March is one of those months where you don’t know what to expect weather-wise. But one thing you can expect is one of the community’s favorite events: the annual Council on Aging’s Poke Sallet Follies. This year’s theme is “Be Our Guest.” You can have dinner and a show, plus a ton of laughs for only $35.
Senior centers in Athens and Limestone County provide critical services such as Meals on Wheels and medical insurance counseling to the elderly. The Athens-Limestone Foundation on Aging was established by Limestone County citizens to raise money to help support these centers and their services.
Since 1992, Poke Sallet Follies has been raising money for our senior citizens’ needs and activities. Before the Follies were started, there were the occasional yard sale and chicken stews, which might have brought in $1,000. The necessities for the centers were more than these small, sporadic fundraisers were able to raise. It was then that Athens resident Harriette Rost approached former COA Director Helen Carter with a possible way to eliminate these small fundraisers and have one huge annual one. She suggested it should be held in the spring when everything is growing, including the wild growing Polk weed. The goal was to have local business leaders and community directors perform hilarious takes on shows and movies and ‘poke fun’ at themselves. Thus, the name Poke Sallet Follies was established. Approximately $5,000 was raised during its first year. Each year more volunteers came to perform and to help make sets and costumes. The show directors came up with different outrageous skits each year and the crowds grew to the point that the 3-night show now raises close to $20,000. In the past 21 years, Poke Sallet Follies has raised over $282,000 for the Council on Aging. You can see this year’s production March 6th, 7th and 8th at our Athens Senior Center, which is located at 912 W. Pryor Street. Visit their website for more information at www.pokesalletfollies.org
March is also National Women’s History Month. This year’s theme at the Alabama Veterans’ Museum is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage & Commitment”. “I can think of no other women who displayed these characteristics better than the women of the Vietnam War,” said Alabama Veterans’ Museum Director and Master Sergeant, Sandra Thompson. The speaker for the program will be Dr. Deborah Barnhart, the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Dr. Barnhart’s career spans three decades of service in commercial industry, government, aerospace and defense. A retired Navy Captain (0-6), she was one of the first ten women assigned to duty aboard ships and commanded five units in her 26-year career.
Other honorees include Edith Stewart, Maria Taylor and Linda Blankenship. The Museum will be celebrating these women at their annual Women’s History Program to be held at 1 PM on March 22nd. The Museum is located on 100 Pryor Street, Athens AL. Please contact Sandy Thompson at 256-771-7578 to see how you can be volunteer for this event.
Other March Events
March 7th & 8th: Annual Elkmont Beauty Walk (located at Elkmont High School 25630 Evans Street Elkmont, AL)
Join the Elkmont High School Band Boosters for this fundraiser pageant. The pageant will have 3 divisions: Babies to Preschool age; Kindergarten-6th grade; 7th-12th grade. Admission is $5.00 per night. For details, and please visit elkmonthigh.org, keyword beauty walk.
March 8th: Elk River Canoe and Kayak Trail Cleanup
Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful invites you and your family, church group, scouts troop, or organization to join them in this year’s cleanup of the trail’s waterway, shoreline and launch points. Some canoes and kayaks will be available courtesy of Fort Hampton Outfitters for those who would like to take to the water. You’re also welcome to bring your own flat-bottom boat, canoe or kayak and help as well. For those not keen on being out on the water, help is needed along the shores as well. Lunch and bottled water will be provided to volunteers. Please contact Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful 256-233-8728 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 15th: The Learn to Read Corporate Spelling Bee (10 AM, Athens High School Cafeteria)
Come watch the fun as three-person teams from area businesses, clubs, and organizations come to compete in this annual fundraiser. Team fee is $300.00 and benefits Learn to Read programs. Spectators free. To enter your team, or for more information, call 256-230-3050.
March 15th: Ardmore Shamrock Shuffle Race
Ardmore Shamrock Shuffle is a chip-timed 5K Run and 1 Mile Fun Run/ Walk located in Ardmore, Alabama. The annual event celebrates the good times and fun of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday with Irish music and food from a variety of vendors. Register at active.com
March 14th & 15th: Ardmore 44th Annual Beauty Walk (Gymnasium Ardmore High School 30285 Ardmore Avenue, Ardmore AL)
Grades K-5 will compete at 6:30PM March 14th (competition also open to students in Cedar Hill and Johnson Elementary Schools). Preschool will compete at 10AM on Saturday March 15th (ages 0-5 from any area and not yet enrolled in kindergarten). Grades 6-12 will compete 7PM on March 15th. For more information, contact email@example.com
Mar 15th: Rocket Run Ten Miler, Mooresville, AL.
This Huntsville Track Club Members Race runs a ten-mile route through Alabama’s oldest city.
Mar 22nd: Running Buck Wild Extreme 5K and Fun Run at Joe Wheeler State Park (4403 McLean Dr, Rogersville, AL 35652)
This 5K will take runners across different terrains such as hiking trails, asphalt, and gravel roads. For more information or to register, visit the Joe Wheeler State Park Running Buck Wild Page at http://www.alapark.com/joewheeler/RunningBuckWild5K/.
For more information on the above events or other events and attractions in Athens-Limestone, 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