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franklin county times

Welcome home Meridianites

By By Penny Randall / staff writer
June 20, 2004
Donna Kornegay Cherry remembers two things about the first Meridianites Convention and Picnic in Meridian the heat and the crowds.
The year was 1974. It was Cherry's first and only time to attend the picnic. She was 13 and a student at Kate Griffin Junior High School.
Cherry returned to Meridian two years ago after the death of her father, Dr. Hobart Kornegay, a longtime Meridian dentist and former city council member.
The Meridianites Convention and Picnic returns home to Meridian every five years. C.E. Otis Jr., president of the Meridian Council of Organizations and chairman of the Task Force Committee of the National Council of Meridianites, expects about 3,000 former Meridian residents to attend some of the events next week. Those events include a scholarship foundation luncheon, hospitality dance, picnic and grand ball.
Otis said the Meridianites Convention and Picnic is a homecoming for many people.
One of those former Meridian residents will be MaLinda Price Ravare, who was 5 years old when she left Meridian for New York with her mother and four siblings.
Coming home with Ravare to attend the picnic will be her sister, Henrene Elizabeth Barris, and her brother, Matthew LaVaughn Walker. Their mother, Forgia Price Walker died in 1989.
Ravare currently lives in Las Vegas and is retired from the University of Nevada School of Medicine.
Ravare said even though she left Meridian at a young age and didn't get a chance to return until she was 21, she still considers it to be home.
Rita Lemon Collins is another Meridian native who is looking forward to returning home. Collins moved away in 1997 and now lives in Jacksonville, Fla.
Collins grew up on the southside of Meridian.
MERIDIANITES CONVENTION AND PICNIC
Wednesday
9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Registration at Council of Organizations Building, 814 45th Ave.
9 p.m.-1 a.m.: Hospitality Suite, Room 410, opens at Howard Johnson's
Thursday
9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Registration at Council of Organizations Building and Howard Johnson's
6 p.m.: Awards program at Howard Johnson's banquet rooms A-D
9 p.m.: Party and dance at Council of Organizations Building
Friday
9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Registration at Council of Organizations Building and Howard Johnson's
1 p.m.: National Convention of Meridianites/Jacquelyn Sweetner Caffey Scholarship Foundation Luncheon at Howard Johnson's. Speaker will be Ed Lynch, a member of the Meridian School Board. Cost: $30.
6:30 p.m.: Memorial Service at Howard Johnson's,
banquet room C-D
8:30 p.m.-midnight: Teen dance at Council of
Organizations Building for 13-18 year olds
9 p.m.-1 a.m.: Hospitality Dance at Frank Cochran Center in Highland Park
Saturday
9 a.m.-10:30 a.m.: Registration at Howard Johnson's and Council of Organizations Building
10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.: Annual Picnic at Highland Park
11 a.m.: Welcome and music by Sweet Spirits Singers and W.C. Griffin Singers.
Storytelling by Ruby Yarbrough at the bandstand. Children's games and activities including face painting.
8:30 p.m.-midnight: Teen dance at Council of
Organizations Building for 13-18 year olds.
9 p.m.-1 p.m.: Grand Ball for adults at Frank Cochran Center.
Sunday
Visit church of your choice

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