Gleason Downtown Revitalization
Notes and News
Gleason Citizens Works On
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 Ronnie Arnold, 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
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
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
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.
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
Emily Bell and Brooke McClure
Mike and Carole Blassingame
Judy Paschall, Library Director -
Gleason Memorial Library
Not Hig's (Tina Neil &
Not Hig's (Tina
Neil & Jerry Morgan)
& Andy Carroll (Behind Tables)
McKenna Cady and Forest Drive (Cooper
Gilliam; Jackson Kellyk Peyton Forrester; Keaton Penick
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)
Hosts First Annual
Fall Music Fest
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
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,
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
used to support further downtown revitalization projects.
Click Here for Music Fest
Disc golf to heat up at Huggins Park
BY CLAY SMITH
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
With a Free Disc Included
All Ready to Go!
Concession Stand - Open for
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
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.
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
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
Downtown Revitalization Fundraiser:
A Big - Small Town Success
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Rose Anderson, Mayor Diana Poole,
Angie Hazelwood and Doris Owen
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