The Avon Community Development Board hosted the first Avon Community Meeting Banquet on Saturday, May 19 at the Jackson Cafeteria in Gastonia.
Program attendees included Mary Graham, the guest registry hostess, and Suzanne Sanders Davis, who introduced Vicky Meeks Clinton, president and founder of the Avon Community Development Council. Clinton made the invocation and offered a unity prayer. Suzanne and Carroll Davis led the lighting of the Community Unity Candle. Maggie Graham Bailey and Allen Wilmore Graham led the lighting of United Memorial Candle for deceased family and friends.
Memorial candles for recently deceased family and friends were lit by Ruby G. Fewell for her late husband Michael Fewell; Suzanne Sanders for her late friend Loralyn “Lyn” Adams McBeth; Annie Mitchem for her late brother Tommie Lee Barnett; Bridget Hatten for her late father Samuel Hatten Sr .; Charissia Hatten for her late aunt Glenda Hatten Adams and her late cousin Deontray Bellamy; Charlene Harris for her late sister-in-law Mary Jane Gordon; and by Pete Gordon for his late brother Daniel “Tuck” Gordon. Additional candles were lit by Allen Wilmore Graham for his late father Ernest Graham Sr., sister Tina Graham and uncle Bo Gordon blessed the food.
Clinton presented the Community Appreciation and Longevity Awards to three people for their commitment to family, friends, the Avon community and the town of Gastonia:
The late Wilma Adams, who was the oldest resident of the Avon community. She recently passed away at the age of 99. His award was accepted by Buster Barnett. “The Avon community sends its sincere condolences to the Adams family on the recent passing of Miss Wilma Adams,” said Clinton.
Clarence Gordon, a retired employee of the Town of Gastonia with 35 years of service who was married to the late Mary Jane Gordon. Her award was accepted by her sister Charlene Harris.
Pete Gordon, a retiree from the town of Gastonia with 31 years of service who is married to Mrs. Barbara Ann Gordon.
Evangelist Clinton presented the Avon Community Development Council’s mission, goals and an updated report on community revitalization. She said Gastonia city councilor Dave Kirlin, who represents Ward 2 which encompasses the community of Avon, has initiated plans for the city to help revitalize the community. She thanked those present at the event for their support. Veria Campbell Williams led the closing prayer.