Mentone, Alabama 35984
The Mentone Area Preservation Association, Inc. (MAPA) was organized to preserve and protect the heritage, natural environment, and other unique qualities of life in the Mentone, Alabama area. Bruce Bon Fleur presided over the first meeting held on Groundhog Day, February 2, 1982. To commemorate the date of the first meeting, the groundhog was adopted as the organizationís mascot. MAPA publishes a monthly newspaper with emphasis on news of interest to the Mentone Area. Appropriately, it is named The Groundhog.
MAPA sponsors two festivals each year: The Rhododendron Festival which is held the third weekend in May and ColorFest the third weekend in October. These are fund raisers for MAPA and for several other church, school and non-profit groups in Mentone. The money raised by MAPA is used to fund contributions to Moon Lake School and the volunteer fire department, and for special projects to improve Mentone. Some examples of these projects are: a bulletin board in front of the post office for general use; a sidewalk from the Hitching Post to the post office; updated electrical wiring in Brow Park; publishing of Zora Strayhornís book Mentone Alabama: A History; and currently, a plaque in Brow Park which, when complete, will display a map of the area, identification of landmarks seen from the brow and some history of the area.
MAPA members participate in the Adopt-a-Mile program. They have also assisted with or been responsible for such improvements as: the public telephone installed in front of city hall; a State grant to help rebuild the historic rock wall on Highway 117; the caution light on Highway 117; and the yellow center line on Highway 89.
The spring Rhododendron Festival and the fall Colorfest have been held every year since 1982. Both festivals feature arts and crafts and live entertainment in Brow Park; Colorfest begins with a bonfire in the town square on Friday night complete with live entertainment, storytelling, marshmallow roasting and a concession stand with roasted peanuts and hot beverages.
MAPA is responsible for the street decorations displayed in Mentone during Christmas, and sponsors a Christmas party for the students of Moon Lake School. Gifts, refreshments, and entertainment for the school party are provided by MAPA, assisted by volunteers and donations from the community.
MAPA is a member of the DeKalb County Tourist Association and the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association.
MAPA's officers for 2011-2012 are: Gerald Bailey, President; L. C. Moon, Vice-president; Ray Padgett, Treasurer; Gail Chambers, Secretary. Amelia Kirk-Lolli is Parliamentarian, and Lamar Bray and Hobson Kirby are Members-at-large.
Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of the month (with the exceptions of January and February) at 6:30 p.m. at the Moon Lake Baptist Church. For more information regarding membership or one of the events sponsored by MAPA, write to Post Office Box 50, Mentone, AL 35984, or visit http://MentoneAreaPreservationAssociation.com. You may also send email to MAPA@MentoneAlabama.org.
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