ROCKSPRINGS — Six individuals will be honored on Friday evening with the Meigs Local Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni and Service Awards.
Honorees are Dodger and Brooke Vaughan, Tony Hawk, Adam Williams, and Gary and Karen Walker.
Dodger Vaughan (Class of 1996) and Brooke Vaughan (Class of 2000)
Dodger Vaughan is a life-long resident of Meigs County. He holds a Baccalaureate degree in Marketing and Human Resources Management from Miami University and a Master’s Degree in Youth Leadership from Huntington University. Dodger has nearly 20 years of experience working in youth ministry and is currently employed as the Director of Reach Out on Campus, a college ministry at Ohio University. Dodger is also the Director of Ohio Teens for Christ and sits on the Board of Directors for Crossroads Missions, a national service organization. He has served as a Dean at Ohio Valley Christian Assembly for over 10 years, working with hundreds of high-school aged youth from southeast Ohio. Dodger also has a passion for short-term missions and has led numerous trips to New Orleans, North Carolina, the Dominican Republic, Mountain Mission School in Virginia and White Mountain Apache American Indian reservation in Show Low, Arizona.
Brooke Vaughan attended Ohio University after graduation and received a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology in 2005 and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2008. Brooke is also a 2009 graduate of The Ohio State University Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program and is a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy. Brooke has been employed at Ohio University as an Assistant Clinical Professor since 2012, and was runner-up for the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award in 2019. Brooke has presented at several national conferences on her area expertise, Parkinson’s disease, and is recognized by the Parkinson’s Foundation as a Physical Therapy Faculty Scholar. Brooke also serves as the Director of PEP!, a pro-bono exercise class for people with Parkinson’s and Respite, a free in-home relief service for caregivers of adults with disability.
The Vaughans met while both working at Vaughan’s Supermarket and have been married for 18 years. They currently reside in Pomeroy with their two children, Trey, a sophomore at Meigs High School and Ella, a third-grader at Meigs Intermediate School. They are members of the Middleport Church of Christ and in their free time Dodger and Brooke enjoy attending their children’s activities, hiking and traveling.
Tony Hawk (Class of 1984)
Tony Hawk is a Pomeroy native and was born in Gallipolis, Ohio, on March 23, 1966, the son of Robert and Ramona Hawk of Hemlock Grove.
Hawk has been a loyal Marauder for over 25 years. He got his start from mentor, Jim Soulsby, affectionately known as “pops”. He began announcing 7th and 8th grade football games and selling programs, serving in the Meigs Athletic Boosters for over 20 years. He served as vice president and president of the Meigs Marauders Athletic Boosters for two terms and continues to be involved in nearly every aspect of Meigs athletics. Hawk announces every football game Friday night on WJOS-TV20, with friend and cameraman, Paul Gerard. He shares the booth with radio duo, Rick Ash and Jimmer Soulsby. Tony also announced radio with Jimmer, on 1390 WMPO & the Frog WYVK. Tony has not missed a football game in nearly 25 years. In 2014, he was awarded the “respect the game” state award by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
Hawk’s love for his Alma Mater goes beyond Friday night football — he is involved in both boys and girls sports. He continues to announce 7th and 8th grade football games. He also announces girls and boys varsity basketball games and varsity baseball games. Most recently, Hawk volunteered his time to announce the track meets and district track meets, for the past two years, with the assistance of Bill Meyer.
Hawk also announces cross country meets and has a special interest in recognizing past Meigs athletes. He was responsible for organizing the 1980 girls softball state-semi finalist ceremony to honor the team and coach Rita Slavin. He was also responsible for placing the athletic signs on the softball dugout, the baseball complex, and the entrance to Holzer Field.
Hawk has been employed by the Meigs County Highway Department for the past 22 years where he has served as secretary/treasurer for 15 years. He enjoys being involved in his community. He was also on the Syracuse Community Center Board of Directors.
Hawk enjoys reminiscing about the good old days, where he and coach Mike Chancey would work at the old marauder stadium. He would like to recognize and thank: Aaron Oliphant, Steve Wood, Kevin Musser, Bill Myer, Roger Abbott, Brian Howard, Charlie Barrett, Homer Smith, and Kaleb and Kerry Gibbs. He is very humbled and honored to have been chosen to receive this award.
Adam Williams (Class of 1999)
Adam Williams is married to Amy Evans Williams. They have five children, Brogan, Bralynn, Briggs, Braisley, and Bronson. He is a union Boilermaker Local 667 Winfield W.Va.
They started Smok’em If You Got’em BBQ in 2009. They are blessed by the support of the local people around. They started in competition BBQ and have won multiple awards including: 2009 Top BBQ team in Ohio, four time winner of Ohio’s best ribs, four time winner of the Ohio State Fair Pork Off, and multiple other awards.
Williams loves helping out and raising money for the Meigs Alumni Association on Homecoming weekend. He also enjoys events with his church family at River City Fellowship in Gallipolis, Ohio. Adam and Amy also enjoy spending time with his mother and father, Lee and Bron Williams, and sister and brother-in-law, Christina and Aric Patterson, and their children, Avery and Cullen Patterson.
Adam always enjoys talking and teaching anyone the art of backyard and competition BBQ.
Gary and Karen Walker — Distinguished Service Award
Gary and Karen are both life-long Meigs County residents. Gary is a 1965 graduate of Southern Local Schools and joined the US Air Force in 1966 during the Vietnam War. After training at the Air Force Electronics School at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, Gary was sent to Okinawa for his tour of duty.
Returning to Meigs County in 1970, he was hired by Elberfeld’s to do television service. He also worked part time for a local professional photographer.
When the position opened up for the second year of the Vocational Electronics Program at MHS, Gary applied and was hired to be the junior year instructor. During that year and the next, he spent time with the Ohio State University’s Vocational Education Instructor’s Program.
The program at MHS changed over the years as technology advanced.
Along the way, Gary served on the Yearbook Staff as the photographer and also acted as spotter for the play-by-play announcer in the press box for football.
In 1975, Gary met and dated Karen Humphrey. She was raised on a farm in Reedsville and graduated from Eastern High School in 1970. She attended Ohio State University and graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor’s degree in education and then in 1993 from Ohio University with a Master’s in education. They married in May of 1975 and have a daughter, Jennifer, who is married and resides in Chicago.
Karen started teaching in 1975 at Harrisonville Elementary teaching Title I Reading. That led to a position at Salisbury Elementary the next year and eventually to a job as the 4th grade teacher at Salisbury. Besides 4th grade she taught hands-on science to 4th, 5th and 6th grade. While at Salisbury, she coached Volleyball from 1976 through 1983.
Of course, as with all elementary teachers in Meigs Local, she made the move to the new building at Rutland in 2003, where she taught and also was one of the Archery coaches until she retired.
Gary retired from teaching in 1996, then returned from 1996 until 2001 as a computer and networking tech. Karen taught for a total career of 36 years and retired in 2011.
Karen is currently part owner of the Fabric Shop in Pomeroy. Gary is the Racine United Methodist Church Secretary and enjoys working with the River City Players Community Theater Group.
The awards will be presented during a pre-game ceremony on Friday evening as part of the Homecoming events at the Meigs High School football game against Nelsonville-York.
Information provided by the Meigs Local Alumni Association.