The Cowan Community Action Group, Inc., will celebrate 50 years the Cowan Community Center has been providing for many needs of Cowan and surrounding communities. This celebration will take place on Saturday, October 25, at the Cowan Center, beginning at 2 p.m.
The event will feature speakers from the community as well as guests from out of town who have helped the center become what it is today. A mountain style autumn meal will be served around 4 p.m. and the day will end with an oldfashioned square dance.
The Cowan Community Action Group, Inc., was formed in 1964 after the old Upper Cowan Grade School consolidated into what is now Cowan Elementary School. A group of concerned citizens formed the group in order to petition the Letcher County School Board to grant them a lease to use the old school as a community center.
This was also at the beginning of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty and the Office of Economic Opportunity. Community action groups were springing up all over the county at that time, with Sargent Shriver, who was the husband of one of the Kennedy sisters, serving as the leader of the office. This year also marks the 50th anniversary for that organization as well.
Cowan’s group formed with help from the Letcher, Knott, Leslie, and Perry County Community Action Agency, and has remained a constant group since that time. Deola Day, a highly respected woman in the community, served as possibly its first president, followed by Kendall Ison.
Those who have special memories of the Cowan Community Center or you know someone who should be invited to share their memories on this day, get in touch with Carol Ison, at (606) 633-9831. Also, if you have any pictures of past events, and especially of the old Upper Cowan School, would you share those with us so that we could develop a slideshow? In order to plan for food, we ask that you RSVP no later than Friday, October 17. You may respond to either of these contacts: Nell Fields at : (606) 633-2858 or Carol Ison at: (606) 633-9831.
The folks who direct the Cowan Community Center have always wanted the community to know that it is truly a “community center” for the people; therefore we sincerely hope that community residents will join us as we celebrate this milestone in the history of the center. It has been a meeting place for hundreds of birthday parties, family reunions, wedding and baby showers, weddings and receptions, summer day camps, after school programs, Christmas parties, and numerous other events and activities. Hundreds of people have held their ‘special event’ there. So it is our desire that many of those people who have used it and who have special memories of it will attend to share in this day as we celebrate the center. Just be sure to let us know you are coming so we can make enough chicken and dumplings.