Asheville Living Treasures, an organization that exists to extend gratitude to the eldest contributors to the local community, will honor Marianna & Bill Bailey, Charls Bolno and Peggy Kirkpatrick at a reception with speakers including Asheville mayor Esther Manheimer, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners chair David Gantt and the honorees’ friends and family. The free public event takes place in the Manheimer Room at UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center on Sunday, May 31, at 1:30 p.m.
Here is the full release from Asheville Living Treasures:
The Selection Committee of Asheville Living Treasures is pleased to announce the selection of Marianna & Bill Bailey, Charls Bolno and Peggy Kirkpatrick as Asheville Living Treasures. They will be officially honored at a free public ceremony scheduled for Sunday, May 31st, in partnership with Osher Livelong Learning Institute in the Manheimer Room at UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center starting at 1:30 pm. Proclamations and more from Asheville’s Mayor Esther Manheimer and Chair of Buncombe County’s Board of Commissioners David Gantt will be followed by comments and stories shared by family, friends and associates before ending with a reception and refreshments. Committee members Matthew Bacoate, Roger Bargainnier, Annie Butzner, Rock Eblen, Carmen Ramos-Kennedy and Beverly Switzer invite all Asheville-area residents to join the celebration to recognize and to thank these amazing individuals for their contributions to the betterment of our community.
The Bailey’s – Bill 83 years old and Marianna 82 moved to Asheville in January 1998. Through their words and actions they have inspired and taught people throughout the region how to honor others, build consensus, and collaborate more effectively, even in the midst of major disagreements. Most notable, is their leadership in multiple community and neighborhood visioning, planning and organizing efforts that, despite early contention and conflicts, remain viable and sustainable many years later. They have been involved with Neighborhood life and human development all their adult lives beginning in Mt Airy NC, followed by 5th City in Chicago, Central City 5 in Oklahoma City, the Suntungan Human Development Project (HDP) in the Philippians, the Majuro HDP in the Marshall Islands, Salani HDP in Western Samoa, and Havelock North in New Zealand, and here in Asheville.
Charls Bolno, 95 years old, moved to Asheville with is daughter Robin and his son-in-law Terry May November 2012. Charls has volunteered at the Charles George VA Medical Center for several years. He drives himself 5 days a week to the VA. As a former wounded World War II veteran, Charls takes great pride in assisting veterans who come in for medical care each day at the VA. He is a strong advocate for veterans. Never missing a beat he is committed to service and making the world a better place through his generosity of spirit and amazing work ethic. Most people who meet him for the first time can’t get over the energy he has at age 95, his razor sharp mind and a terrific, wry sense of humor astounds all. He wakes up each day with a purpose, and looks forward to his volunteering duties at the VA. He has been deeply committed to progressive social change and action throughout his entire life.
Peggy Kirkpatrick 84 years old, is a native of Asheville. After the loss of her husband in 1997 she decided to commit to community service. She joined the West Asheville Kiwanis Club in 1996. The club instantly saw her potential and elected her President a short time later. Peggy hit the ground running with the Kiwanis community projects. She helped form the Enka High School Key Club, a Kiwanis sponsored high school service organization. She became advisor to the Key Club and worked diligently to help navigate all their projects successfully. Her efforts resulted in the Kiwanis sponsoring a Little League ball team for several years and work with the Boys and Girls Club of the Salvation Army. She was elected President of West Asheville Kiwanis Club four more times and served until its dissolution in 2009. In the Asheville Kiwanis Club she actively worked on their major projects: delivering flowers to area nursing homes at Christmas, ringing the bells for the Salvation Army red kettle, filling backpacks with school supplies for needy kids at the start of each school year, and taking deserving children on shopping trips to buy toys for themselves and gifts for family members.