Don C. Elkins was honored with a surprise reunion on June 6 at The Logan Country Club. LHS Band classes from 1963-1969 were represented, as well as LHS classes 1970 and 1971, whose members would have been sophomores and juniors, during his last year at LHS. Alumni of the Scott High School Band, where he served as band director from 1957-1962 prior to coming to Logan High School also participated.
Mr. Elkins and his wife, Elnora, entered to an ensemble of former band members and friends playing the song, “It’s Logan High”. The ensemble, under the direction of former LHS assistant band director, Joe Ballard, also played “The Pink Panter”, “25-6 to 2”, “Bread Man”, “Baby Elephant Walk” and “Peter Gunn”. At the conclusion of the concert, Mr. Ballard presented Mr. Elkins with a lit baton to conduct the group in “The Alma Mater”. Ensemble members included: Carlos Lopes, Janice Diamond Stone, Vern Henderson, Randy Mooney, Megan Jo Richards, Paul Sammons, Brad Dugan, Raymond Rushden,Fred Rushden, Richard Kazee, Brad Johnson, Jonathon Ramey, Ellen Woods Ramey, Jennifer Ballard, Nancy Moat, Marty Ojeda, and Brian Lauck,
The couple received a corsage and boutonniere, pinned by Brenda Barker, Dorothy Spiech-Baisden, and Doug Harris before being escorted to their seats of honor with family members: son, Chuck Elkins and wife, Sheila; son, David Elkins and wife, Celia; grandson, Chuckie Elkins and friend, Heather Orren.
Doug Harris welcomed the guests and conveyed love and appreciation to Mr. and Mrs. Elkins for having made a positive impact on so many lives. Doug Harris also presented a biography of Mrs. Elkins’ life. Charlene Smith Meade, Susan Short Silatsky, and Dorothy Spiech-Baisden shared Mr. Elkins’ biography.
Guest speakers included: George Owens, class President of 1966, who shared what Mr. Elkins and the band meant to Logan County; Friend and colleague, Coach Willie Akers, who shared personal stories from LHS, in the sixties; Mayor Serafino Nolletti, a former band member who was inspired to join the band after watching the 1965 band perform in The Macy’s Parade, along with City Clerk, Amber Viars read a proclamation annually declaring June 8th as Don Elkins Day; and Raamie Barker, on behalf of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, presented Mr. Elkins with The West Virginia Distinguished Citizens Award. It is the highest award that can be bestowed to a WV citizen. Mr. Barker, who was a student teacher and sometimes chaperoned the band trips, shared stories from the coach’s office; and Rebkkah Pewitt, a reporter from WSAZ, presented Mr. Elkins with the Hometown Hero Award. The culminating honor was the presentation of The Don and Elnora Elkins Scholarship to be awarded annually to a deserving Band or Fine Arts student. Music for the evening was provided by The Streetplayers: Mario Mendez, Del Curry, Albert Dress, Vern Henderson, Marty Ojeda, and Harry Jones.
One hundred and nineteen people attended the event. Included among the attendees were the following: Don, Elnora, Chuck, Sheila, David,and Chuckie Elkins, Heather Orren, Willie Akers, Darren Elkins, Wilfred Adkins, Sharon Adkins, Larry Albright, Dorothy Spiech-Baisden,, David Baisden, Sheila Baisden, Joe Ballard, Jennifer Ballard, Brenda Compton Barker, John Barker, Ramie Barker, Thomas Beckette, Miriam and William Bradsher, Roger and Dabney Bryant, Glen and Kathy Burress, Linda Queen Caldwell, Rick Campbell, Greg Castle, Daviid and Sherri Craddock, Sam and Patsy Cutlip, Ed Eiland, Brad Dugan,Sally Evans, David Evans, Riley Joe and Teresa Evans, Sharon Faine, James, Faine, Barbara Fitch, Del and Patti Fot, Cynthia Gagnon, Doug and Johnnie Harris, Gary and Ronna Craddock, James and Regina Howes, Brad Johnson, Richard Kazee, Nancy Kirkendoll, Janie Adkins Layman,Lana Campbell Frye, Clifford and Lois Lindsey, Mike and Barbara Lobert, Carlos and Deloris Lopes, Joan Townsend Madison, Bob Mayhorn, Paul and Charlene Meade, Nancy Moate,Linda Moat Weir, Randy Mooney, Pam Mooney, Mayor Serafino Nolletti, Amber Viars, Bob and Judy Harris Morris, Eric and Diana O’Briant, George Owens, Sue Soler Penninton, John Pennington, Roger and Susan Shelton Perry, Roger and Janie Ramey, Jonathon Ramey, Ellen Woods Ramey, Jean Ray, Megan Jo Richards, Priscilla Williamson Robinson, Mickey Robinson, Raymond and Kathy Harvey Rushden, Dan and Susan Silatsky Short, Estle “Rass” Spears, Melissa Hatfield Spears, Harold and Barbara Stambaugh, Janice Diamond Stone, Terri Diamond, David Thacker, Tom Thomasson, Steve and Mary Thornbury, David and Roseanna Trent, Tennis and Debbie Vernatter, Tank Williamson, Keith and Geri Williamson, Kathy Waybright Young, Sue Zickefoose, Mario Mendez, Del Curry, Marty Ojeda, Vern Henderson, Albert Dress, Tom Mullins, Rebekkah Pewitt and Harry Jones.
Under Don Elkins’ direction, the LHS Band received many honors and awards. In 1964, the band was selected to represent WV in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The band was chosen to open the West Virginia State Fair in Lewisburg in 1965. Also, in 1965, the band was selected to be the featured “Santa Band” in The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, televised by NBC. In 1967, the LHS Band represented the United States at the International World Expo In Montreal, Canada. The Band was selected, in 1969, to march in the “King Orange Jamboree Parade”, prior to the New Year’s Day Orange Bowl nationally televised football game in Miami, Florida. At Scott High School, the band was selected to open the WV State Fair in 1959. They were also selected to participate in the “Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival” in Winchester, Virginia in 1960 and to represent West Virginia at the “Miss America” pageant in 1961.
The Reunion Planning Committee consisted of Rick Campbell, Dorothy Spiech-Baisden, Susan Shelton Perry, Doug Harris, Charlene Meade Smith, Carlos Lopes, Janice Diamond Stone, Brenda Compton Barker and Susan Silatsky Short. Contributions to the Don and Elnora Scholarship can be sent to the Logan County Charitable and Educational Foundation, Inc. P. O. Box 1367 Logan, WV 25601. Please include “Elkins Fund” on the memo line. All contributions are tax deductible.