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Final Fair Preparations

Leaders of the Brookhaven Exchange Clubwill kick start the club’s annual fair by honoring two longtimeworkers, Virginia and Charles “Ploochie” Ratliff, Friday.

    The Exchange Club Park pavilion will be dedicated to the memory ofthe Ratliffs in a ceremony Friday at 6 p.m. After the dedication,the 2011 fair festivities will begin.

    “This is a way for us to honor their service,” said Exchange ClubPresident Stan Foster. “They were important members of thecommunity and club.”

    Charles Ratcliff was a charter member of the Brookhaven ExchangeClub, which began in 1947 and served 43 consecutive years assecretary of the club.     The Ratliffs were recognized fixtures of the fair at the bingotable, which the couple operated for many years.

    Foster recalled the couple often wore matching outfits and highlyvisible within the city.

    “They had one outfit with hats like a ship’s captain,” Foster said.”You would see them walking around Wal-Mart with those hatson.”

    The pavilion has also been a fixture for many years in the park butnow features the addition of a marble plaque to be unveiled atFriday’s ceremony. Brookhaven Monument was instrumental in aidingthe club with the acquisition of the plaque.

    The fair will run from Friday until Saturday, Aug. 6, and will notbe open on Sunday. Fair admission is free.

    “This is an old-fashioned community fair,” Foster said. “It is agreat thing for the community and brings everyone together, becausewe couldn’t do it without all the volunteers.”

    The Exchange Club will make available a new ride this year: “TheScrambler.” It is the first new ride in several years and the clubhopes it will be a success.

    Club members have been working hard this week to safety-checkrides, spread out mulch, make repairs and give many rides a freshcoat of paint.

    “We’ve done a lot of cosmetic stuff this year,” said club memberTed Ratcliff.