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Wellborn Community Association, Inc.

The Home of the Historic Wellborn Blueberry Festival Located in Beautiful Suwannee County Wellborn, Florida

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February 4th:

November 7th

     A re-dedication of the Wellborn Fallen Heroes monument honoring nine Wellborn men who gave their lives for their country was held November 7, at the Wellborn Community Association.  The Memorial was created in 2007 by the Marine Corps League, Sgt. Maj. Thomas H Griggs Jr. Detachment 

#1086.  Two names were inscribed at that time.  Recently seven more Wellborn men who gave their lives for their country were discovered, and this ceremony was a re-dedication of the monument honoring the nine fallen heroes. 

    The Wellborn Community Association is so thankful to have had the support of the many people who came together to honor these men and to add their names to the memorial.   Johnny Norris engraved not only the new names on the memorial but also was responsible for inscribing the memorial at its inception.   

     Ellis Gray, Veteran’s Services Officer and Commandant of the DAV, presided over the beautiful and dignified service which started with a flag raising, prayer, and the Pledge of Allegiance.  Linda Dye sang the Star Spangled Banner as everyone STOOD, and Ellis Gray honored each of the Fallen Heroes individually.   The ceremony ended with the placing of a wreath, the playing of Taps, and a final prayer.  Refreshments were available afterwards and everyone enjoyed visiting with one another. 

     Several family members of the Fallen Heroes were in attendance as well as many Wellborn residents who fondly remembered the soldiers.  Members of the American Legion, the Marines Detachment, and other Veterans’ groups came out to show their support, and we thank them for helping us to show the honor and respect that these men so deeply deserve.   These are the names of the Wellborn Fallen Heroes:








JOSEPH S HINES          US ARMY         WW I

JOSEPH S CASON         US ARMY         WW I



Halloween Party
October 29, 2016


See Facebook for more pictures!

Volunteer and Sponsor Appreciation Dinner
July 29, 2016

Frances Martin received the 2016 Member of the Year Plaque from President David Bonds.
Congratulations, Fran!

Curtis Smith won a Door Prize.
Curtis was the Grand Marshall of
the 2016 Blueberry Festival Parade.
See below for more pictures of him!

Another happy Door Prize Winner.
Congratulations, Pete!

Thanks to Bob & Cathy of Bob's Butts 
for the delicious food.


23rd Annual Wellborn Blueberry Festival
June 4, 2016
Curtis Smith, Blueberry Festival Parade Grand Marshall

Grand Marshall of the 2016 Wellborn Blueberry Festival Parade
Curtis Ray Smith with his lovely wife, Barbara.

Community Association Entertainment Co-Chair Ann Dawson presents Curtis Smith with his commemorative plaque.

The Wellborn Community Association is very proud to have Curtis Smith as our Grand Marshall.  Their outfits were spectacular (particularly Barbara's).  Everyone at the Festival enjoyed Barbara's beautiful dress as well as those worn by the Ladies of Luraville whom we look forward to seeing each year!

Biography of Curtis Ray Smith


Curtis Smith was born March 6, 1934, in Belmont, NC, one of nine children.  After his mother died when he was 7 years old, he and some of the other younger children were raised by various older sisters.  He joined the United States Army at age 20, on April 2, 1954.  After taking  his basic training at Ft. Jackson SC, he was at Camp Gordon GA, Ft. Sam Houston TX, and Camp Kilma NJ, before being sent to Geinhousen, Germany, for 3 years.  Before returning to Ft. Jackson SC, he was also at Ft. Dix NJ, and Bad Kreuznach, Germany. 


His family still lived in North and South Carolina.  It was while visiting a sister in Rock Hill SC, in 1957, that he met the love of his life, Barbara.  They were married in June 1958.  Curtis was sent to Korea in 1959 for 13 months, leaving behind his young wife and their baby son.


On his return trip back to the states, he was stationed at the Army Research Center Burn Ward at Ft. Sam Houston TX, for two years.  Then he was sent to Wurzburg, Germany for three years.  A daughter was born to Curtis and Barbara in 1964.  Upon returning to the states he was stationed at Ft. Brag NC and Ft. Benning GA.  During these years Curtis received much medical training (equal to a Registered Nurse in civilian life). 


