WILKESBORO — The annual Walker Center Volunteer Breakfast took place on Sept. 1 to honor the volunteers who help with the season shows and School Events program. The School Events program is celebrating its 30th year, and the Walker Center Season Shows is celebrating its 32nd season. The Walker Center began with a ribbon cutting on Aug. 24, 1984.
“This is an annual invitation-only event to honor these volunteers that are crucial to the success of the Walker Center,” said Tabitha Hudler, lead events specialist and coordinator of the Walker Center Volunteer Breakfast. “The school events volunteers help the Walker Center by unloading buses, guiding children into the building, helping them get seated, and then helping them exit after the performance. The season shows volunteers help by seating guests for the dinners before the shows, collecting tickets, passing out programs, and ushering guests to their seats. A country-style breakfast honoring them is the least we could do for all that these volunteers do for us.”
Walker Center School Shows program volunteers are: Ray Boone, John Burnette, Coleen Bush, Bill Cardwell, Dee Dee Caudill, Carol Childers, Minter Cleary, Terry Cleary, Jim Davenport, Laura Davenport, Joe Eckler, Margery Edgerton, Reggie Eller, Linda Farthing, Brenda Gleeson, Jeanette Harmon, Bill Harris, June Hege, Mary Henderson, James Huffman, Dennis Huggins, Nila Johnston, Linda Joines, Arnold Lakey, Louise Livingston, Peggy Martin Halsch, Nancy Mathis, Glenn Mitchell, Joey Ortiz, Carol Osborne, Caroline Randolph, Ray Rich, Mary Jane Rich, Rosie Shepard, Jodi Swofford, Vicki Taylor, Betty Thompson and Dickie Welborn.
Walker Center Season Shows volunteers are: Audrey Anderson, Ray Boone, Jerry Elledge, Barbara England, Robin England, Leon Haymore, Lynn Osborne, Philip Osborne, Gary Stone, Gaynell Stone, Shirley Stone, Betty Thompson, Bob Thompson and Betty Warren.
Representatives from Wilkes County Schools (WCS) joined representatives from sponsors Wilkes Regional Medical Center (WRMC), Hardee’s, InterFlex Group and Carolina West Wireless.
“We always look forward to this time of year because we kick off the season shows followed by the School Events shows. This breakfast is an opportunity for our volunteers to reminisce about their favorite experiences and memories from the various shows that have been presented,” said Hudler. “Every year the volunteers define the importance of these programs. The Walker Center provides entertainment to our youth while including educational tools for a unique cultural arts experience. And our season shows bring world-class entertainers here to Wilkes County for local residents and our neighboring counties to enjoy.”
With the help of dedicated volunteers, the Walker Center has provided over 484,800 students with first-class cultural experiences, including live theater and music and the annual MerleFest School Day, which is offered to students free of charge. The 2015-2016 School Events program will offer seven shows and MerleFest School Day. These shows are: “Alexander Who’s Not, Not, Not Going to Move,” “Arcattack,” “Frosty,” “Super Scientific Circus,” “Chicken Dance,” “Berenstain Bears” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” The goal of the Walker Center School Events program is to inspire a love of the arts while enhancing education.
Dr. Marty Hemric, superintendent of WCS, thanked everyone in attendance for their part in making this educational experience possible for young audiences. He said that for many students the Walker Center performances may be their only opportunity to enjoy live stage performances.
Tammy Love, vice president of Business Development at WRMC, said that she highlights the community’s commitment to cultural arts and education when she recruits new medical professionals and provides tours of the area. She added that many of these professionals look favorably at cultural opportunities like the Walker Center School Events program for their children or future children.
The 2015-2016 Season Shows began on Sept. 10, with singer/songwriter Amy Grant. The remaining season shows will bring a diverse mix of world-class entertainment with “The Magic of Bill Blagg Live!” Shenandoah, The Annie Moses Band, “The Buddy Holly Story” and Dailey & Vincent with Jimmy Fortune. The Walker Center will offer an additional show aimed at entertaining all ages: “Berenstain Bears: Family Matters, the Musical.”
The John A. Walker Community Center is the region’s premier venue for cultural experience in Wilkes and surrounding areas and to serving as the preferred gathering place for meetings, weddings, receptions, conventions, banquets, and parties.
Last year the Walker Center hosted more than 230 individual events through Hospitality Services, serving more than 140,000 guests.
For more information about the School Events program or the Walker Center Season Shows, call 336-838-6260 or email [email protected] Visit online at www.walkercenteronline.org or on Facebook.
Wilkes Community College, a member of the North Carolina Community College System, is a public, two-year, open-door institution serving the people of Wilkes, Ashe and Alleghany counties and beyond. Established in 1965, WCC continues to build on a strong history of meeting the educational needs and cultural interests of our students, community and workforce. WCC prepares learners for success in a dynamic world.