This past Sunday, some 30 or so past Foxfire students and contacts gathered on the mountain for an afternoon of good eats, reminiscences, and quite a few laughs. The weather mostly behaved itself and we all had a chance to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones. There was a good mix of folks present, going back as far as Tommy Chastain, who was part of the very first Foxfire class, to Thomas Fountain, who graduated from the program in 2015.
One person who couldn’t make the event and was greatly missed was our past executive director, Ann Moore. Ann first joined the Foxfire family as a student at Rabun Gap and was then hired as the organization’s book keeper in 1976 – a position she held until 1999 when she was then named president and executive director. She served Foxfire in that role until her retirement in 2015.
If you talk to anyone, they will tell you that Ann poured her heart and soul into Foxfire. She saw the organization through many ups and downs, helping to maintain stability and create growth over her 40 years of service. She is greatly loved and admired by our Foxfire family (and greatly revered by this new, green executive director). To show our appreciation for Ann and all that she has done for this organization, the Foxfire Community Board and the Foxfire National Board voted unanimously to rename the Gate House (which, consequently, served as Ann’s home for a few years) the “Ann Moore Gate House”, in her honor. That dedication was made at Sunday’s Homecoming event.
The new sign was designed and made by another member of our Foxfire Family, Donny Parker. Donny is husband to Jessica Parker, our Museum Store Manager and Donor Relations Specialist. The sign now greets all of our guests as they stop in to purchase admission or shop in the museum store. It is a lovely addition to The Land and we are glad to have the opportunity to honor such an important individual in Foxfire’s long history.
The day was a lovely time for all. We all ate a good meal, shared a lot stories, and started some new conversations about how Foxfire alumni can be more involved with the organization. One thing that came out of those conversations was the need for a Foxfire Alumni page on Facebook, which we are happy to announce we’ve created. We invite all of our past students and contacts to check out this new page and click “join” so that we can stay in touch and keep you all up-to-date on alumni events on The Land.
Thanks to all who came to this year’s Homecoming. We hope to see more of you next year and at other upcoming Foxfire events. You are the reason we exist and thrive and we hope you know that you always have a home at Foxfire.
~ T.J. Smith