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Gleason Downtown Revitalization Notes and News


Gleason Citizens Works On City’s Revitalization


GLEASON (November 7) — A small, but determined group of volunteers is eager to see revitalization of areas of Gleason, particularly in the downtown. At the urging of Mayor Diane Poole, the Gleason Downtown Revitalization Committee was formed with a mission to see visual improvements in the city, along with improvements in the business community and the city’s overall livability.


The committee is headed by President Charles Anderson, VP Gary Doster, Secretary/Treasurer Doris Owen, who lead a group of volunteers under the umbrella of a sanctioned non-profit tax status. Donations and proceeds from fund-raising events are how the group raises its funds. All the improvements are done without taxpayer funds.


Huggins Park is one of the biggest benefactors. The concession stand is painted and a new nine-hole disc golf course was installed, thanks to donated baskets and volunteer labor. Local industry, Imerys Ceramics donated funds for a new fence around the park. Additional landscaping is also being added.


Huggins Park has a small stage for musical performances. On Saturday, November 7, it was the venue for a chili cookoff. Musical artists took to the stage to provide entertainment during the event. Last fall, the committee hosted a fall festival, which even included a showing of the movie Apple Dumpling Gang and an inflatable screen.


In downtown, the committee has raised funds for landscaping around the library, added flower pots, and provided paint for JP’s service station.


Mayor Poole said the city has applied for a grant to construct some sidewalks. Poole is proud of the volunteer effort of the committee and people of the community to improve Gleason. Source: McKenzie Banner.


Downtown Revitalization Committee Hosts

Huggins Park - Chili Cook-Off

Jim Johnson

On Saturday, November 7th, the Gleason Downtown Revitalization Committee hosted its first Annual Chili Cook-Off.  With temperatures in the upper 50's and low 60's, and a mild wind blowing, the weather was perfect for eating all the great chili you could eat (for only $5), along with cornbread, a drink and a great selection of desserts. Those who came were not only treated to good food at a great price, but were also able to shop for handicrafts and buy books at a discount price at the Gleason library book sale.  Here, there was a great selection of books of all kinds and for all ages for only 25 cents each. And, everyone was treated to some great music provided by local talent from 10:00 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon.

Participants in the Chili Cook-Off included Not-Hig's restaurant in McKenzie, Gleason's own Andy Carroll and Chris Chadwick from Hawg County Cookers in McKenzie. It should be noted that in 2008 Chris Chadwick won the Gleason Tater Town Special Back Yard BBQ trophy for his bacon-wrapped hotdog with peppers and onions and has continued to attend and win at the Tater Town festival. Being a bit of a celebrity, he has also had the opportunity to share his expertise regarding the art of cooking on radio and the TV Discovery Channel.

The local musical talent included Gleason's own McKenna Cady, the group "Forest Drive" (from Martin, TN), Gleason's Jon and Anna Eaton and  Jim Arnold and his group "Crossroads" from Gleason.

With the cook-off winner being determined by those who had bought a ticket for the chili and who chose to vote for one of the three competitors, Andy Carroll of Gleason managed to edge out the others to win the Chili Cook-off Championship trophy. An informal survey seemed to suggest that all of the Cook-off chili was excellent.

As always, the people of Gleason were generous in coming out on a rather chilly Fall day in support of this event. With over 90 people being served throughout the day, a total of some $480 was raised to support additional Gleason Downtown Revitalization efforts.

Matt Cady - Ready to Sell Some Great Chili


Emily Bell and Brooke McClure

Mike and Carole Blassingame

Judy Paschall, Library Director - Gleason Memorial Library

Not Hig's (Tina Neil & Jerry Morgan) McKenzie, TN

Not Hig's (Tina Neil & Jerry Morgan) & Andy Carroll (Behind Tables)

McKenna Cady

McKenna Cady and Forest Drive (Cooper Gilliam; Jackson Kellyk Peyton Forrester;  Keaton  Penick (Martin, TN) 

Jon and Anna Eaton

Crossroads: (Jim Arnold; Keith Arnold; Thomas Chandler; Jeff Ellis Booths)

Matt Cady - Giving the Chili Cook-off-Award to Andy Carroll of Gleason

Chris Chadwick (Hawg County Cookers) - Andy Carroll (Gleason) - Jerry Morgan (Not Hig's)


Gleason Downtown Revitalization Program

Hosts First Annual Fall Music Fest


Jim Johnson


The Gleason Downtown Revitalization Program hosted its First Annual Fall Music Fest on September 26.

