Thursday night: a time to treasure forests

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 17, 2003

Around 300 members of the Pike County chapter of the Alabama Treasure Forest Association and other friends of the forest are expected to gather for the 4th Annual Treasure Forest banquet Thursday night at Cattleman Park.

Registration and the silent auction will begin at 6 p.m. and dinner will be at 6:30.

Carol Dorrill, chapter volunteer, said it's still not too late to make reservations for the banquet.

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&uot;Anyone who is a friend of the forest is invited to join us for this annual event,&uot; she said. Numbers are helpful in preparing the meal so those who plan to attend are asked to call 735-2976, 484-3539 or 566-0985 as soon as possible to make reservations.

&uot;There is a misconception that members of the Alabama Treasure Forest Association must be landowners, but that not the case,&uot; Dorrill said. &uot;We want to encourage all of those who appreciate our forests and have an interest in clear air, clean water and the stewardship of our land to be involved with us.&uot;

The Outdoor Ladies program, which was sponsored by the Pike County Chapter of the Alabama Treasure Forest Association in the fall, has received much acclaim throughout the state.

More than 125 participants, volunteers and instructors attended the daylong event at Clay Hill Farm.

&uot;Our county association, with 262 members, is one of the largest in the state and also one of the most active,&uot; Dorrill said. &uot;We often lead the way for other counties. Our county actually mentors other counties. We have members who are involved in leadership conferences to tell how we are organized and function. Our success is due, in great part, to the community spirit. So many people in the Pike County area are supportive of our endeavors.&uot;

Dorrill said Malcolm McSwain, incoming president of the local Treasure Forest Association, will outline the new activities planned for the year 2003 at the banquet.

&uot;With all of the new activities and events, 2003 promises to be an exciting year and we invite all members and friends of the forest to be a part of it.&uot;

James Malone, executive director of the Alabama Treasure Forest Association, will speak on the Treasure Forest program and its many benefits.

Several recognition awards will be presented by the association and the new officers for the year will be installed.

&uot;We should be finished by 7:30 at the latest,&uot; Dorrill said. &uot;And, if the shipment we are expecting arrives on time, everyone will be able to pick up Arbor Day trees as they leave.&uot;

This year's banquet will have a patriotic theme, with the Charles Henderson High School JROTC presenting the colors and special music by Shelia Jackson.

&uot;We wanted to pay tribute to the men and women from our area - to all of those - who have gone to serve our country,&uot; Dorrill said.

Dorrill expressed appreciation to the decoration committee -Dena Barnes, Ellen Roling

Ruby Ryals, Allene Snider and Mert Thompson - for an outstanding job.

&uot;They planned the decorations to serve a dual purpose,&uot; Dorrill said. &uot;The same decorations will be in place Friday for Sen. Richard Shelby's public forum. That's just another example of the cooperative spirit that exists among the organizations in Pike County and that spirit of cooperation plays a role in all of our success stories.&uot;