Curtis went to Vietnam for 13 months in 1967 and 1968, after which he was at Ft. Hood TX, and then went back to Landstuhl, Germany.  He finished his army career at the Coral Gables Induction Center in February 1975, after 21 years of active duty at home, overseas and in war. 


After leaving the service, Curtis went to school for air conditioning and refrigeration.  He also spent four years in welding and pipe fitting school.  He worked as a Journeyman Pipefitter/Welder until another retirement at age 65. 


In 2001, Curtis lost much of his vision to Macular Degeneration, but he has remained very involved in many activities.  In the summer of 2014, he went to the Rehab Center for the Blind in West Palm Beach FL, to learn many independent living skills.   Curtis has lived in Wellborn since August 9, 1982.  He is a Christian and an active member of Wellborn Baptist Church.

Mayso Martin cooking those delicious blueberry pancakes.  

Hand-painted gourds, a new vendor this year!


The following photos are courtesy of our friends at the Suwannee Valley Times, with their permission.  
They were taken by the talented Gabrielle Stevenson.

Abigail Hanssen, age 10, of Live Oak, getting her face painted at the Blueberry Festival by 
vendor Robbin Roling of Commerce, Georgia.-SVT Photos by Gabrielle Stevenson

Gary and Cindy Farmer of Fiddler’s Ridge Farms & Winery gave out samples of their Florida grown 
Blueberry Wine at the festival. -SVT Photos by Gabrielle Stevenson

The Wellborn Community Association’s Country Store stayed busy all day selling blueberry treats. - SVT Photo by Gabrielle Stevenson

Pastor Rusty Bryan and members of Wellborn Baptist Church gave away free water bottles at the festival. Bryan said, “Jesus said if you give a cup of water in my name, you’ve done it unto me. So that’s why we’re doing it, because we love Jesus.” (L-R) Front Row: Colton Richardson, Kale Christian, Back Row: Pasco Jarvis, Tristan Mercer, Ronni Smith, Rusty Bryan
 -SVT Photos by Gabrielle Stevenson

Browsing vendor booths at the Wellborn Blueberry Festival. - SVT Photo by Gabrielle Stevenson

Vendors selling fresh blueberries picked from Wellborn Farms at their festival booth. - SVT Photo by Gabrielle Stevenson

Joe Di Vito of Wizard of ODD Hot Sauces giving out samples of his products at this year’s Blueberry Festival.
- SVT Photo by Gabrielle Stevenson

Kenzie Kimball helping out at Rooney’s Front Porch Farm Blueberry Festival booth. - SVT Photo by Gabrielle Stevenson

Wellborn Welcomes Amtrak

On Friday, Feb. 19, Several Wellborn residents turned out to let Amtrak know that Wellborn would like the Jacksonville - New Orleans Amtrak service resurrected.  Wellborn had a train station beginning in the 1860s.  I think the station was closed sometime in the 1990s - maybe someone out there knows exactly when.  I know the Jacksonville - New Orleans route was closed by Amtrak after Hurricane Katrina.  


The 22nd Annual Wellborn Blueberry Festival June 6, 2015

You can also follow this link to see the pictures posted by the Suwannee Democrat:

Co-chairs of the Country Store, Pearl Turner and Judy Husocki

The children really loved the bungee jump, ponies, petting zoo, etc.  There was a lot to do for the kids.

There was a great variety of vendors.  Plant vendors are always popular.

The Pancake Breakfast is always a popular event.  WCA Members work very hard to 
serve about 900 breakfasts in the space of three hours at three different stations.

Bobbi Fenderson, Jim Mikitta and David Bonds still find time to enjoy themselves while working hard.   

Past District 4 Commissioner Phil Oxendine and WCA Vice President Wendell Snowden
                                  discuss how to make the world a better place(?)  

We always love to see The Ladies of Luraville in their beautiful dresses.  They have 
new ones each year.  

                       Starting them off young!!                                                             

Esther and Ron Chappel - Queen and King of the 22nd Annual Wellborn Blueberry Festival

Receiving their plaque from WCA Vice President, Wendell Snowden

The King made a proclamation that everyone have fun at the Blueberry Festival.               