With admission being free and free tickets for drawings being being given to all in attendance, an estimated 175 Gleason citizens and visitors from the surrounding areas turned out for this event. They were all treated to some great music provided by local celebrities at  the "new and revitalized" Huggins Park.

Good food, including Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, Walking Toco's, Popcorn, Candy and Drinks were also provided at the Concession Stand.

This was an evening that offered something for people of all ages. Children's activities started at 4:00 PM and featured Face Painting by Matt Cady and a "Bounce House", which the younger children seemed to really enjoy.

Hosted by MC Charles Anderson, musical entertainment started at 5:00 PM. Opening the show was Anna Eaton who sang the National Anthem. This was followed by musical selections provided by Ronnie Story, Keith Dunning, Wess Whitworth, Larry Morgan, McKenna Cady, Micah Arnold, David Hoppe and Jon and Anna Eaton.

Among the selection of songs that Anna and Jon Eaton sang to round out the evening was one very special song, which they wrote, that featured a friend of theirs - Gleason resident Billie Joe Ward.

It is noteworthy that the citizens of Gleason, once again showed their great generosity in terms of supporting Gleason revitalization efforts by making donations on the order of $800 during this event. These funds will be used to support further downtown revitalization projects.

Click Here for Music Fest Pictures


Disc golf to heat up at Huggins Park


Weakley County Press

If you’re looking to prove your disc golf prowess this weekend, Gleason has you covered.The Gleason Downtown revitalization Committee presents their Tater Town Throwdown Disc Golf Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 5 at Huggins Park in Gleason.

Disc golf is a hybrid sport between golf and Frisbee. Instead of throwing a Frisbee to another person, participants tee off to throw Frisbees into “holes,” metal-chained receptacles. Scoring is like that of golf; the objective is to get your Frisbee into each hole in as few throws as possible.

There are multiple divisions for all ages and skill levels including: Kid 8-10, Kids 11- 14, Novice 15 and up, and Open. There will be a check in at 2 p.m., player’s meeting at 2:30 p.m., and the tournament will begin at 3:00 p.m.

Proceeds from the tournament will go for course improvements. Each person that signs up will receive a custom Tater Town Throwdown golf disc (while supplies last). You may throw any discs of your choosing during the tournament. Kids play 9 holes, novices play 18 holes, and open players play 36 holes. Registration is $10 for kids, $15 for everyone else.

Food and beverages will be available at the park. There will be awards presented to the top finishers in each division.

Registration and fees can be paid the day of the event or may be mailed to: Gleason Downtown Restoration Fund, P.O. Box 125, Gleason, and TN 38229 or turned in at Gleason City Hall. Please make checks payable to: Gleason Downtown Restoration Fund. For more information, contact Luke Hughes at 931-305-9233 or Charles Anderson at 731-695-5753. Source: Weakley County Press.

Helping Enhance the Gleason Community Through Clay:

From its beginning, in June 2014, the focus of the Gleason Downtown Revitalization Committee has been on the enhancement of downtown Gleason and the surrounding area - including both City Parks.  

During the past year the Downtown Revitalization initiative has been involved in several beautification projects that have focused specifically on downtown Gleason. These projects have included the painting of fire hydrants and planting flowers at various locations throughout the downtown area.

Perhaps the largest downtown revitalization project undertaken by members of the Revitalization Committee has been the recent  painting of  the J & P Car Care building at the corner of Cedar and Main streets. This service station has a long history going back at least to the early 1950's and represents one of downtown Gleason's most notable landmarks. This downtown enhancement effort  provides visitors entering the downtown area with  the most positive view of downtown Gleason possible.

As a result of having a successful year of funding, resulting from hosting several park events and community calendar sales, other projects have also taken shape. One such project has been an attempt to enhance Huggins Park after several years of neglect.

Here, flowers, trees, and a herb garden have been planted.  And, a Disc Golf course has been developed for all to enjoy. The Revitalization Committee has already hosted an initial disc golf tournament - which had a very good turnout.

In terms of structural modifications at the park, two lengthy sections of rusty chain link fence were recently removed which had previously posed potential safety concerns and been aesthetically unappealing.

Upon removing this section of fence it was determined that the old fence should be replaced by a new vinyl fence to separate the park area itself from the driveway and parking area adjacent to the park.

 Given the cost of this fence, we were very fortunate that Imerys Ceramics graciously volunteered to serve in the role of Corporate Supporter,  by providing the funds necessary for the purchase of the needed 190 foot section of white vinyl  fence.


