Fosters honored for 42 years of Pig Pickin’ hostin’

Published 7:00 pm Monday, April 15, 2024

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James and Nancy Foster, the gracious, long-time hosts of the Windsor Ruritan Club Pig Pickin’, received due recognition of their efforts from the club at its meeting Tuesday, March 19, in the Windsor Community House.

The recognition had been a long time coming, and it took place before a larger-than-usual crowd of club members and guests that included state Sen. Emily Jordan, R-Isle of Wight.

During the meeting, WRC President Jake Redd noted that WRC Social Development Chair Bentley Richardson had something he wanted to present to the Fosters, along with WRC Membership Chair Durwood Scott.

When the Fosters had joined Richardson, Scott and Redd at the head of the room, Richardson said, “It’s with a great deal of pleasure that I finally have a plaque to present to Nancy and James for hosting the Pig Pickin’ for 42 years out at Foster’s Pond. If anybody in here didn’t make it out there, you missed a real treat.”

Richardson noted that the Fosters made everyone feel welcome at their place.

He also underscored that organizing the Pig Pickin’ events, particularly in the first few years, was a lot of work.

The plaque presented to the Fosters had an American flag graphic going down the left side, a gold, blue and white Ruritan National logo near the top, and the following inscription flowing from the middle to the bottom: “Nancy and James Foster … In appreciation for hosting 42 years of the Windsor Ruritan Pig Pickin’ … Windsor, VA … 2024.”

“This is the second (plaque),” Richardson said, “because I got one made, and we lost it,” he added, prompting laughter from the crowd.

At the conclusion of the presentation, applause erupted in the Fosters’ honor.

James Foster said, “It was an experience with the Ruritans here for that many years, and probably nobody knows — if they haven’t been a part of it — how much work and effort that they give to the community. But it has been a great pleasure knowing so many people here and what they have done for this community. And I see now that it is continuing, the work that y’all have done. I’m so proud of all of you, and thank you.”

He indicated that a lot of what made 42 years of hosting possible was “the help of my wife Nancy of 66 years of marriage.”

Nancy addressed the crowd as well and said, “Thank you so much. We appreciate the recognition.”

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an interruption in the usual orchestration of the Pig Pickin’ Festival, but it returned in full in 2023, being held at the Joel C. Bradshaw Fairgrounds for the first time.

This year, the 48th annual Windsor Ruritan Club Pig Pickin’ Festival will also be held at the fairgrounds, running from 3-7 p.m. on April 25.

Shortly after the 2023 edition of the festival, club member Edward “Gibbie” Dowdy, who was chairman of the committee that planned that event, said that the WRC was going to make the Pig Pickin’ its primary fundraiser.

“That’s what they used to do, and this was the main one they used to make all their money at,” he said, adding that the club uses its money to support a variety of area organizations, including those focused on the youth. “It’s all donated back into the community.”