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Heritage Alliance holds awards ceremony at Smoot Family home
Winning awards presented by Warren County Heritage Alliance are, front row, from left, Phoenix Rigsby, Tisha Emberton, and Kelly Slaughter. Second row, Rose Caten, Bruce Atnip, Carol Caldwell, Josh Caten and Katie Kemezis. Back row, Ray Bradley, Trinidad Ramirez, Dalton Pack and Wayne Wolford.

Warren County Heritage Alliance held its annual Membership Meeting and Awards Ceremony at the home of Main Street McMinnville director Katie Kemezis, which is also the Smoot Family Home (Dr. Smoot).
The evening started with music provided by Trinidad Ramirez, who sang his original song, “McMinnville” about our hometown. Heritage Alliance president Jimmy Haley welcomed members and guests at special event that recognized locations and people who are preserving history.
Carol Caldwell received the history preservation award for the photographic archive preservation of the Brady, Hughes, Beasley collection donated to Magness Library.
Cheryl Mingle received an award for preserving history through the genealogy and research at Magness Library. The city of McMinnville was recognized for restoring and preserving Park Theater.
Wayne Wolford was awarded for preserving Warren County African-American history, and has written a book as part of his research. Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award is Neil Shultz for a lifetime of helping and financing historic preservation.
Bruce Atnip, a local historian who has dedicated his life in volunteering his time to the Heritage Alliance Museum and at the Harrison Cabin, received the Lifetime Dedication Award.
Receiving Volunteer Spirit Awards were Tisha Emberton, Tiffany Emberton, Rose Caten and Joshua Caten for assistance at the Heritage Alliance Museum and Harrison Cabin. Tisha Emberton also edited many historical videos for Heritage Alliance.
Receiving the Music Preservation Award was David Graham for his continuing efforts to give local musicians a stage, encouraging the preservation of music in general as that is a main part of our heritage.
Everyone needs a cheerleader, and McMinnville has a few that were recognized. Trinidad Ramirez, a musician and audio engineer, has constantly shared his gift with others by either volunteering or encouraging others with their musical craft. His efforts are noted in music preservation, business growth in downtown and greater McMinnville area.
Another individual who received the McMinnville Cheerleader Award is WOW Country 105.3’s Kelly Slaughter for her efforts to keep music alive, her work with Relay For Life, her aspiring words to individuals to keep going to be their best so McMinnville continues to be a great place to live.
There’s always room for new faces and Dalton Pack was awarded the New Candle Award as he has assisted in preserving history with Haley and others.
Haley listed a local register of historical places noted as part of our historical preservation in Warren County. The list includes: Ben Lomand Mountain, Old Post Road/ Old Nashville Pike, Rebel Hill Battle Site, Smoot Family Home (home of Katie and Geoff Kemezis) and the Railroad Bridge at Rock Island.
A list of endangered historical places was also recognized and included Ben Lomand Mountain, BRC Mill Site, and the brick sidewalk on West Main Street (in front of Keith Smartt’s house by Hardee’s), the Blue Building and Bernard School Gym.
Heritage Alliance also elected officers for Warren County Heritage Alliance. Matthew Hibdon received the position as vice president, Anna Sands as treasurer, Teresa Walker as secretary and Jimmy Haley as president.