Leila Case: ‘Celebrate good times, come on!’

Published 7:00 am Sunday, April 30, 2017

Goodness, if you were in Americus last Saturday you were bound to be having fun somewhere.
Celebrations ran the gamut and ranged from Arts in Rees Park, the 80th anniversary of the Americus Junior Service League, Southland Academy’s 50th with a prenuptial party thrown in for good measure.
Of course, I couldn’t make the rounds but I was there in spirit if not up close and personal.
The Junior Service League’s annual luncheon in honor of the 2017 provisional and elected honorary members at the John Pope Center was indeed special. Dr. Patty Fennessy, president, is a fine leader and her remarks reflected on the organization’s service since its founding in 1937. The active members continue to give back to the community through many hours of volunteer work as well as student scholarships to Georgia Southwestern State University and grants to worthwhile causes.
Congratulations to the 2017 board. Other than President Fennessy, they are: Angie Brunson, Katie Duncan, Emily Anne Thomas Strickland, Brittney Singley, Ashley Parks, Kristine Greene, Mackenzie Greene, Lauren Shemwell, Michelle Andrews, Megan Scott, and Whitney Bowen. Appointed board members are Kristin Clements, Felicia Harper, Katie Tondee and Christie Umpleby, past president.
A heartfelt welcome to 2017 Provisionals: Caitlin Downs, Elizabeth Greene, Alicia Morgan, Jenny Frantz, Kim Hicks, Joni Burnette, Kristin Gordon, Ashley Jones, Kelli Taranto, Betsy Buchanan, Jennifer Godwin, Maribel Greene and Monica Lorenze, and elected honorary members Frances Rawlins and Genie Powell.
Other highlights included an informational presentation by cookbook author, Gena Knox, of Atlanta, who doesn’t look like a food guru – but more like a fashion model. Don’t judge the book by the cover though. She is an accomplished cook and author of two cookbooks. I look forward to preparing one of the many recipes featured in “Southern My Way,” the most recent, especially her grandmother’s caramel cake.
By the way, mark your calendar for the League’s Tote-A-Treasure Attic Sale from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, May 6 at the Sumter County Fairgrounds. Cost of admission is three dollars.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people converged on Rees Park for Arts in the Park that featured diverse activities from live entertainment to pottery making and glass blowing demos. Of course, the art displays and chalk art competition were big attractions. Congratulations to the Art Council board for staging this annual event rejuvenated some 15 years ago by the man-who-reads-over my shoulder.
Southland Academy’s 50th anniversary gala was an overwhelming success, drawing a large crowd of alums and friends, retired staff and teachers, current faculty and friends at the Griffin Bell Golf and Conference Center. They enjoyed an evening mixed with music, mouthwatering fare and reminiscing over collections of memorabilia.
Susan Welch, history teacher, welcomed everyone, and Headmaster Ty Kinslow, was master of ceremonies. He recognized the charter board members, thanking them for their dedicated service to the school and community. Those present were Harry Entrekin (chairman) and his wife Ann, Henry L. Crisp (secretary) and his wife, Jerry, and Dr. Harvey Simpson. Others on the charter board were the late Tinley Anderson Jr. (vice chairman), Troy Morris (treasurer), Roger A. Pollock, James Edward Carson and L.E. Godwin Jr.
Kinslow saluted former headmasters. Those present were Ty’s father Melvin T. Kinslow Sr. (1971-1996) and his wife Wilma; William D. Gardner, Ph.D. (1996-2001); Wilkie W. Smith and his wife Nancy, (2001-2007); Billy Stubbs (2007-2012) and his wife Jenny, and Southland’s first Headmaster, Murphy McManus (1967-1971) who could not attend; the board of directors of the Foundation, the Raider Club, alumni association and former teachers.
Among former faculty and their spouses from near and far there were Rose Ann Dupree, Kitty Fricks, Sharon Collver (Noel), Helen Turner, Mickey Keene, Jane Odom (Rodney), Sarah (Ed) Turley, Tony (Tina) Anderson, Gail (Gene) Melvin, Denise Bearden, Nancy Poole (Jimmy), Gay Burnette (Johnny), Jean Bowen, Joyce Carreker (Doug), Nancy Hayes (Mark), Linda Brewer (Lyn), Beverly Burke, Mary Louise Hancock, James Gaston (Nancy), Martha Ann Fennessy (Mike), Rachel Shealy (John), Mary Lynn Shealy, Phyllis Tucker (Larry), Dorothy and Coach Loveard McMichael and Genny Woods.
However, the event’s success is due to the organizational skills of the planning committee led by Melanie Mathis (chair), Nancy Short, Laura Kinslow, Carol Burrell and Lisa Poudrier Collins.
Meanwhile, Meredith Myers of Atlanta and Tyler Mazey of Chamblee, May bride and groom-elect, were honored at a delightful cocktail buffet at the Lee Council House attended by a large group of friends and relatives from a wide area including her brothers, Trey Myers of Nashville and Michael Myers of Athens. Meredith is the daughter of Dr. Cecil and Carolyn Myers of Americus, and Tyler is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Richard Mazey of Mobile.
Hosts were Bobbie and Terry Duncan, Alice and John Argo, Jane and Ricky Arnold, Jeannie and Steve Stanfield, Carol and Mike Denham, Everett Byrd, Ann and George Peagler, Candy and Lou Riccardi, Kitty and Wallace Mays, Sherrill House, Karen Holloway, Phyllis and Malcolm Argo, Aileen and Sparky Reeves, Diana and Jimmy Skipper, Brenda and Ted McMillan, Rhoda and Martin Peacock, Mikki and John Ferguson, Janice and Mike Davis, Sue Ann and Mike Byrd, Sally Edgemon, Michelle and Ben Andrews, Andrea and Russell Thomas, Karen and Schley Gatewood, Joyce and Jimmy Buchanan, Karen and Greg Austin, Reba and Sam Hunter, Tammie and Barry Blount, Kay and George Hooks, Elise and Stick Miller, Angela and Rene Smith, Judi and Bob Stinchcum, Sybil and Don Smith, Carey and Raymond Holt, and Cherilyn and Buddy Guth.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.