MEIGS COUNTY — As part of the bicentennial celebration, four young adults have been selected as the Meigs County Bicentennial Ambassadors.
Mattison Finlaw, Grant Adams, Brielle Newland and Cooper Schagel will represent the county at bicentennial and other events throughout 2019.
Finlaw is a pre-med student at Marietta College and a graduate of Eastern Local Schools. Adams is an economics major at Ohio University and is a graduate of Meigs High School. Newland is a freshman at Eastern High School. Schagel is a home-school student in Meigs County.
The ambassadors were recently introduced as part of an event at Wolfe Mountain Entertainment, where they were presented with “swag bags” and monetary gifts. Each ambassadors is receiving a $2,000 scholarship which may be used for education or other needs of the ambassadors.
Farmers Bank has come on board with the Bicentennial Committee to sponsor one of those scholarships.
“Paul Reed and Farmers Bank have always been willing to partner with community causes and we are grateful to have them as part of our community,” said committee member Randy Smith of the sponsorship. Any business or individual interested in sponsoring a scholarship may contact Smith at 740-856-2531.
Swag bag sponsors included: Weaving Stitches, Clark’s Jewelry, River Roasters Coffee Co., King Ace Hardware, Home National Bank, Meigs County Economic Development, Meigs County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Farmers Bank, Mark Porter, Ohio Valley Bank, Tuckerman’s, Wild Horse Cafe, Maple Lawn Brewery, Sammi Mugrage Clerk of Courts, and Linda Warner Common Pleas Judge.
The ambassadors have been working with Wolfe Mountain Entertainment to prepare for upcoming events.
As part of the application and selection process, the potential ambassadors were asked to write a brief essay on why they are “obnoxiously proud” of Meigs County.
The responses from the four ambassadors selected appear in entirety below:
I am obnoxiously proud of Meigs County because of the work ethic that being raised in and by this community has instilled in me. Every day when I face challenges, both in Meigs County and far from home, I rely on the lessons that Meigs County has taught me. It has taught me the power of small business and the joy of slowing down to take a stroll through the shops along the river. These same small businesses have taught me what it means to be resilient when they must move their lives and livelihood when the Mighty Ohio River rises, and faithfully put it all back when the river recedes. Overall, the people of Meigs County are what make me obnoxiously proud of Meigs County. Constantly, people are trying to help make our small town flourish, whether it be via the arts, entertainment, good food, or anything between. You always have someone to rely on or to give you a good reference, buy most importantly, you always have someone to believe in you. So, just like I said in my speech at the 2019 Ohio State Fair Queen competition, I am and would be obnoxiously proud to represent Meigs County.
Why am I “obnoxiously proud” to be a Meigs County native? Where to begin. As a kid who grew up in Rutland, graduated from Meigs High School, and was raised by two hard-working, blue-collar, dedicated parents, I feel that I am purely a product of Meigs County. As a young man, I was taught by my entire family that to succeed in life you must be honest with everyone, caring to those around you, and willing to work harder than anyone else in the room, as well as the idea that everyone, no matter who you are, deserves a fair shot. I am obnoxiously proud to be a Meigs County native because of who we are and what we aspire to be. Being from Meigs County is not about being from a specific place, but it’s a way of acting. From Salem Center to Pomeroy to Long Bottom and everywhere in between, there is a culture and a pride that makes me obnoxiously proud to be from this great county.
I’m “obnoxiously proud” of Meigs County because of its amazingly supportive community. Last February when the flood hit, our community came together. Everyone from MC Bikers, to Chamber Director, the judge, Bartees, and more helped victims. No one hesitates to support our neighbors, whether it’s shopping locally at Weaving Stitches and Reed’s Store or Ron Clonch and Charlie Weber going to every sporting event. Everyone is there to help family and friends through hard times and everyone is there to celebrate the good, like our bicentennial! I love the county I’ve spent 14 years and 11 months of my life in. It’s true that places make a person, but people make a place a home. I’m obnoxiously proud to call Meigs County my home.
I am “obnoxiously proud” of Meigs County! Because of Meigs County, I have grown up with certain morals, ethics, values, and ideas only Meigs County could have given me. Living here I have been taught the importance of having integrity, character, and a proper work ethic. I feel very privileged and proud to have grown up surrounded by a community that values these attributes and holds them so highly. When I travel around Ohio for Junior Fair Board and 4-H events, Meigs County fair royalty visits, and Boy Scout activities, I am reminded of how special Meigs County is. If any person from another county wishes to see what a close-knit, hard working, “obnoxiously proud” community looks like, they need not look any further than Meigs County.
The ambassadors are expected to attend their first official event on Wednesday at the unveiling of the second Bicentennial Marker at 10 a.m. at Star Mill Park.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.