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Burr Collier Presented with 2023 Paul H. Broyhill Community Service Award During the Blowing Rock Civic Association’s Annual Membership Meeting

From left to right: Dr. Barry Buxton, Burr Collier (Broyhill Award recipient), Hunt Broyhill, Jean Kitchin, and David Goodson. Dr. Buxton introduced the award winner, Mr. Broyhill presented the award, Ms. Kitchin is the BRCA chair, and Mr. Goodson is the chair of the Award Committee. Dr. Buxton, Mr. Broyhill, and Mr. Goodson are all BRCA Trustees. Photo courtesy of BRCA.

The Blowing Rock Civic Association (BRCA) held  its eighth annual membership meeting on Thursday, August 10, 2023 at the famous  Perry Car Barn in Blowing Rock. It was attended by approximately one hundred fifty members of this active community organization. 

Audience members at the meeting. Photo courtesy of BRCA.

The BRCA was started in 2015 by a group of citizens to promote and improve the  quality of life in Blowing Rock by evaluating civic issues, educating and engaging  residents on key issues, working with local government and the business community,  and encouraging citizens to register to vote, to be involved and to vote in local elections  in which a few votes can make a big difference. 

BRCA Chair Jean Kitchin told the audience, “We are very grateful for the world class  scenery, the matchless seasonal climate and the friendly people who make Blowing  Rock a uniquely special place.” Kitchin emphasized that the BRCA recognizes the  importance of all of the town’s residents, full time and seasonal, for all have made major  commitments to the town that are the cornerstone for the town’s success and ability to  provide required services. 

Kitchin called on BRCA Vice President Tom Barrett who noted that during the past year  the BRCA and its leaders have worked on many important matters including: 

• Interviews with candidates for the 2022 Watauga County Commissioners’  election 

• Advocating for improved ambulance service for Blowing Rock 

• Exploring ideas for improving downtown congestion and parking • Working with town staff and Council to amend the town’s short term rental  regulations and improve disclosure on the town’s website about them • Expanding the information being presented publicly regarding the proposal to  bury downtown utility lines underground 

• Conducting surveys of residents to identify primary areas of concern and  communicating the survey results to town officials 

• Sponsoring presentations by Chuck Mantooth, CEO of Appalachian Regional  Medical Center in Boone, regarding the expanding capabilities of the hospital and  the significance of timely transport to the emergency room

• Sponsoring Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day commemorative programs • Producing popular films with the Blowing Rock Historical Society on the  fascinating history of Blowing Rock and the Queens of Blowing Rock 

• Providing popular free summer concerts in Broyhill Park, the final one being  Smokin’ Joe Randolph on Thursday, August 17 from 5 to 7 pm 

BRCA communicates through publishing frequent email releases to the hundreds of recipients on its mailing list, its popular “28605″ video releases featuring BRCA’s own Tom Barrett, and through community meetings. 

BRCA also promotes voter registration and helps citizens to inform themselves about  candidates in local elections by conducting candidate interviews, both in person and in  writing. Kitchin said that with town council and mayor elections coming up this fall in  Blowing Rock, the BRCA is making plans to engage in these activities once more. 

Kitchin expressed appreciation to BRCA Board member Chip Perry for allowing the  BRCA to hold the meeting in his Car Barn. Perry welcomed the group and gave a brief  history of his outstanding facility and superb car collection and of the historic property  that is home to the unique building. 

A highlight of the meeting was the annual presentation of The Paul H. Broyhill  Community Service Award named in honor of one of Blowing Rock’s greatest  benefactors. The Broyhill Award is given to a citizen who has rendered extraordinary  service to the community in the past year. 

BRCA board member David Goodson presided over the presentation on behalf of the  Award Committee. The award recipient was introduced by BRCA Trustee and Executive  Committee member, and previous Broyhill Award recipient, Dr. Barry Buxton, who said,  “…it’s a real pleasure to present this award to one who has dedicated a large portion of  his life to the success and well-being of a one hundred year old, nationally recognized  Blowing Rock institution, which locals refer to simply as ‘the Horse Show.’” 

Buxton then announced that the 2023 Paul H. Broyhill Community Service Award goes to Burr Collier, who has served as President of the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show for over three decades and also as President of the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show Foundation since its inception. Mr. Collier has overseen a period of substantial growth in size and scope for the Horse Show which has been accomplished without sacrificing the small town charm of its events. The Horse Show’s Centennial, its $7 million annual economic impact and its many awards, including its 2023 recognition as one of America’s Top Ten Horse Shows, were also noted.  

Joining Dr. Buxton to present the award was Hunt Broyhill, a BRCA Trustee and head of the Broyhill Family Foundation, who also expressed gratitude and congratulations to Mr.  Collier for his great service to the Blowing Rock community. 

Courtesy of Blowing Rock Civic Association