The 82nd Athens Old Fiddlers Reunion and Contest is officially on the radar.
Brookshires in Athens once again kicked off preparations for the annual event by presenting a check for $2,500 on Wednesday to Mary Ensign of the Athens Old Fiddlers Reunion.
“We’re once again glad to be a Platinum Sponsor of the event this year,” Brookshires Store Director Charles Beasley said. “This event has such a rich history here, and we’re looking forward to the fun.”
This year’s event will once again have all the fiddling, fun and funnel cakes you can handle, but there will be one big change. To better accommodate contestants, the decision has been made to hold the jam session on the last Friday, which falls on May 31 this year, with the contest to follow on Saturday, June 1.
All festivities will once again be held on the Henderson County Courthouse square, where they’ve been held each year since 1934 after large crowds forced the event to move from the Athens High School auditorium in 1933 (the first contest, in 1932, was held in Bethel).
Ensign said it was hard to make the decision to move the contest to Saturday, but added it should open the contest up to young fiddlers who previously couldn’t attend because they were in school on Fridays.
She said overall attendance may grow, as well, since many spectators won’t have to take off work to come.
“I really think it will be a better deal,” she said. “I’ve heard nothing but good things about changing it to Saturday. We’re still keeping with the tradition of having the event the last Friday in May, we’re just kicking it off with the jam session Friday night.”
Old Fiddlers organizers announce shift in schedule
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Theater director ends 25 years
Former owner of the Athens Review, Richard “Dick” Dwelle said it best: “There are so very many people who have made significant contributions to this community, but it would be difficult to find anyone who has had a greater impact for good on the youth of Athens than Dennis Gilmore.”
After 25 years as Executive Director of The Henderson County Performing Arts Center, Gilmore announced his retirement from HCPAC.
Chandler resident Tom Booth shot free throws for 24 hours to raise money for God’s Open Hands and a sports missionary. He overcame three surgeries to set a new record for shots made during the fourth annual Free Throws for Souls event held Friday-Saturday at Chandler First Assembly of God. He took 24,575 shots and made 15,750 for a 64 percent success rate. The goal is to raise more than $30,000 to donate all the proceeds toward missions work.
Kiwanis Pancake Day
The Athens Kiwanis Pancake Day started with a bit of uncertainty because of the weather, but ended with a steady stream of customers.
When the last griddle had been put away, the Kiwanis had served 1,525 customers, and raised over $20,000, before expenses.
Master Gardeners present giant check
The Henderson County Commissioners Court heard the annual report of a hard-working group on Tuesday.
The Henderson County Master Gardeners presented a giant check to represent the value of the volunteer work the organization performed in 2013.
Adopt a Bucket
As part of the activities surrounding the Color Fun Run for Water benefitting Hope Springs Water on March 22, participants will have the opportunity to adopt a bucket of water for the day for only $20.
The bucket is symbolic of those carried by mostly women and children in countries without access to clean water each day.
Citizens Academy coming
As a part of the City of Chandler’s ongoing effort to communicate information, provide transparency and promote citizen involvement, Mayor Ann Hall and the City Council established the Chandler Citizens Academy in 2013.
The first session was held April-May 2013, and was deemed a success by organizers and attendees.
A second academy is planned for 2014, with the first class scheduled for Tuesday, April 15.
Fighting for life
Family and friends have rallied around 20-year old Aaron Jenkins.
Three weeks ago Jenkins, a Mabank resident and former Trinity Valley Community College student, was diagnosed with liver cancer.
Aaron's Aunt Sheila Guill said, “He's pretty sick, but Aaron has a high pain tolerance and doesn't complain.”
Lake Palestine, Athens above levels, CCL close
Lakes Athens and Palestine are above their normal levels, while Cedar Creek Lake to the west still needs a good downpour to close the gap.
On Monday, when the average Texas lake stood at just 64.3 percent of full. Lake Athens had a reading of 440.06 feet, just above its average.
Three arrested for drugs
Drug offenses led to three Athens Police Department arrests over the weekend according to reports.
The first incident on Friday night resulted in the arrest of Joshua Paul Rogers, 25, for evading arrest and possession of a controlled substance. Rogers remained in custody on Monday, with bond set at $9,000 on the two charges.
County unemployment edges upward
Henderson County unemployment edged upward in January, falling between the state and national rates.
The January Texas Workforce Commission Report, issued on Friday, gave Henderson County a 6.1 percent reading, after a 6.0 percent rate in December. The national unemployment figure was 7.1 percent, while Texas enjoyed its lowest mark since 2008, 5.7 percent.
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