PICKENS - A lifetime of service to the residents of Pickens best characterizes this month’s I Fan The Flame award recipient, Frances Wannamaker. Among many other endeavors, she is presently Chairman of the Board for the Senior Citizens of Pickens, Inc. The organization was formed in 2008 and currently operates the bustling Senior Center located on Schoolhouse St.
Affectionately known as “Chink” (a nickname given to her by her grandfather), Frances is a lifetime resident of Pickens. A 1954 graduate of Pickens High, she received her B.A. degree from Columbia College where she lettered as the goalie for the school championship field hockey team. After additional education at Furman and Clemson, Frances spent 38 years teaching at Ben Hagood Elementary School and Pickens Middle School before retiring in 1998.
Her lifetime of service to the community includes being a member of the Pickens Youth Corporation (now Pickens Recreation) for several decades, past president of the Hagood-Mauldin Historical Society, and even organized a cheerleader program for little league football. Always active, in addition to Chairing the Senior Citizens Board, Frances currently is Chairman of the Pickens Middle School Improvement Council, has organized a fund-raiser for that school for 18 years running, serves on the Azalea Festival committee, is a member of the City Planning Commission, heads the city Sunrise Cemetery committee and still finds time to be a member of the Cannon Memorial Hospital Auxiliary where she volunteers one day a week.
“Chink” speaks highly of the city and its people. “I’m honored to receive the award and will continue to fan the flame in any way I can. I would love to see more things for all to do, not only for seniors but especially for the youth in the area. Wouldn’t it be great to again see a theatre or have a skating rink or bowling alley in Pickens?”
Created by the city of Pickens and the Pickens Revitalization Association, I Fan The Flame recognizes individuals that have supported and contributed to the community in extraordinary ways – those who have demonstrated a passion for helping make Pickens a great place to live, work and play.
The award program will be expanded, in the future, to recognize the many contributions of various academic, civil, religious and charitable organizations towards “fanning the flame” in Pickens. Platinum sponsors include the Historic City of Pickens and Great Oaks Dental. East Main Treasures and Pace & Reeves BP, Inc. are this year’s bronze sponsors.