Linda Dye, Mistress of Ceremonies and Chairperson of Entertainment and a great singer and entertainer herself,
introduced Raymond Cheshire owner of Gateway Brokers (at the old Suwannee Log Home property on 10A and 
90). Raymond told everyone about the new Clinic affiliated with Shands of Live Oak which will be opening soon.
Raymond supplied the great country decorations around the festival property (like the covered wagon).  He is 
the owner of the restored Adams Store in White Springs.  Gateway Brokers holds auctions several times a 
year of vehicles, equipment and much more at the property on 10A.  


2014 Member of the Year and 2014 Junior Member of the Year

Sharon Geyer being presented with the Member of the Year Award by Rob Dawson

Cade Ramsey, Junior Member of the Year, being presented with a gift certificate by Rob Dawson 

2014 Blueberry Festival Pictures

Parade theme - "Together We Can"  == June 7, 2014 == 10:30pm

Sons of the American Revolution -- Color Guard

Glenda Williams-Supervisor of Elections, Sharon Jordan-Tax Collector,                                                  The Live Oak Shrine Club
                    and Lamar Jenkins-Property Appraiser  

Suwannee High School sent their Sound of Suwannee Drum Line, Color Guard, and the Majorettes

County Commissioner District 4, Phil Oxendine and wife, Michelle.                    Grand Marshall, James Montgomery (Chairman of the Advisory Board of the                                                                                                                         Suwannee Valley Community Foundation being chauffeured by Alan Kunze in                                                                                                                       his '57 Chevy convertible.

Some of the beautiful equestrian entries in this year's parade!


                             1st Place in Floats - Wellborn United Methodist Church

2nd Place in Floats - Wellborn Church of God                                                  3rd Place in Floats - the Ladies of Luraville

The Willow Creek Band entertained all day along with local talent.                      The children always love the train.

Thanks to Raymond Cheshire of Gateway Auction & Trading for sending over so many of his really cool antiques to decorate around and in our Country Store.

On Friday, before the Festival, Betty Randall (Country Store Chairperson) enjoying the porch.  Out front is Mayso Martin.  Thanks again to Raymond Cheshire for the decorations.

The kids loved the rock wall, the ponies, the petting zoo, and the bungee bounce.


And -- the water walkers!

One of our major sponsors, The Suwannee Democrat, with Publisher Myra                               This bell rang all day long -- the kids loved it.
Regan greeting the public.

One of our most loyal vendors, Timothy Hartsfield (better known as "Stumpy")                 Loyal Blueberry Sponsor - Corky Gibbons (in the background)

Another loyal vendor, Fenced-In BBQ (Larry Rentz).  Larry also pitched in to                     This was a great thing to have at the Festival!
work on our New Country Store.  

Below are a few more vendors --- way too many to show them all.  We had 87 total vendors.  Thanks to each and every one for helping to make the Festival successful, and we hope that you enjoyed the day and were successful as well.  



Thanks to Anne Dawson for most of these pictures -- she did a wonderful job.  You can see more on our Facebook page (Wellborn Community Association).

Dedication of the New Country Store

Members of the Suwannee Valley Community Foundation, the Wellborn Community Association, the media, and the Chamber of Commerce got together on May 15, 2014, to thank the Suwannee Valley Community Foundation for their donation which made the purchase of the New Country Store possible.  Back Row: Hazel Ford, Pearl Turner, Betty Randall, Judy Husocki and Myrtle Principato (WCA members). Front Row: Rob Dawson, President, Wendell Snowden, Vice President, James Montgomery, Chairman of the Advisory Board, Suwannee Valley Community Foundation, Daniel Crapps, Patrick Douglas and Joe Persons of the Suwannee Valley Community Foundation.

Enjoying refreshments while it rained outside.

                                                                                                             L to R, Wendell Snowden, James Montgomery, Joe Persons, Patrick Douglas,                                                                                                                 Austin Richmond, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, and Daniel Crapps

Rob Dawson, WCA President, Phil Oxendine, District 4 County Commissioner, 
and Wendell Snowden, Vice President WCA. Phil was late beause he was working on flooding problems in the county.

The plaque which will be put on the front of the building.


