Hats off to Atmore Rotary Club

Published 12:18 pm Wednesday, July 20, 2005

By By Rick Couch
When I was asked several weeks ago to participate in the Atmore Fiddling Convention as a judge I was excited.
As the big day drew nearer I was anxious.
When Saturday finally came all of my expectations were realized.
Let me begin by saying what a joy and a privilege it was to have been able to participate in this special event. This was truly a festival like no other and showed that Atmore is a city like no other.
Just the fact that the event was held was a small victory. As I took the tour around town Friday night and Saturday I was shocked at the amount of damage the quaint little town of Atmore had endured once again from Hurricane Dennis. Most people would have thrown up the white flag and delayed the festival, but the Atmore Rotarians and the city kept it going. There were some minor changes, but only in location. The atmosphere and competition was as strong as ever.
To sum up my experience, the fiddling competition was just plain fun. I could not have drawn up a better Saturday afternoon than one with good friends, barbecue and some of the best musicians in the South. The people of Atmore always made me feel welcome during my stay and for that I am grateful.
I found out throughout the day the festival was about far more than fun. The money raised goes toward scholarships for area students who excel in the classroom. It is great to see a city that uses a fun event to put a large investment in their greatest resource of all. The festival is all about giving a young man or woman opportunity and that is fantastic.
As I watched things progress throughout the day it was clear there were a lot of people pulling together to make the event succeed. There were grillers, ticket salesmen and good will ambassadors all over city hall. Hats off to you Atmore Rotary Club for our tireless efforts on a muggy Alabama summer day.
Many of you spent a great portion of your week without power. Some suffered losses from the storm. Some were still suffering Saturday. But through it all you pulled together and showed everyone what your organization was all about.
It was clear this festival had a strong reputation by a quick scan of the parking lot. There were tags from several states with some as far away as Missouri. I am sure those who made the trip would say it was well worth the drive.
So thank you again Atmore for a memorable weekend. Saturday's events showed you can combine fun, perseverance and the good of your children into one great day.
Keep up the good work.
Rick Couch is staff reporter for the Demopolis Times.

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