The Gadsden Arts Center was the setting recently as center director Grace Maloy and staff held its annual appreciation reception for donors and volunteers.
Maloy thanked everyone who played a part in the center’s successes in 2008 and singled out those who went above and beyond the call of duty. Following a brief slide presentation on the accomplishments of the year, she recognized each recipient and presented them with a print of the 2008 Regional Art Exhibit commemoration poster, a cut paper creation, by Art In Gadsden founder Beth Appleton.
Recognition for civic support went to the city of Quincy and the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners. Maloy said the support of these two entities gratifying and shows that governments realize the importance of the arts and the role it plays in economic development. She also singled out Quincy's Community Redevelopment Agency for its financial contribution toward roof repairs and facade improvements to the Gallery Cafe, which is currently under renovation.
"No gallery could operate without its volunteers and we have some of the best. They come week after week and offer services wherever they are asked," Maloy said. Weekly volunteer recognitions went to Patsy Bates, Mary Katherine Faircloth, Joanne Ivey, Marjorie Morgan, Mary Lou Murphy, Marty Peele, Carleen Speed and Nita Ziegler.
Dawn McMillian was honored for her work as the Volunteer of the Year for print and web designer, and Penny Dehler was recognized for chairing the fashion show, one of the most successful fundraisers sponsored by the center.
Each year, Maloy said, the center is beautifully decorated when new shows open. Those recognized as lead decorators were: Kay Edwards, Julianne Hackney, Tee Hinson, Debbie Maxwell, Sara Ruth McKeown, Toni Robinson and Martha Jean Woodward.
"They come up with all of these beautiful, incredible creations from their yards, in the woods and even beside the roads," she said.
"Some people did so much this year that we could not narrow it down to just one Volunteer of the Year. There are three people. Not only did these two women prepare most of the food for opening nights, thy also bought most the food, which translates into thousands of dollars," Maloy said, adding that caterers Jan Anderson and Susan Hinson deserved every recognition.
Mary Howard Edwards, chairman of the Art In Gadsden Board of Directors, was named Volunteer of the Year for her work.