Last updated: August 18. 2013 11:41AM - 1563 Views
Dylan Lightfoot Staff Writer dlightfoot@civitasmedia.com



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With the Town of West Jefferson marking its 100th birthday in 2015, a commission was established last month to organize the celebration.


Gene Hafer, the commission’s organizer, announced its formation at the West Jefferson Board of Aldermen’s meeting Aug. 5.


“I got our organization started from a legal standpoint,” Hafer said. “We’re incorporated as a non-profit in N.C. West Jefferson Centennial Commission.”


Hafer was a shoo-in for heading up the WJCC: he has experience as a planner of municipal birthday parties, having chaired Raleigh’s Bicentennial Celebration Foundation in the early 1990s.


The WJCC was formed with a nod from the W.J. Aldermen, who gave autonomous authority over the project to the commission. Last month, a board of directors was formed, bylaws adopted and officers elected, Hafer said.


Serving on the board are John Neaves, Doc Greene, Phil McMillan, Jerry McMillan, Talara Parrish and Stephen Shoemaker, who will also be designing the official Centennial logo.


“We’re just in the starting phase,” said Chris Barr, who as elected WJCC president. “We’ll set up about five committees. From that we’ll get a game plan.”


Some designated Centennial events will be planned leading up to and during 2015 season, but a sponsorship will also be established for other town events to join the celebration by adopting Centennial themes and tie-ins.


The WJCC will make regular reports to the BOA at their monthly meetings, Hafer said.


The town’s official birth date is Feb. 5, 1915. “The town was chartered one day, and train came in the next,” said Mayor Dale Baldwin.


The WJCC seeks volunteers and community involvement in the celebration. A sign-up sheet will be available at Town Hall, Baldwin said.

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