Wellborn Children's Candy Cane Christmas Party - December 14, 2013

This year's children's Christmas Party was the best yet, thanks to chairperson, Cindy Macy.  Each child received a gift, visited and had his/her picture with Santa, enjoyed refreshments and had the opportunity to do a craft.  

We had a great turnout of children.  Cindy had provided pages for the children to color while awaiting Santa.

Pic of the rest of the room.

Cindy Macy, Chairperson of Candy Cane Christmas                                          Jordin Jaycon, winner of the giant candy cane

Beanie Brooks registered the children as they arrived (and yes, she was as good as her hat said).

Levi Bedenbaugh, winner of the boy Teddy Bear

Beka Davis, winner of the girl Teddy Bear

Sharon Geyer, Treasurer of the WCA, helping with hot chocolate and cookies.

Cade Ramsey and his Grandma, Gaylia Howard.  Cade is one of our junior members who were immensely helpful with the party.  Cade was the "keeper" of the hot chocolate, he helped greatly with cleanup and he is always there to say, "What can I do to help?"  Thank you, Cade.

Kathie Snowden, Beanie Brooks and Anne Dawson who helped with registration and then retired to cookie distribution (and consuming).  Thanks to all for the wonderful cookies which were donated.  We had some REALLY delicious cookies.  Almost all the decorations and the platters were courtesy of Cindy Macy who is an amazing organizer and party planner.  

Kathie telling Wendell it's time for him to take pictures of the CHILDREN, while Beanie thinks Kathie needs antlers, and Anne is either getting ready to warn Kathie or is complicit in the situation.  

With the microphone in his hand, is WCA President, Pastor Bob Hazel.  Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus have arrived (in the background).

Santa arrived by fire truck driven by Wellborn Volunteer Fire Chief, Tom Maynard.  All the children received a picture of themselves with Santa Claus (something new this year, courtesy of Cindy Macy and her elves).  

Left, WCA President, Pastor Bob Hazel.  He sometimes has this effect on people - demonstrated by the expression on Jade's face.  Just Kidding -- our new president is doing a wonderful job.

All of the elves were a great help.  Junior members, Vicry and Subia Cruz, Maggie Dawson, and Alexis Brown were very much appreciated.  

Every child received a toy.

A good time was had by all!

Bobby Dawn and Grandma Kerry

WCA Vice President, Rob Dawson, appropriately in front of our "New Members are Always Welcome" sign as he is always trying to get new members.

Special thank you's as well to some people who are not mentioned above:  Jim & Pat Bezaire (who we could not have done without), Rose Hazel (who can really decorate a tree - and much more), Paula Essiambre (who worked above and beyond to make the party a success, and can always be counted on to help out), Tom Maynard (Wellborn Volunteer Fire Chief), and Myrtle Principato (who is another member who can always be counted on - as well as a ray of sunshine wherever she goes).  I am sure there are many more who I am leaving out -- I will add them later as I get the names.



Suwannee Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year:
WCA President, Wendell Snowden

On February 21, 2013, Wendell Snowden was presented the Citizen of the Year award at the Annual Chamber of Commerce dinner at Camp Weed.  WCA Secretary Bobbi Fenderson presented him with the award.  Congratulations, Wendell!
      Official Groundbreaking for Wellborn Fire/EMS Station No. 5 - 10/22/2012
The Suwannee County Commission and the Fire Department had our very exciting groundbreaking ceremony today (10/22/12) for Wellborn (Station 5) Fire and Rescue. Three county commissioners (see photo) were present as were most Wellborn Community Association members and many Wellborn residents. Interim Fire Chief, James Sommers, and several members of the Fire Department brought out the new fire truck and EMS vehicle. Construction should be underway in a few days. Station 5's crew will work out of the WCA's main building until completion of the District 5 building. Suwannee County Sheriff, Tony Cameron, has told us that he will include in the facility a Sheriff's Substation.
From Left, Wellborn Community Association members Wendell Snowden,                               The beautiful new fire truck!
Jan Pearce, Bobbi Fenderson and Mayso Martin; Suwannee County
Commissioners Phil Oxendine, Clyde Fleming and Wesley Wainwright;
and Interim Fire Chief James Sommers