March begins with one of my favorite events: the annual Council on Aging’s Poke Sallet Follies show. You have dinner and a show, plus a ton of laughs for only $35.
Our senior centers in Athens and Limestone County provide critical services such as Meals on Wheels, tax services, medical insurance counseling and many other programs to the elderly. The Athens-Limestone Foundation on Aging was established by Limestone County citizens to raise money to help support the centers and the services they offer.
Since 1992, Poke Sallet Follies has been raising money to provide special programs and other needs for our senior citizens. Before Poke Sallet began, there was the occasional yard sale and chicken stew, which may have brought in a thousand dollars to support our senior programs. However, the supplies for the centers were more than the fundraisers could handle. It was during this time Athens resident, Harriette Rost, approached then COA Director, Helen Carter, with an idea of eliminating the small fundraisers and have a unique and large annual fundraiser.
She proposed a fundraiser in the spring would benefit the centers all year long. Her plan was to invite the public to a local talent show and dinner with volunteer actors. So it began with local business leaders and Community Directors stepping up to perform hilarious takes on current television shows and movies as they ‘poked fun’ at themselves. The Poke Sallet primetime players raised approximately $5,000 during their first year. Each year more volunteers came to perform, in addition to those who helped to make sets and costumes. The show directors came up with different outrageous skits each year, and the crowds grew to where the 3 night show now raises close to $20,000. In the past 22 years, Poke Sallet Follies has raised approximately $300,000 for the Council on Aging. You can see this year’s production March 5th, 6th and 7th at our Athens Senior Center located at 912 W. Pryor Street. Visit their website for more information at www.pokesalletfollies.org
Another long running event is our Learn to Read Corporate Spelling Bee on March 7th at 10AM. This will be the 20th year for Learn to Read to hold this event at Athens High School. Come watch the fun as three-person teams from area businesses, clubs, and organizations come to compete in this annual fundraiser. The proceeds benefits Learn to Read programs for children ages 6-15 and adults of all ages. They also offer an After-School Tutoring Program (ASTP) for children ages 6-15 who are struggling with reading and math. Additionally, Learn-To-Read conducts classes on English as a Second Language (ESL). Come and support this great event, spectators are admitted at no charge.
March is National Women’s History Month at the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives. “This year they will be honoring women who served in Desert Storm and Desert Shield,” said Alabama Veterans’ Museum Director and Master Sergeant, Sandra Thompson. The Women in the Military History Program will be held at 12PM March 28th at the Alabama Veterans’ Museum located at 100 Pryor Street, Athens AL. Contact the museum Director Sandy Thompson @ 256-771-7578, to see how you can help sponsor this program.
For more information on the above events or other events and attractions in Athens-Limestone County, visit the Athens Visitors Center located at 100 North Beaty Street or call 256-232-5411. Information is also posted on our website – www.visitathensal.com.
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association