Claborn Specialities Open Downtown

Monya Claborn moved her video production company, Cornerstone Entertainment, to downtown Athens over a year ago into a historic building at 108 West Market Street.  Working downtown, Monya quickly fell in love with the quaint shops located throughout the historic district.  Realizing she had the square footage, she recently ventured into retail by opening Claborn Specialities in the front of the building.

The concept behind is simple.  It’s a little of all the things Monya loves for herself and grandchildren.  With home decor, gifts, art, women’s accessories, and fine children clothing, Claborn Specialities offers the shopper a diverse and quality inventory in a relaxed setting. 

“I don’t want to compete, but rather complement existing businesses,” said Claborn. “I want to provide a nice variety in a boutique atmosphere.” 
Claborn Specialities is open Monday-Friday from 9 AM-5 PM.


CRANK OFF Ice Cream Making Contest Rules and Registration

Spirit of Athens Homemade Ice Cream Crank-Off

On Saturday, August 21, from 10:30 AM - 12 PM, visitors to the downtown square can share in all the free Homecoming activities, and sample refreshing, homemade ice cream made right there on the spot in a "Crank Off."  The Spirit of Athens sponsored competition will be held in conjunction with the Athens Homecoming Celebration downtown and open to the public. Don’t miss your chance to take the title for having the best homemade ice cream recipe and claim your place in the history books of Athens! 

The public gets to sample the ice cream beginning at 10:30 AM and will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite. Bring your family, co-workers, friends, Sunday School classes and all Ice Cream Experts to cast a vote for the BEST HOMEMADE ICE CREAM IN ATHENS!

Awards and prizes will be presented to the Grand Prize Winner and Best Booth.  Two reasons to get in the Ice Cream Spirit!  There will be a publicity photo distributed to the local media and posted on SOA’s website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter, and any other place we can post it.


There is a $15.00 fee to participate, and you MUST pre-register.  You can call, email, snail mail, send by pony express if you like, just make sure we have it by August 18th.  

Email: rnbullit@aol.com Phone: 256-656-6588 Mail: Spirit of Athens Offices, 107 N. Jefferson, Athens, AL, 35611.

Although we would prefer participants to use a good, old-fashioned Manual Ice Cream Maker (Come on, it’s a CRANK-OFF!), limited spots with electricity will be available.  We must know if you need access prior to event.  Please provide your own heavy-duty extension cord.

Booth size is limited to 12X12.  Plan to arrive by 9am with an ice cream freezer, and enough pre-mixed ingredients for 2 Gallons. We also need your recipe written on an index card to verify its safety. NO Raw Eggs, No Way!!  Pasteurized milk and pasteurized eggs only.

Remember any fruit used must be thoroughly washed ahead of time. All contestants will have hand sanitizer provided. All ingredients must be kept in an iced cooler. Ice will be furnished by Spirit of Athens.

Hungry folks will be tasting from 10:30-12pm (or till the ice cream runs out!)
Make sure to give your Ice Cream a snazzy, fun name. Why do you think Ben & Jerry’s Chunky-Monkey ice cream is so popular??   Just because it tastes good??? 

Return entry form along with check payable in the amount of $15 to:

Spirit of Athens
107 North Jefferson Street
Athens, AL  35611


Organization Name (if applicable)__________________________________


Phone number____________________Email_________________________

Name of Ice Cream______________________ (Be creative)

Need electricity?   Y    or    N


SOA Board Elects New Executive Committee

The SOA Board of Directors recently selected its 2010 Executive Committee.  President-Derrick Young, Vice President-Teresa Todd, Secretary-Shane Black, and Treasurer-Wyn Heisler.  Board members are Diane Lehr, Milly Caudle, Tony McCormack, Lana Boyer, Jeb Lovvorn, Elizabeth McClary, Mac Martin, Carole Foret, Pat Lewis and Shannon Bryant.

Pictured from left to right Wyn Heisler-Treasurer, Teresa Todd-Vice President, and Derrick Young-President. Not pictured Shane Black-Secretary.

