In honor of her ongoing contributions to the Bartow community, Bridgett Eppinger Greene will be the guest of honor at the 26th annual Unsung Heroes Banquet Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. Presented by Noble Hill-Wheeler Foundation, the gathering will feature a meal and program at the Cartersville Civic Center, 435 W. Main St.
“I was very, very shocked that they would select me,” Greene said. “To be honest with you, I don’t feel like it’s deserving, because I do what I do because I enjoy doing it. ... I think it is very important to invest in your community, to make sure that it thrives and it continues.”
A resident of Acworth, Greene has served as the senior director of Mack Eppinger & Sons Funeral Service in Cartersville since 1996. Over the years, she has supported numerous organizations, including the American Red Cross of Northwest Georgia’s Bartow office, Christian League for Battered Women, 9th District of Georgia Funeral Service Practitioners Association and the New Frontier of Bartow County.
“[The purpose] of the event is to honor some of our Bartow County people — African-Americans especially — who have given back into the community,” Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center Curator Marian Coleman said. “A lot of them have worked here all their lives. ... A lot of times they don’t get day-to-day recognition or a lot of recognition as some do. ... We’re just trying to bring to the forefront [these individuals] to inform people about some of the things that they are doing and [how they are] giving back into the community.”
Along with honoring one of the community’s “unsung heroes,” the banquet also will serve as both a fundraiser and awareness-raiser for Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center. Proceeds from the event will go toward funding some of the site’s future endeavors, such as programs for youth, exterior beautification work and signage for the building.
Now serving as a cultural museum, the building — originally named Cassville Colored School and later referred to as the Noble Hill School — provided instruction for black children in the first through seventh grades from 1923 to the mid-1950s.
Known as the first Rosenwald School in northwest Georgia, Noble Hill cost $2,036.35 to construct in 1923. The Rosenwald Fund contributed $700, with the remainder raised by the Cassville community. The school stayed in operation until the educational site was consolidated into Bartow Elementary School in 1955.
After sitting vacant for more than 25 years, the building at 2361 Joe Frank Harris Parkway in Cassville was transformed into its present state with the help of state grants, private donations and fundraisers. Today, the venue reveals what life and education was like for black residents during the early to mid-1900s.
“Noble Hill has been here a while,” Coleman said. “Sometimes it’s not well known. A lot of people that come say they didn’t know it was here. So we [are] trying to get the word out that we’re still here; we’re still striving to keep the doors open. Thanks to the community’s help, we’re still strong, and we’re still providing history for the community.
“... We’re inviting the public to come to this banquet. We thank them for their donations in the past, and we’re still depending on their donations at this time.”
Tickets for the Unsung Heroes Banquet are $25 for adults or $30 for event admission and Noble Hill-Wheeler Foundation membership; $15 for youth 13 to 17; and $10 for ages 5 to 12. While tickets may be obtained at the door, Coleman urges individuals to purchase tickets in advance or call Noble Hill at 770-382-3392 to place reservations.