Three Arts Club honors students

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 23, 2006

Three outstanding young Butler County ladies were honored Thursday night as they enjoyed a Christmas feast, carols and a surprise gift exchange. It was all part of the annual Christmas celebration by the Three Arts Club of Georgiana and Chapman.

Jennifer Thomas, Susanna Gaston and Belynda Hartley were each recognized as recipients of $1,000 college scholarships presented in the past year by the club.

Gaston, who attends Judson College and plans to major in secondary education, was awarded the Three Arts Club Memorial Scholarship in memory of Frances Wingard.

Hartley, a 2005 Girls' State Representative for the club, was awarded the Lillian Johnson Coker Scholarship. Hartley is a student at Stillman College, where she is majoring in accounting. Thomas, who is a student at LBWCC-Greenville with plans to transfer to Auburn, was awarded the 2006 Special Scholarship. She is planning to major in speech pathology.

&#8220Normally, we only give two scholarships a year. This year, however, we had enough funds to help three deserving students, so we are very pleased about that,” said Three Arts President Betsy Waggoner.

The three girls, their mothers and other special guests joined club members at the Chapman home of hostess Becky Manning for the Dec. 21 Christmas celebration.

The home was beautifully decorated for the season. Festive greenery adorned in red bows, a host of Christmas figurines and collectibles, lighted miniature villages and holiday artwork by famed Chapman artist Wilodene Brown (the Manning's neighbor) adorned the rooms.

Guests enjoyed salad with a sweet vinaigrette dressing, tender roast beef and potatoes with green beans and homemade friendship bread. The piece de resistance, Manning's orange-cranberry nut cake topped with sweetened whipped cream, topped off a tasty and filling winter meal.

A carol sing followed the supper, with several members and guests serenading the group with such classics as &#8220Do You Hear What I Hear?” and &#8220Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.”

Everyone drew numbers for mystery gifts, with club members making sure all present had a gift to take home as a memento of the evening.

The Three Arts Club of Georgiana and Chapman, first organized in 1923, currently has 21 active members, four active associate members and six honorary members.

&#8220Our two major fundraisers each year are our Christmas Bazaar, held in early December, and our program for the annual Salute to Hank Williams Festival each June,” Waggoner said.

In addition to its scholarship program, the club's projects include: maintaining the Rose Memorial Library; supporting AFWC projects, the Arion Music Award and Alabama Girls' State; providing student tickets to area concerts and plays, and Golden Books for children and supporting &#8220Safe Harbor” - the Butler County Children's Advocacy Center, and the Butler County Humane Society.

In just a few short weeks, the ladies will begin assigning ads and planning for the Williams Festival program.

&#8220We have a great time working and having fun together,” Waggoner said.

Those interested in learning more about the Three Arts Club of Georgiana and Chapman are invited to contact President Betsy Waggoner at (334) 376-2475 or via e-mail at