February Board meeting


Spirit of Athens Announces Revitalization Award Winners

At the annual meeting last Thursday, Spirit of Athens announced the winners of the following awards:

“Friend of Downtown” Award - Athens Storytelling Festival
Goes to an individual or group that took an active role in making the downtown better.
Charlie Hughes accepts award on behalf of the Athens Storytelling Festival committee.  Also pictured, Carole Foret, SOA Board Member.

Athens Storytelling Festival took an active role in downtown beautification in 2009.  This committee is responsible for the beautiful fall decorations that are placed around the square in October.  They also commissioned Travis Fleming to make the new trash receptacles, and have already purchased the four containers seen downtown.  Last year, they hired an architect to create five artist renderings of a revitalized downtown. 

“Downtown Revitalization” Award - Limestone County Commission
Goes to property owner that has invested in his facade.
Limestone County Commission Chairman David Seibert

Last year, the Limestone County Commission invested in extensive cleaning and painting the Washington Street Annex and Limestone County Courthouse.  Additionally, they invested in the sound system and brought the sound of the clock chimes back to the square.  The interior of the courthouse has also received a facelift - with a lot of “hands on” work done by Commission Chairman David Seibert. 

“Spirit of Giving” Award - 100.3 the River
Goes to a corporation or business that goes above and beyond “regular" sponsorships or normal cooperation to assist the Program and/or the downtown.
Maize Eaton accepts award on behalf of 100.3 the River.

The radio station donated extensive promotion of the “Cruise In.”  The monthly event was advertised on the station’s website, via email campaign, and cross promoted on WTAK.  The station also provided live remotes during the event.  The station’s listening audience extends through Southern Tennessee and North Alabama.  

“Volunteer of the Year” Award - Diane Lehr
Awarded to a volunteer that devoted over 40 hours and serves as a role model for Spirit of Athens.
Diane Lehr, Volunteer of the Year

Diane donated 245 hours of volunteer time to Spirit of Athens in 2009.  She is currently the chair of the Organization committee and incoming board member for 2010.  She attended the Main Street sessions at Alabama Preservation Conference in Auburn last October and strives to learn more about SOA and the Main Street program.  She has proven to be a role model for the program.

Volunteer Recognition of Service
Certificates were given to volunteers that reported over 40 hours during 2009.

Those volunteers are Bland Allen, Regina Crawford, Wyn Heisler, Brent Hobbs (webmaster and graphic designer), Diane Lehr, Amanda Romine, Teresa Todd, Patti Whitaker, and the members of T.R.A.I.L.

Landon Boggs, T.R.A.I.L. member

Amanda Romine, Membership Coordinator


For a copy of the SOA's annual report, email mailing address to tblack@athensal.us.


Start of a New Year

Welcome 2010!

Despite this dreadful weather, SOA is kicking off 2010 in a big way.

First by spreading the news of downtown businesses reporting increased and in some cases record sales during the holidays. I wish I could indulge percentages--it would blow your mind--but I was told by some of the businesses not to flaunt actual numbers. (Southern grace, you can't beat it). You can read what businesses had to say in an article in today's News Courier.

Also, the Organization Committee met last week and has a lot going on. This month, the Organization committee will launch the first printed newsletter, S.O.A.P (Spirit of Athens publication). This will be a great tool to communicate with more people in the community. Hopefully, it will be printed and inserted in the local paper quarterly. So be checking out the News Courier or looking in your mailbox. (If you are not a member and would like to have a copy mailed to you, email me at tblack@athensal.us). Other projects planned for this committee is organizing the annual meeting January 28, and kicking off a "healthy downtown" campaign due to kick off this Spring. Organization committee members include Diane Lehr (Chair), Amanda Romine (Membership Coordinator), Pamela Hartmann (Volunteer Coordinator), Wyn Heisler (SOA Treasurer), Teresa Higgins, and Lisa Milby. This is a hard working group and I am grateful to their dedication to SOA.

Also this month, you'll see a "Park it Free" campaign kicked off. You often hear that there isn't enough parking, well Brent Hobbs (webmaster and graphic design guru) has designed post cards showing all available downtown parking spaces and lots. This is due to launch in the next few weeks.

So much...and it's only JANUARY. Stay tuned...