Happy 10 Year Anniversary

“Great things are done when men and women (friends) and mountains meet.” By William Blake

The celebration of our 10th Year Anniversary!

“Friends” enjoyed a great time meeting the two students, Erick and Margarita along with their chaperone, Catalina. We all joined in on the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the founding of “Friends of Copey.”  About thirty guests attended the event on a beautiful evening at the lovely home of George Whitley, in Abingdon, Virginia.

The attendees came from near and far to meet our guests. Many of the local guests are affiliated with Emory & Henry College, our partner in the Pathway Project. The long distant guests included Anne Beaudoin from Hamilton; Ontario, Canada; Edeltraut Hunt and Jane Rutledge from North Carolina; Dr. Vaughn Garland and his family from Richmond, Virginia; and Carol Barnard from Washington state.

Also, there were several “Friends” who provided a video expressing their congratulations for the ten year milestone. These congrats arrived from Canada, Virginia, and Washington state further indicating “Friends” are everywhere. 

I cannot praise enough all the various “Friends” who directly participated in the welcoming and entertaining of our guests from their time of arrival in Washington, D.C. on June 7 until their departure from Charlotte, North Carolina on June 18th.

Special recognition is extended to Monica Hoel, Dr. Celeste Gaia, George Whitley, and Dr. Ed Davis, all affiliated with Emory & Henry College. Special thanks to Zina Griffith of Washington D.C. who is the first greeter to meet our guests when they arrived in the USA. These “Friends” all represent the core of the volunteer team who support this project.

Then, there is the financial support also deserving of recognition. The project simply would not happen if we could not afford the cost of air and local travel, meals, rooms, reception expenses, and the other incidental costs we incur. “Friends” does not have government or other agency support to help pay the bills. Therefore, all of our efforts and successes with the 2023 Pathway Project are 100% voluntary. We depend on the financial and non-financial support including the partnership support from both the college and my local Kiwanis Club. Thank You!

Next week’s I will provide a final accounting of the total expenses and revenue for the 2023 Pathway Project.

Also, I hope to provide a gallery of photos taken at the reception on this Blog.

In closing, there is no way to describe the personal feeling of satisfaction, gratitude, and pure joy this project provides. The friendships, the connections, the excitement of working with others, and the experience of seeing the results in the eyes of students, are beyond imagination. And similarly, there is no way to describe the initial moment I felt the call to do something incomprehensible at the time…start “Friends of Copey.” One moment in my life turned into ten years of joy, love, and friendships. 

                   Congratulations…”Friends of Copey”


One thought on “Happy 10 Year Anniversary”

  1. It sounds delightful. I had every intention of videotaping a greeting but I can’t juggle as many activities and projects as Scrapper can. I’m uplifted every time I read Friends of Copey.

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