Francisco news

Sylvia Burton - Special for The Stokes News

There is so much going on in our neck of the woods! The Genealogical Society of Rockingham and Stokes Counties will be having a Spring Swap Saturday, April 30, at the Francisco Community Building. Starting at 9:00 am and going until 4:00 pm, you are invited to share, compare and research your genealogy with others. There will be a copier on site for a minimum 10 cents per copy and light refreshments will be served. Everyone is invited to attend!

Community Day will be Saturday May 7, at the Francisco Community Building and Fire Department. This is a big day for children and adults as well! Breakfast can be purchased at 7:30 am but all the events are free for everyone. There will be a bounce house for the kids and also a fire safety house that they can go through. Lots of games for them and free snacks will be available also. Adults can drop off any old or out-of-date medicines, sign up for our roadside cleanup day and have your weight and body mass evaluated by On the Move Personal Training. Hands only CPR classes will be taught. Also a big favorite for everyone, see the AirCare Helicopter from Wake Forest Baptist Hospital land right across the road from the community building. We will be serving a free hot dog lunch and we have gift bags for the first 100 visitors. Everyone is invited to attend.

The Board of Commissioners approved the community use of the grounds at Francisco Elementary School. This is so good for our community. Now, events can be scheduled and the Little League can practice and play on the field. We are planning a “Fun Day” Saturday, May 14. Kids and their families will be able to plant herbs and flowers on the grounds. We will also have games, outdoor activities and food. More about this next week.

The artwork of Ruth Ann Harden, along with her children, Rebecca, Daniel and Jason Abide will be featured at the Stokes County Arts Council’s Apple Gallery starting Wednesday, April 27 and going through to May 24. Ruth Ann, a resident of Francisco, is a native of Mississippi. She and her husband moved to our area thirteen years ago. She has an extensive background in all types of art endeavors including but not limited to graphic design, portrait artistry and art instruction. Her children followed in her footsteps and are renowned artist themselves. Rebecca tends to work in mixed media. Daniel is the photographer in the family, receiving his B.A. in photography from the University of North Carolina in Asheville. Jason’s love is pottery, making it since 2002 and teaching it since 2008. The Apple Gallery is located at 500 N. Main Street, Danbury, NC.

Ruth Ann is also involved in spearheading a program for the fourth and fifth graders in the Nancy Reynolds Elementary School. The CATS RULE CLUB or the Children’s Affordable Technology (CAT) Project is aimed at closing the digital divide by helping students in our communities gain easier and more affordable access to the internet and to the computers and technology they need to succeed in school and to explore the world. Our Communities of Northwest Stokes, our local and planning initiative group, is partnering with Nancy Reynolds, Surry Telephone and others to achieve this goal for our children throughout our area. Ruth Ann will lead the workshops where the kids will learn about different media including paint, clay, fabric, and paper. They will learn different ways of expressing themselves through art such as painting, drawing, printing, collage and sculpture. Our children are our future and should be given every opportunity to learn what is needed in today’s world to succeed and be happy.

Francisco lost one of its treasures last week. Colleen Collins passed away last Tuesday. She had been in declining health for many months. Terry and Tracey Collins, Colleen’s sons, spoke eloquently about their Mom last Saturday at her funeral. I had known Colleen all my life and when I started by cleaning business, she was my first customer. I loved going over there because she always had a story to tell. I recall my favorite one was about a phone call she received several years ago. It was from a man who lived in Florida but she had taught him in school when he was a small child living here. He told her how much he appreciated her as a teacher and how he remembered the Bible stories she would read every day to her students. He said when he was in Vietnam, he would think of her and her Bible stories and that is what got him through the bad times in his life. I’m so glad he got to tell her how important she was in his life. It meant a lot to her.

I wonder how many times our words or actions inspire someone? Something that we think may not mean much at all, may be just what someone needs to get through the bad times in their life. Something to think about.

Sylvia Burton is a resident of the Francisco community and can be reached at or 336-351-3216.

Sylvia Burton

Special for The Stokes News

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