This new fence for Huggins Park was formerly dedicated on Wednesday July 29, 2015, with members of  the Gleason Downtown Revitalization Committee and a number of representatives from Imerys Ceramics being present. 

Charles Anderson, President of the Gleason Downtown Revitalization Program, receives a check in the amount of $1,500 dollars from Brent Eugley of Imerys North America Ceramics (formerly KT Clay Co.) for the new vinyl fence at Huggins Park.

Left Side: Imerys Ceramics Representatives:

Front Row: Left to Right: Kim Montgomery - Ball Clay Lab Technician; Katy Lucas (dark green shirt/brown pants) - Geologist

Back Row: Left to Right: Stacy Collins - Ball Clay Technician; Cruz Legens - Ball Clay Lab Technician; Eric Duke (white shirt) Production Supervisor; Kerry Arnold -(EHS) - Environmental Health and Safety Manager; Brent Eugley (with check) - Environmental Coordinator; James Jarrett (right side with bright yellow shirt) - Ball Clay Quality Control Manager/Product Development Coordinator.


Right Side:  Revitalization Committee Representatives:

Left to Right:  Mayor Diane Poole (behind fence) , Charles Anderson-President (receiving check),  Rose Anderson, Gary Doster, James Jarrett (Imerys Representative), Chief Jeff Hazelwood, Doris Owen-Treasurer, Jim Johnson and Matt Cady.

The entire city of Gleason would like to say Thank You to Imerys Ceramics for their very generous donation to cover  the cost of this beautiful new white vinyl fence at Huggins Park

Individual and corporate sponsor donations are greatly appreciated as we move forward into the year, and make plans for 2016.


Gleason's First Disc Golf Tournament Held at Huggins Park


Jim Johnson


 As a result of a generous gift from the West Tennessee Disc Golf Club to the Gleason Downtown Revitalization Program and City of Gleason's Park and Recreation department and, with the help of Mr. Luke Hughes of Gleason, it has been possible to develop a disc golf course at Gleason's Huggins Park for use by the people of Gleason and the surrounding area.


The design and development of the course was under the direction of  Mr. Luke Hughes, of Gleason, along with Chris Dodson, Will Trimble and Kent Fothergill, all of whom are actively involved with this rapidly growing sport.


The course is open to all Gleason citizens who are interested in the sport and was set up to allow for competitive disc golf tournaments for players of all ages.


Sponsored by the Gleason Downtown Revitalization Program, Gleason's first disc golf tournament, the "TaterTown Throwdown" was held on Saturday, May 23, 2015.


Registration for the tournament began at 1:30. The registration fee was $10, which included a free disc, bearing the "TaterTown Throwdown" logo. All funds derived from this event will be used to support Gleason Downtown Revitalization efforts.


Prior to beginning the tournament, a disc golf workshop was conducted by Tournament Director Luke Hughes. This pre-tournament training session was open to all registrants and  served as an introduction to the basics of disc golf, including rules of the game, disc golf fundamentals, and an introduction to the new Huggins Park course.


The tournament itself began at 3:30 and lasted for several hours, with the 36 participants  playing varying numbers of holes, depending on their age.


The concession stand was open, serving water, soft drinks, hamburgers, cheese burgers, bologna  and various other tasty edibles.


Certificates were given for outstanding play in both the "Novice" and more "Advanced" disc golf participants.


It is hoped that this inaugural tournament will stimulate participants to come out to Huggins Park and use the facilities to develop their disc golf skills and enjoy playing the course with friends over the summer.



Tournament Registration: Only Ten Bucks

With a Free Disc Included

All Ready to Go!

Concession Stand - Open for Business


Luke Hughes Provides Pre-tournament Disc Golf Workshop

Small Group/Family Instruction

Focusing on Fundamentals

Off to the Course

Somebody Has to Keep Score

On to the Next Hole

This Group Had Spectators !

No - The Next Hole is THAT Way !

Just About Time for a Cheeseburger and Coke!



Development of Disc Golf Course at Huggins Park

As a result of a generous gift from the West Tennessee Disc Golf Club to the Gleason Downtown Revitalization Program and City of Gleason's Park and Recreation department and, with the help of Mr. Luke Hughes of Gleason, it has been possible to provide a disc golf course for use by the people of Gleason and the surrounding area. The course is located at Gleason's Huggins Park, located off of West Main Street in Gleason.

