Celebrating 25 Years of the West Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club at Camp Virgil Tate, October 9-11, 2009
An event like this could not happen without a lot of people doing the work to make it happen. Sally Wilts (Chapter Treasurer, far left) kept track of the money. Gwen Jones (above right) stands next to Karen Grubb (local arrangements) and Jim Sconyers (Chapter Chair). Jim fretted pretty much the whole time (You need to learn to relax more, Jim!), but the weekend turned out great and everyone had fun and learned a lot. And we actually had 2 cakes for the celebration!
Over the weekend we were graced by some very important guests and some great speakers: On left, Sierra Club President Allison Chin and Wilderness author and advocate Doug Scott imitate a pose struck by President Teddy Roosevelt and Sierra Club founder John Muir at Yosemite; Center, WV Environmental Council President Danny Chiotos, and the 2009 Goldman Environmental Award winner Maria Gunnoe. Allison gave us an update on the Club's major campaigns, Doug spoke on the 1964 Wilderness Act, Danny discussed strategies for building community power for economic justice and sustainability, and Maria gave an emotional account of how mountaintop removal coal mining is affecting families and communities in southern West Virginia.
Attendees had ample opportunity to listen and learn from knowledgeable presenters, such as Bill Depaulo (L of No-PATH sign) and Jim Kotcon (R of sign) who held a workshop on the PATH electric transmission line issue in WV.
On Saturday evening, after a long day of workshops and celebration, musical entertainment was provided by Maya Nye and Chet Lowther. In far right photo, Mari-Lynn Evans, Director of the film Coal Country, has an informal chat with Paul Wilson, Bill Price and Bill Depaulo, on Friday night, after screening her film for the SierraFest 2009 attendees.
During lulls in the activities, attendees could peruse the displays of old Chapter newsletters and other historical correspondence, look over other educational materials, and bid on items in the Silent Auction, or buy raffle tickets for four great prizes
Sierra Student Coalition members from WVU and Marshall University were well represented. From the Left: Calvin, Stu, Anthony, Josie, Joe, Caroline and Erin show that the next generation of environmental activists knows how to have fun!
There were awards too for six long-time activists who exhibited '25 years of exemplary activism' in West Virginia. Pictured here on left photo, from the left, Paul Wilson, Beth Little, Mary Wimmer and Jim Kotcon hold their awards which were hand-made plates by Kingwood potter Gail Anderson. On the right, Jim Kotcon makes a fine point to Chapter Historian and founding-member Kathy Gregg, and Erin from Marshall University Sierra Student Coalition.
Above left, Doug Scott has time to visit with Mike Costello of the WV Wilderness Coalition and Nancy Andrews and Molly Schaffnit. Club President Allison Chin visits with Calvin from the WVU Sierra Student Coalition, and past-Chapter Chair Paul Wilson.