In Case You Missed the article In The Telegram Published On Nov. 25,’18

Sunday, November 25, 2018 – Rocky Mount Telegram                                          From Contributed Reports

Twin County Hall of Fame Welcomes New Inductees

Lanny Shuff left, and Sam Toler hold Toler’s portrait during the Twin County Hall of Fame Induction Banquet at the Rocky Mount Event Center.

The 15th annual Twin County Hall of Fame Induction Banquet was many things this year — not only a celebration of 12 new inductees but a revival meeting, a fashion show, a reunion of friends, family and supporters and a remembering of those gone before us that helped form who we have become — our parents, mentors, coaches, educators and friends.
The banquet was a first at the new, spectacular Rocky Mount Event Center where rooms Edgecombe 1, 2 and 3 can be opened to seat a large gathering. Everyone was appreciative of the chef back in the kitchen preparing food for a small, intimate dinner party of 500 people, who were served a delicious meal of salad, steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, and small cheesecake desserts.

This was a history-making occasion with an audience filled to capacity since the Induction Banquets began and the first catered event in the Event Center. Golden Platter Milton Bulluck, a 2006 inductee, entertained the audience with several signature songs.
Framed portraits honoring the lives, leadership and careers of the class of 2018 Inductees were presented in honor of Dr. Robert and Rev. Carolyn Barbe, Dr. Newsom Pittman Battle and Dr. Margaret White Battle, James Erastus Batts, Dr. Charles Marshall Coats, Janice Beavon Gravely, Janice Bryant Howroyd, Robert ‘Bob’ Melton, Lt. Col. James A. Mercer. Betsy Buckley, and Samuel A. “Sam” Toler. In addition, Kimberly Kyser accepted on behalf of her father, musician Kay Kyser, who was inducted in the class of 2004.

A life of service and leadership with the underpinnings of education, discipline, responsibility, perseverance and strong parenting was the reoccurring theme throughout the inductees’ stories. The acknowledgment that faith, prayer and the church strengthened the lives of these outstanding citizens was evident.

No one in attendance will soon forget the quiet, sweet voice of inductee Janice Bryant Howroyd when accepting her award while singing the hymn her mother taught her: “I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free. I know his eye is on the sparrow, I know he watches over me.”

At the end of the evening, there was a collaborative sigh of thanksgiving for the inductees, the success of the occasion and the amazing guests. There was even a shout from within the Event Center: “We Did it!”
They certainly did.

SFH with an additional Comment: When I went off to the University of Kentucky, I intended to major in Journalism, but my Freshman Advisor was the head of the Sociology Department and one thing led to another. The closest I got to0 that original dream was selling advertising for a weekly newspaper called The Country Gentleman in Crestwood Ky. When Lanny Shuff asked me to write this piece for the Telegram it brought a smile. You know the expression having your day in court, well, I had my day writing for a newspaper. It was fun.  

An Invitation for Dinner on November 8th With 12 Interesting Guests

Did you ever play the game ‘dinner party’ where you named your guest list from famous people? I always thought it revealed interesting things about my friends as they named their list. I dare say you will know more about me if I tell you I would invite – Coach K, Roger Federer, Amos Townes the author of A Gentleman in Moscow, Newt Gingrich,  English gardener and writer, Beverley Nichols, singer Michael Boule, and Senator, Susan Collins, who recently gave an historic speech on the floor of the Senate.

You are invited and have a wonderful opportunity to have dinner with the class of 2018 inductees for the Twin County Hall of Fame. This year’s class includes an author and painter, an educator, the ‘King of ‘Barbecue, two groundbreaking female business owners, two married couples of medical doctors, a veterinarian, a 30-year Little League Coach, and a military and public safety officer. The inductees come from both Edgecombe and Nash Counties.  Six are living and six will be inducted posthumously.

Dr. Robert Barbe and Rev. Carolyn Barbe
Dr. Newsom Pittman Battle and Dr. Margaret White Battle
James Erastus Batts
Dr. Charles Marshall Coats
Janice Beavon Gravely
Janice Bryant Howroyd
Lt. Col. James Mercer, US Army (Ret.)
Robert “Bob” Melton
Betsy B. Strandberg
Samuel A. Toler

 

The event is being held at the new Rocky Mount Event Center, which is an amazing venue for a wonderful occasion like this. We are among the first guests and I guarantee you will be wowed by this new public building. Come and honor those who lived their lives making a difference in the community and thank those who are still with us for their leadership today. Your ticket not only helps pay for your dinner but acts as a fundraiser, a much-appreciated contribution towards the framed portraits that are given to the inductees and a fund that one day will help purchase a permanent space for the Twin County Hall of Fame. Your support for this annual event is appreciated! Looking forward to seeing you there.

5:30 p.m. Registration and Social, 6:15 p.m. Dinner, 7:00 p.m. Program

CLICK HERE TO FIND A REGISTRATION FORM FOR THIS EVENT 

YOU CAN PAY BY MAIL OR ONLINE

Open House at the Event Center Today at 4:00 – It’s Fantastic!

I took myself to the Event Center yesterday and oh, my, it is really something. It is an amazing venue for sports events and future Rocky Mount activities. I can’t name my favorite part, but in the beginning, it was the sports area for sure. But then I thought the meeting spaces were wonderful and I can’t wait to have a hot dog in the snack area.

You will be pleased. In spite of the disagreements, the concerns, the bah humbug, things believed wrong, what has been created is a first-class public building. I will let the photographs I took wet your appetite for more.

Twin County Hall of Fame Recipients

A meaningful thing happened as I was leaving the center when I stopped to talk with a young black man. I asked him if he was working on the project and he said, “Yes, Ma’am, but inside.”  “I bet it makes you proud to have been a part of this project.” His face lite up and he repeated, “Yes, Ma’am.” That was the moment the Event Center opened for me.

Mark my words, just like the controversial ballpark that got built in downtown Greenville, SC, this Event Center is a winner and a destination. You know what my admonition to everyone is – –                     CLAP YOUR HANDS AND BELIEVE!