Updike, George Updike, Sharon Conrad Brady, Shirley Kelley, Shirley Singleton Lloyd, Donald Conrad, Donna Conrad, Tessie Morton McGinnis, Ted Myers, Donna Rhoads, Thomas Ratliff, Louise Bush Ratliff, Tom Blake, Charlene Blake, Tom Crutchfield, Tristen Brown, Twila McPherson Clark, Wanda Kuhl Pratt, Kenneth Pratt, Wanda Malcomb Ratliff, Johnna Wimmer, Willard Steele, Mary Steele, William Bill Wiant, Tom Durrett, Russ McClain, Cortney Crutchfield, Jessica Vandernick, Todd Pritt, Kelly Pritt, Wanda Heater Duley, Derek Burke, Katie Campbell, Gail Smith, Debbie Ford, Aurora Andritsis, Shae Arnold, Karl Boyce, Paxton Conley, Emma Conrad, Allison Cosner, Haley Morris, Nova Newhouse, Erica Nicholson, Kaden Nottingham, Bailey Pritt, Lauren Pritt, Allie White, Josh Wimmer, Seth Arnold, Tammy Arnold, Abby Wilmoth, Angie Wilmoth, Amber Belknap, Pandora Belknap, Michael Belknap, Joe Green, Sandy Keener, Beth Ramsey, Shannon Ramsey, Andy Godwin, Lisa Godwin, A.J. Godwin, Barbara Godwin, Daniel Arnold, and Cassie Squires.