The Kanawha Alumni Association (KAA) observed its centennial reunion celebration during Memorial Day weekend. Festivities for the weekend began on the evening of Friday, May 24 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. The event was dedicated to the memory of Jim Pritt and Tim Crutchfield, both of whom passed away earlier in 2019.
On Saturday, May 25, activities kicked off with a parade that featured former Burnsville High School teachers Jack Stalnaker, Ed Stewart, and Ken Skidmore as parade marshals. The theme for this year's festivities was "Coming Home."
At the post-parade gathering, 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 1962 (1st place), Class of 1964 (2nd place), and the Burnsville Bruin Ball Team (3rd place).
Later, returning alumni and friends gathered at the school beginning at 4:00 p.m. to tour the building and visit the Alumni Center. The annual business meeting and scholarship presentations began at 5:00 p.m. Just before the meeting, a video presentation was shown that featured images from throughout the years at Burnsville School, from 1911 all the way to present day. The stage decorations featured the old Feeney Funeral Home, a nod to founding member of the Kanawha Alumni Association Thomas I. Feeney. Tom Crutchfield was joined on state by KAA Vice President Donna Singleton and Jennings Dancy, who later delivered the invocation and benediction. Eight current Burnsville Elementary School students who acted as servers for the dinner were also introduced.
Several new inductees later took the oath and became official association members. The John Godwin Memorial Scholarship, presented by A.J. Godwin, was given to Jasmine Leake. The Jim Pritt Memorial Scholarship was also given to Jasmine Leake. Amber Belknap, a 2018 graduate and association inductee, was on hand to receive a second-year renewal of her Claude 'Bud' Mick Scholarship due to satisfactory academic progress in her ongoing college endeavors. Graduates Ashley Fincham and Mackenzie King received Mick Scholarships as well. The Kanawha Alumni Association also awarded scholarships to Macy Rush, Jasmine Leake, Mackenzie King and Ashley Fincham.
Russ McClain was presented with the Bruin Award. The Alumnus of the Year award was presented to Howard "Sam" Conley and the Alumna of the Year award was given to Marge Hardman Burke.
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, auctioneer Dick Graff held an auction for items donated to the association. Special thanks to members of the BHS Class of 1962, John Armentrout, Sandy Conrad, and all others for their donations to the auction.
Following the meeting and auction, a baked steak dinner was served to around 240 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.
Copies of the second volume of the KAA Cookbook "Cooking with Class" are available as are BHS shirts, polos, flags, and buttons. Those interested can also visit the Burnsville Post Office for a copy of a special 100th year commemorative postmark.
For more information on purchasing the aforementioned items, to see more photos from the reunion weekend, or to update your contact information, find us on Facebook by searching for Kanawha Alumni Association. Go Bruins!
A (partial) list of those who attended included: Ed Acosta, Grace Mullins Acosta, Brenda Adkins, Hank Allen, Linda Gibson Allen, Aaron Anderson, John Armentrout, Margaret Armentrout, Bill Beckner, Amber Belknap, Michael Belknap, Pandora Belknap, Charlene Blake, Gentalee Steele Blake, Kristen Blake, Thomas Blake, Jack Bosley, Kenneth Bosley, Shirley Bosley, Iverna Bouch, April Ramsey Boyce, Karl Boyce, Karl Michael Boyce, Karlena Boyce, Sharon Conrad Brady, Barbara Brown Bragg, Paul Bragg, Darrell Brown, Sherri Weidemoyer Brown, Deborah Stewart Brown, Dianna Brown, Jeff Brown, Jerry Brown, Karen Cosner Brown, Larry Joe Brown, Marista Brown, Mary Sizemore Brown, Ronald Brown, Tammy Allen Brown, Sidney Brown, Alva Buckhannon, Lois Ramsey Budd, Norman Budd, Connie Posey Burgett, John Burgett, Marge Hardman Burke, Clyde Bush, Corene Stump Carey, Kevin Carey, Debora Carroll, Elizabeth Carson, Lamona Brown Casto, Shanda Marsh Casto, Mike Chapman, Rick Chapman, Dora Childers, Twila McPherson Clark, Hilda Brown Clutter, Barbara Conley, Howard Conley, Carla Mick Conley, Paxton Conley, Brenda Conrad, Donald Conrad, Donna Conrad, Lane Conrad, B. J. Cook, Jessica Cook, Allie Cosner, Deignese Strader Crabbe, Neil Crabbe, Sharrey Perrine Craig, Cortney Crutchfield, David Crutchfield, Jane Crutchfield, Crickett Crutchfield, Gary Crutchfield, Dustin Crutchfield, Janette Crutchfield, Tom Crutchfield, Brenda Conrad Dancy, Jennings Dancy, Jack Dean, Linda Posey Dean, Deanna Parker Detamore, Richard Detamore, Becky Durrett, Tom Durrett, Leo Earlenbaugh, Sue Singleton Earlenbaugh, Brenda Edmondson, Darrell Edmondson, Joan Wiant Fields, Angie Fincham, Ashley Fincham, Clint Freshour, Jane Wine Freshour, Brenda Gibson, Burnard Gibson, Billie Heater Gill, James Godfrey, Susie Godfrey, Dick Graff, Joe Green, Dean Townsend Grooms, Connie Hamilton, Max Hamilton, Shirley Hamilton, Betty Harris, Jack Harris, Danny Heater, Lena Heater, Dot Hefner, Tom Hefner, Rose Buckhannon Hefner, Neil Hogen, Ruth Nicholson Huffman, Patty Hutcheson, Claudette Jolley, Doug Jolley, Nancy Steele Kalinowski, Jerry Kelly, Michael Kelly, Robert Kelly, Ronald Kelly, and Shirley Straley Kelley.