Pickens Women’s Association recognized for charitable endeavors

PICKENS — After raising nearly $10,000 for charity with its 2013 Azalea Festival 5K Fun Run/Walk, and other endeavors, the Pickens Women’s Association was awarded the April “We Fan The Flame” award. This year’s co-chairs, Debbie Carmical and Karen Roper, led the entire association to make the event a success. This year the Boston Marathon victims were remembered with green ribbons that the 80 entrants held high at the finish

The race is the principal fundraiser for the Beverly Smith Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to a Pickens High senior girl each year. This year’s recipient will receive $2,000 to apply toward her college education expenses. Each year, in addition to the scholarship, the association donates to many worthy Pickens charities, including Meals on Wheels, Feed a Hungry Child, Prevent Child Abuse Pickens County, Cannon Hospital, Mary’s House, HOSA chapter of Pickens County, Pickens County Museum, the YAMS program, and other local charities that help improve the quality of life in our area.

“We would be unable to hold this event and make such donations were it not for the many generous local businesses that sponsor our race each year, said Karen Roper. “We also have tremendous help with our race from Coach Bryan Clevenger of Pickens High School and the Pickens Service Club. This year, we were able to hold our first kids’ fun run, Mike’s Tikes Run, named in memory of Dr. Mike Carmical, who was always supportive of our club and will be greatly missed. We hope this is a tradition that will continue and grow each year.”

The Pickens Women’s Association was originally established as the Pickens Area Junior Assembly and charter members were installed in 1983. As membership grew, and projects developed, the group settled on enhancements for parks and recreation as a key area of focus. Over the years this group planted trees on Main St, upgraded Jaycee Park, built and maintained the original hospital fitness trail and was always a key supporter of the Pickens Azalea Festival. When Beverly Smith died suddenly in the spring of 2000, the club established a scholarship in her name and began annual fundraising to support this scholarship and other worthy causes.

We Fan The Flame recognizes group contributions that make Pickens a better place to live. It is presented by the Pickens Revitalization Association and the city of Pickens. The award program is open to any civic, school, charitable, religious, cultural, non-profit, business, senior youth, association or similar organization. Entries should be submitted to the PRA by the 15th of each month and will be considered throughout the year. Entry forms are available at