PRESTONSBURG — What began in the spring of 2011 is now a tradition – the Annual PHS Majorette Alumni Reunion. This is the re-joining of 170 living alumni who were majorettes, drum majors/majorettes, and field commanders for sixty years from 1946 – 2006. And it’s a time of remembrance of those who have passed and their years of service: Barry Lockwood, 1947, Ruth Helen Hall, 1949, Peggy Bussey, 1953, Elizabeth Frazier, 1953 and 1962 – 64, Joyce Parker, 1954, Jane Carol Ford, 1957, Loretta Cooley, 1959, Patricia Rose Cooley, 1959, Arnita Clark, 1960 - 61, Cathy George Walker, 1974 – 75, Kim Marcum, 1976 – 78, and Julie Osborne Lester, 1978 - 80.
The group met again during the 2012 Jenny Wiley Festival and enjoyed a weekend of activities including marching in the parade. From Louisville, Lexington, Flatwoods, Pikeville, Prestonsburg, Eastern, Allen, Southgate, KY, and Ohio, they came, they practiced, they decorated, they ate, they reminisced, they laughed, and they marched – AGAIN!
A highlight of the banquet on Saturday night was the drawing of the winner of the group’s fundraiser, a two-night stay at The Inn at Christmas Place. The group was surprised and pleased when the name was drawn. Craig McGlone, the name on the winning chance, had graciously loaned his truck and trailer for the float AND his time to drive it through the parade. Craig and his wife, Carla, of Banner, will enjoy their trip to the beautiful Pigeon Forge, TN hotel soon.
Virginia Adams Campbell won the award for the most chances sold. Many alumni enjoyed the friendly competition.
Majorettes began at PHS in the 1940’s and grew to be a great source of entertainment at area games and parades. By 1961, PHS had a majorette coach, Juanita “Boots” Adams, who was a State Champion twirler and Eastern State College’s feature twirler. Boots remained the majorette coach for thirty-four years and also taught elementary-age groups. Many of them were majorettes in high school and college. Boots was unable to attend this reunion due to her commitment to EKU and its Homecoming activities, but was very much involved in the preparations.
Band and music programs have changed over the decades and majorettes are no longer evident in our local schools. The alumni group hopes to “spark” the interest in twirling again and challenges all former Floyd County majorettes to join them in the next parade. Twirling is a talent that should not become extinct.
The planning for such an event would not be possible without the use and availability of a great resource, the Floyd County Schools Annual, or yearbook, published every year. The group used this resource to find names and pictures of all former PHS majorettes.
Another great resource is social media, such as Facebook and the school’s alumni website. But, even with these resources, the following majorettes remain to be found: Norma Jean Handshaw Lockwood, 1950, George Lockwood, 1951 – 52, Emma Lee Rice, 1953, Shirley Preston, 1958, Brenda Kay Hicks, 1961, Carleen Sue Patton, 1967 – 68, Debby Burchett, 1968 – 69, Teresa Allen, 1976 – 78, Janet Ousley, 1978, Lisa Johnson, 1979 – 80, Malesa Hicks, 1982, Jennifer Gilbert, 1982, Miki Jones, 1984, Robin Taylor, 1986, Beth Horn, 1987, Dalena Meadows Bartley, 1987, Clyde Preston Lewis, 1990, Bethany Smith Briscoe, 1995 – 98, Rachel Rae Justice, 1995 – 98, Angel Stephens, 1997 – 98, Melina Wiley, 1997 – 98, Tonya Estep, 1997 – 98, Jessica Setser, 2000, Stephanie Hicks, 2000, Valerie Ratliff, 2000, Cynthia Fitzpatrick Bohon, 2001, and Robbie Risner, 2004. We hope to locate them all in time for the next reunion. Please send contact information to email@example.com or call 606 - 874 – 2244 or 606 - 226-2565.
PHS Majorette Alumni would like to thank and acknowledge the following for the success of the 2012 reunion:
Juanita “Boots” Adams for her dedication to PHS Majorette Alumni, First United Methodist Church, for use of the facility for meetings and practice throughout the year, First Presbyterian Church, Prestonsburg, for use of the facility on October 12 and 13, Craig McGlone for use of his truck and trailer for our float and for driving us through the parade, Helen Hall VanHoose, alumnus, for the beautifully designed banquet programs, letterhead, and envelopes, Randall and Phyllis Hall Burchett, alumnus, for recording the event via videos and pictures and Phyllis for conducting the memorial service at the banquet, Jerry Butcher, PHS Principal, for allowing the group access to school property for practices, Sarah Lynn Young Chaney for her offering of prayer at each meal, Fred James, Prestonsburg Tourism, for the presentation and breakfast, Rebecca Warrix Lerman, alumnus, for the PowerPoint slide presentation, Rick Hughes, Hi-Tech Signs, for our tee-shirts, banners, plaques, and decals, Austin VanHoose, student at Wesley Christian High School, our awesome parade drummer and his helpers, Dustin Crum and Julie Goff, Jenny Wiley State Park, for our beautiful banquet space and delicious meal, Tommie Carol Laven Hampton, alumnus, for developing our fundraiser and to everyone who sold and purchased chances to win the 2-night stay at The Inn at Christmas Place, to Bill Marshall, WMDJ – FM Radio, for our parade music choreography, to all area media for advertising this event, to Michelle Wilson Sword, alumnus, and Signature Events for our beautiful float and banquet decorations, to Susie Wright Gayheart, alumnus, for our name tags, scrapbook, and much organizational assistance, to Haroletta Baldridge Potter and Heather Hall Greene, alumni, for much organizational assistance, to Jerry Lafferty, alumnus, and Nicholas Hites, for representation in festival planning meetings, and to all the majorette alumni, spouses, children, parents, and grandchildren who attended and/or supported the event.
Names of attendees, their year/s as majorettes, and their addresses are as follows:
Mabel Brown, 1946 – 47, Prestonsburg
Virginia Adams Campbell, 1961 – 63, Allen
Phyllis Hall Burchett, 1963 – 66, Louisville
Sarah Lynn Young Chaney, 1964 – 66, Lewis Center, Ohio
Ilene Conn Oram, 1965 - 66, Lexington
Patricia Hall, 1965 – 66, Louisville,
Susie Wright Gayheart, 1966 – 67, Eastern
Haroletta Baldridge Potter, 1967 – 69, Prestonsburg
Carol Jo Clark May, 1968 – 1972, Allen
Melanie Webb Underwood, 1982 – 85, Flatwoods,
Kathy Barnett Kendrick, 1983 – 85, Lexington
Michelle Wilson Sword, 1983 – 85, Pikeville
Bonnie Hensley, 1985 – 87, Pikeville
Leslie Harris Taylor, 1986 – 87, Lexington
Heather Hall Greene, 1990 – 91, Allen
Amanda Spradlin Bohart, 1993 – 94, Southgate
Thank you all for coming and for the many special notes from those who were unable to attend. We hope to see you next year!
We invite you to see our pictures and videos on our Facebook wall, Prestonsburg High School Majorette Homecoming. We welcome your comments, suggestions, and invitations for upcoming events.
The group plans to again participate in the Prestonsburg Christmas Parade in December and other possible events that weekend. Plans are ongoing now.
For more information, contact Carol Jo Clark May at firstname.lastname@example.org or 606-874-2244 or 606 – 226-2565.