Flubacher, Hamilton honored at Main Street#039;s Summer Supper

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 5, 2004

The rains may have rearranged this year’s summer supper, but they couldn’t spoil the fun.

Though the Greenville Main Street activities had to be moved, a large, festive crowd still arrived to celebrate the yearly event.

The event had originally been planned to take place at The Martin House on Commerce Street. Because of the wet weather, the location had to be moved indoors.

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Fortunately, Mary Braden was willing to allow the use of the senior center.

The change in venue did not affect the crowd. A large number of people still made their way to the center to enjoy Big R Broasted chicken and many other culinary delights.

The menu included potato salad, baked beans, bread and blackberry cobbler. There was even an old Southern favorite on the menu…grits.

According to Main Street Executive Director Nancy Idland, the grits symbolizes a change this fall.

&uot;This year, our wonderfully successful Oktoberfest will become the GRITS festival,&uot; Idland said.

&uot;This stands for Greenville Rocking In The Streets.&uot;

Idland grew chuckles from the audience when she said City Councilman Jeddo Bell agreed to roll in a plastic pool filled with grits.

After the meal it was time for the presentation of awards.

The first of which was the Greater Greenville Main Street Award.

This award is given yearly in recognition of a positive contribution to the revitalization of the downtown area and a continuing commitment to Main Street progress.

This year’s award was given to the First Presbyterian Church of Greenville.

Idland said Professor Al DeFrees of the University of Notre Dame said First Presbyterian Church is a good example of a building erected correctly.

She referenced that the church, during an addition in the last few years, went through great pains to match even the mortar on the bricks and the actual bricks used.

&uot;They pulled down the faade when they realized it didn’t match the existing structure and started over,&uot; she said.

Because the church has such a rich history in the City of Greenville the additions made it exactly what the award stands for.

Pastor Jeff Hamm was on hand to accept the award for the church and heartily accepted the award and said his first Summer Supper in Greenville had been a fun one.

&uot;It was a really nice event,&uot; said Hamm. &uot;It was planned well and hosted well.&uot;

Mary Ann Hamilton took home this year’s Volunteer of the Year award for her tireless commitment to the City of Greenville.

A visibly humble Hamilton thanked everyone for the award and said it also be belonged to her family, Pete, her husband, and their children, Perry and Steiner.

&uot;No matter what I get involved with, my family gets involved as well,&uot; she said laughing.

The Summer Supper is also the event that the Greenville Jaycees gives the John D. Murphy Citizen of the Year Award.

This award, much like the Main Street Award, is given to a citizen who shows a great commitment to bettering the community.

It is named for the longtime plant manager of the now defunct Allied Manufacturing Company.

Murphy tragically drowned on June 18, 1995 in northwest Florida.

He was 59 years old.

Murphy was plant manager for 13 years and was renowned for his involvement in the community, working with various charities and serving on several local boards.

Through his work, Allied became known as a very firm supporter of education and was quite visible in his donations to the Butler County School System.

This year’s winner, REF owner Paul Flubacher, has done more than his share to keep Greenville moving forward and epitomizes the standards Murphy set so long ago.

It was very evident that the award surprised Flubacher.

&uot;I didn’t really expect it,&uot; said Flubacher.

&uot;It just shows the importance of keeping jobs in a small town.&uot;

Flubacher said he had no intentions of leaving.

&uot;We have been here and we are going to stay here,&uot; said Flubacher. &uot;Hopefully we will even grow.&uot;

After the REF fire many feared the company would relocate or not open at all.

However, Flubacher never flinched. He salvaged the equipment that survived the fire and put some of his employee’s back to work almost immediately.

No employee missed a payday due to the fire.

Murphy’s widow, City Councilwoman Susan Murphy, expressed her joy over Flubacher’s receiving the award.

&uot;I’m so excited and pleased that Paul won this,&uot; she said. &uot;I can think of no one more deserving.&uot;

Idland was pleased with the success of the event.

&uot;I think it was a great event,&uot; said Idland. &uot;Any time you have people who get together that want to help Greenville it is great.&uot;

She said despite the weather, the crowd was wonderful.

&uot;Overall we had a great crowd,&uot; said Idland. &uot;It was really nice.&uot;

Idland also asked that people look for other events around town and try to find ways to help the community.

Summer Supper was yet another event that celebrated the citizen’s commitment to keeping Greenville the Number One Small Town in America.

Along with the fun and lighthearted attitude of the event there was a clear and serious message.

There are a host of very special people in Greenville who are committed to making the city a great place to live.