Rawson Has A Day Of Fun And Community

   All that’s left of the Rawson Proud Festival is the occasional styrofoam ice cream cup and trampled grass at the park.
   Each year the crowds have gotten bigger. According to Rick Essinger, president of the non-profit Rawson Proud organization, “I was told by the vendors there were more people this year than last.”
   So, what brings people in? It’s a homecoming of sorts. It’s the one time during the year when neighbors and friends who have moved in and out of the community can get together outside to visit and have a good time – all provided by members of the community.
   The committee members wore bright green tie-dyed t-shirts proclaiming Rawson Proud.
   The local FFA chapter sold pulled pork dinners and had other items, plus ice cream, a la carte.
   The other vendor was a concession truck run by the Halls from Mt. Cory.
   Kettle Corn, a big hit that night, is owned by people from Rawson.
   Riding on the tailgate of a pick-up truck were the Junior Fair King and Queen, Eric Ritter and Brittany Roth, a senior and a graduate of Cory-Rawson High School, respectively.
   The grand marshals of the parade, with the distinction of being the oldest couple in town,  were Chuck and Donna Bibler.
   The games were all run by teachers at Cory-Rawson schools who call themselves Cory-Rawson Proud.
   2nd Trik, the band who played after the parade, were all Rawson kids.
   Melody Eddins, a local girl who resides in South Carolina, came home with copies of her new book, “From Parkinson’s to a Poet.”
   Joe and Carolyn Frost donated a bicycle for a drawing, the funds going toward the purchase of “boots” for the doors at the school.
    Of course, the primary group for the parade was the members and the equipment of the Rawson Volunteer Fire Department, fresh from the fireman’s games of the afternoon.There were about 40 units altogether in the parade, providing 45 minutes worth of entertainment, including the Zenobia Clowns and Romick’s Railway.
   Other groups who entertained during the afternoon and after the parade included the Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 corps of Sonny and Charlie, Life-Flight and eight non-profit organizations with information booths. There were also booths set up by vendors selling jewelry, cookies, defense equipment, and crafts.
   The final event of the evening was the gun drawing. Over 1400 tickets were sold. The grand prize was won by Todd Groves.
   But, Rawson Proud has another agenda besides entertainment. Rawson Proud is a non-profit organization and all profits earned go back to the town in improvements. Along with a grant from the Hancock County Community Foundation, funds will be used to create welcome bags for those moving to the community, a message board downtown for announcements and council legislation, Trick-or-Treat, and Christmas in the Park.
   In previous years, money has gone toward the dugout at the park, banners, a flagpole at the park, purple heart signs, Christmas in the Park and Trick-or-Treat items, including blinking lights for the trick-or-treaters to wear.
   Essinger says, “It’s a lot of hard work but well worth it to see the smiles on everyone’s faces.”