The design and development of the course was under the direction of  Mr. Luke Hughes along with Chris Dodson, Will Trimble and Kent Fothergill, all of whom are actively involved with this rapidly growing sport.

Plans are to have this course open to all Gleason citizens who are interested in the sport and to use this facility to support organized disc golf tournaments for players of all ages.

The development of this disc golf course fits nicely with other plans of the Gleason Downtown Revitalization Committee to enhance the existing Huggins Park so as to make it more attractive and more suitable for an increasing variety of community activities.

Current plans are to host Gleason's first disc golf tournament on the afternoon of May 23, 2015. Prior to beginning the tournament, an introduction and training session will be offered that will provide an introduction to disc golf and the Higgins Park course itself for those who are new to the game.

Gleason Downtown Revitalization Fundraiser:

     A Big - Small Town Success

 James H. Johnson


Charles Anderson, emcee, Mike Snider and Ricky Morgan

On Saturday, August 2nd, 2014, a Fundraiser, designed to support  Gleason Downtown Revitalization efforts, was held from  5 until after 8 PM at Huggins Park in Gleason.

The fundraiser was initially organized by the Gleason Downtown Revitalization Committee (Members: Charles Anderson,  Ron Arnold, Mary Margaret Beasley,  Andy Carroll,  Gary Doster, Police Chief Jeff Hazelwood, Doris Owen, and Mayor Diane Poole) and  focused  on raising funds to support initial downtown revitalization projects that can  provide the foundation for grant applications to fund larger projects.

The evening began with an opening prayer, provided by Mr. Jacky Esch and the National Anthem, wonderfully sung by Mr. Wendell Verdell.

The program consisted of gospel music, generously provided by  "Witness Southern Gospel of McKenzie, Tennessee, as well as Gleason's own Mike Snider, widely known for being a regular  on the Grand Ole Opry, as it is commonly known and referred to, and formerly a regular on the old Hee Haw television show as well as having received other honors associated with the country music industry.  Additional musical entertainment was also provided by Ricky Morgan of The Great Pretenders, Wendell Verdell and Charles Ross and family of Gleason. Each of these individuals and groups provided their services freely in support of this initiative.

Those in attendance were provided with plenty of great food, including both BBQ plates and hot dogs from  Big Daddy's BBQ, Highway 79, McKenzie, Tennessee. Soft drinks, bottled water,  as well as snow cones and desserts were also available at the concession stand.

All in attendance had the opportunity to win more than 20 door prizes, such as gift cards and a variety of other items provided by numerous donors. Numerous attendees purchased chances to win various prizes ranging from gift certificates, to bicycles, to a Winchester Repeating Arms 12 gage shotgun,  along with 5 boxes of shells and electronic noise-suppression ear muffs.

With approximately 400 total in attendance, including lots of people from Gleason and the surrounding areas, others coming from further away, and more than a dozen others who were candidates for local, and state offices, this event has to be judged as having been a huge success.

Not only did the citizens of Gleason come out in numbers to support this important event, but many also made cash donations during the evening. Others supported this initiative by simply coming to enjoy the entertainment and fellowship with friends, while enjoying the excellent food and beverages and buying  tickets for the various prizes that were offered. Numerous other individuals, groups, and businesses made significant financial contributions, or  provided  goods or  services that were significantly discounted or  given freely for this event.

Valued Supporters: Final Flight Outfitters, Union City; Big Daddy's BBQ, McKenzie; Owen Brothers, Gleason; Pepsi Cola, Paris; Jim Johnson, Huntingdon; Coca Cola, Union City; Flowers by Jan, Gleason; Aletha Jones, Gleason; Simply Southern Restaurant, Gleason; Bank of Gleason, Gleason; WCMT Radio, Martin; Salon 104, Gleason; Gleason Superette, Gleason; Jerry Chestnut, General Manager of  Boral Brick, Gleason; J&P Exxon, Gleason; J & J Restaurant, Gleason; Bryant Video, Gleason; Blossom and Blooms, Gleason; Tumbling Creek Baptist Church, Gleason;  Weakly County Electric.

It is heartening to learn that the funds derived from this Gleason Downtown Revitalization Fundraiser were in excess of $4,000. 

This figure seems to highlight both the generosity of the citizens of Gleason, as a group, and the degree to which they care for their community and want it to be all it can be!



Candidates for Local, County, and State Offices

Rose Anderson, Mayor Diana Poole, Angie Hazelwood and Doris Owen






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