By Beth Dowling
Saturday May 14, 2011 was one of those days when you pause for a moment between leaving one event and heading to another and give thanks that you live in Clarke County. The day began early with several community yard sales attracting lots of early birds hoping to beat the predicted rain.
The Clarke County Farmer’s Market opened at 8am for the 2011 season in downtown Berryville. The Virginia Cooperative Extension had a display table with loads of information. They hope to have a master gardener available every Saturday. Vendors also offered strong and healthy vegetable and herb plants for sale. Ms. Geneva Jackson had her ham biscuits and other baked goodies ready for her regulars. The Magnolia Girls also had tasty samples of pecan bars, and blueberry pound cake just to name a couple. There were fresh greens from Smallwood’s Veggieporium. Roxley Farms offered hormone and antibiotic free pasteurized Black Angus beef. Carl’s Breads are as beautiful as they are tasty. Registered Clinical herbalist, Geo Derick, MSc, RH(AHG) offered teas, herbs, and information. It was also nice to see Chef Eloy’s Kickin Salsa and Lavender Moon Soap will be at the market this year, too. There are more vendors and information about the market here: Clarke County Farmers Market. It is definitely worth a visit to pick up quality local products, see old friends, and make new ones, too.
The 2nd Annual Elementary BookFest was a big hit for the day! The event raises much needed and appreciated funds for our Elementary school teachers. Hosted by combined teams of elementary PTO members, BookFest also draws the assistance of volunteers from the schools and community organizations. Held at the Ruritan Fairgrounds, there were books-a-plenty at amazingly good prices. There were also DVDs, CDs, crafts, a petting zoo, face painting, and a moon bounce. Clarke County’s finest police, fire, and rescue were on hand for kids to greet and take a look around an ambulance and a fire truck.
The Ruritan Chicken and Hot Dog dinners are local favorites. There were several presentations throughout the day. The CCHS Chamber Choir, under the direction of Dr. Ryan Keebaugh and the Boyce Jazzercize Troup with Lee McGuigan were crowd pleasers, too. This event was a major undertaking and the volunteer spirit of Clarke was shining in spite of cloudy skies.
The afternoon and evening were filled with cheers, excitement, sweat, and bruises at the 2nd Annual Feltner CCPS Faculty Basketball Tournament sponsored by the Clarke County Education Foundation. Staff and parents from all five Clarke County schools teamed up to compete for the honor of bragging rights and a huge trophy to display at the winning school. There were four games, each filled with fast plays, amazing three point shots, funny fouls, and some frightening collisions.
The first game was team Robb’s Rejecters under the direction of Coach Matt Moyer and Captain Shannon Layton. They had an exciting, but narrow win over the Boyce Bruisers led by Coach Brittany Yates, and Captain Susan Catlett with a final score of Rejecters 46 to Bruisers 42.
In the second game, The CCHS Dream Crushers under Coach, Alex Sefton and Captain Jon Novick, took on Berryville Primary/DG Cooley’s Geyer’s Flyers coached by Logan Johnson and team Captain Robert Carter. The game started off fast and never slowed down. Geyer’s Flyers won 49-42.
CCHS had to recover quickly to play in the third game against the Boyce Bruisers. It was another hard fought game with lots of action, but this time the CCHS Dream Crushers would not be denied the win. The final score was CCHS 46 to the Bruisers 26.
The final game to determine the champions was a real nail biter. Children and parents were cheering for both Robb’s Rejecters and Geyer’s Flyers. The two teams were evenly matched even though both teams had suffered a fair share of injuries in earlier games.
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The half-time break gave Erik Stewart and Larry Hart an opportunity to win a Jim Stuzman Chevrolet Cruze, but in spite of cheers from the crowd, both were unable to sink that 3/4 Court Shot. In the last quarter, things really heated up. Although a close game throughout, the Flyer’s stole the Rejecters lead at the 3 1/2 minute mark to up the score 35 to 34. A minute later, the Rejecters reclaimed the lead to move ahead 37 to the Flyer’s 35. With a minute and 25 seconds remaining, the teams tied with a Shannon Layton foul shot. With 38 seconds remaining Todd Risser scored a 3 point shot to take the Rejecters into the lead with 42 to the Flyer’s 39. Going back and forth, the Rejecters pulled ahead in the end for a final of 47 Rejecters to 41 Flyers. For the next year, the giant trophy will be proudly displayed at Johnson Williams Middle School. This event was sure to raise more needed funds for Clarke County Schools.
Only in small communities can you wake up, make the rounds at local yard sales, stop in the coffee shop for a cup to go, walk on over to the farmer’s market and pick-up fresh veggies, meats, baked goods, talk about stink bugs, and find a gift for a friend. Then you head to a festival and talk with rescue crews while you turn around and greet your child’s teacher. You can sit and eat Ruritan barbeque chicken with friends and the school principal is right there at your table, too. Then you can cross the road to your children’s ball games, change, and head back out. This time it is to a basketball tournament where, just like at the festival, volunteers have worked tirelessly for months to put on a first-rate entertaining event and successfully managed to raise significant amounts of funds for the small school system. You won’t often get the chance to sit next to the school superintendent and his wife at a basketball game in larger counties. Chances are you wouldn’t even know what your school superintendent looks like in a big district. How often do kids get to cheer for their teachers as they run down the court dribbling a ball and sinking a 3 point shot? We get to do that in Clarke County and today was one of those days where you stop (hopefully) just for a moment and remember why you choose to live in Clarke County after all.