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Gleason Presents Minerals Day 2017

Jim Johnson

Minerals Day 2017 Registration Desk


On Friday, October 6th the the Gleason Downtown Revitalization Committee (GDRC), along with the full complement of  Gleason Clay companies (Gleason Clay Company, Old Hickory Clay Company, Lhoist/Spinks Clay Company, and Imerys/K-T Clay Company) hosted the Third Annual Minerals Day at Mike Snider Park.


It is fitting that this event was again held in Gleason as the City of Gleason has been a major producer of clay since it was first discovered in 1926 on the W.R. Crawford farm two miles west of Gleason. Famous for its generous deposits of Ball Clay, Gleason is generally viewed as the Ball Clay Capital of the Nation.


Other Sponsors included Gleason Lumber Company, Meridian Brick, KR Trucking, Simply Southern Café and Catering, Southern Printing N’ Graphics, K&D Designs (Kenneth & Debbie Byrd),  Earthen Vessels Pottery & Bistro, Sims and Sons Trucking, Tri State Truck, Power Equipment, Scott Equipment Co., Thompson Machinery CAT, Pepsi, Union City Forklift, Komatsu Machinery, Volvo Machines, and the Bank of Gleason.


Minerals Day 2017 began at 10:00 am and lasted until 2:00 pm. Upon arrival, all registrants were encouraged to sign up for drawings for a wide variety of door prizes provided by Minerals Day vendors. Winners were announced throughout the day by Brent Eugley of  Imerys/K-T Clay Co.


Large numbers of those in attendance commented on the fact the Mike Snider Park was a beautiful venue for this event, providing for ample parking, plenty of room for vendors to set up their booths, a large tent that allowed space for eating as well as mineral-related educational presentations. Adding to the ambiance of the setting, the weather was excellent with blue skies and sunshine throughout the day.


Chilled canned drinks were abundantly available, iced down in the bucket for a Wheel Loader. Some of the biggest and juiciest hotdogs one could imagine were grilled and hand wrapped on site by the owners and crew of  Simply Southern Cafe. Chips, snow cones, popcorn, and cotton candy were also provided by other businesses.


There was also an abundance of valuable and highly sought after door prizes that included fine pottery pieces hand made by Mr. Jim Keeling of Earthen Vessels and Pottery, numerous scientific calculators and electronic  tablets, custom made for school use, numerous toy replicas of equipment used in the mining industry, caps, coolers, folding chairs and backpacks donated by sponsors and participating businesses, as well as cash prizes donated by the Bank of Gleason.


Brent Eugley of  Imerys/K-T Clay announces door prize winners


Many seemed to enjoy watching Mr. Jim Keeling making some beautiful pottery items from ball clay mined right here in Gleason in the Earthen Vessels Pottery booth.


Mr. Jim Keeling shows how to make beautiful pottery with Gleason Ball Clay


Along with the great setting, good weather, door prizes, free food and other giveaways, the major focus of Minerals Day 2017 was on its educational component, designed to help school age children develop an increased awareness of the role that the clay industry has played in enhancing the Gleason community over the years and help them understand the importance of clay and associated minerals to the City of Gleason as well as in other cities, towns, and states throughout the country.


Students inspect some heavy mining equipment


This educational component consisted of multiple clay mine tours as well as mining-and heavy equipment related presentations, that were enhanced  by the presence of excavators, dozers, an articulated truck, and the world famous "Gleason Shredder" being on site.


Students watch a minerals-related Video Presentation


If one can assess the the success of an event such as this in terms of overall attendance, the number and range of schools that bussed students in to attend this event, the overall number of students who participated and the unsolicited very positive feedback given by those who attended, by all accounts this Third Annual Minerals  Day was a huge success.


Here it can be noted that there was just over 600 middle and high school students in attendance that were bussed in from Weakley and Henry County schools.  There were 11 school busses from these two counties that were observed in the parking lot at one time. Total attendance was approximately 1,000 people.


The City of Gleason has reason to be very proud of the contribution that the clay industry has made to the local community over the years and of those clay companies that are based in Gleason and who have made this Third Minerals Day possible.


Gleason Clay Companies - Minerals Day 2017

[Imerys/K-T Clay Company; Gleason Clay Company; Lhoist/Spinks Clay Company; Old Hickory Clay Company]



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