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MECC gala to honor Bob Isaac

Staff report • Apr 2, 2007 at 11:51 AM

BIG STONE GAP - Robert E. "Bob" Isaac Sr. will be the main course of a "celebrity roast" as guest of honor at this year's Mountain Empire Community College Hall of Honor Gala later this month.

Entertainment will be provided by National Public Radio-acclaimed musician Jeff Little, known as the "Piano Man from the Blue Ridge." The event will be held April 21 in MECC's Goodloe Center of Phillips-Taylor Hall.

With honoree Isaac's friends paying tribute, the 2007 gala theme is titled, "That's What Friends Are For." Isaac has served on the MECC Foundation board of directors since 1982. He served two terms as board chairman from 1991-93 and 1996-06.

Isaac has also been a force in the greater Wise County community over the years, with prior service on the Norton School Board, Wise County Chamber of Commerce board of directors, Norton City Planning Commission, Norton Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, Wise County Habitat for Humanity, Virginia-Kentucky District Fair, Knob Development Corp., St. Mary's Hospital Advisory Board, and Mountain View Regional Medical Center board. Isaac is also active in St. Anthony Catholic Church in Norton.

Little has been described by NPR as "a remarkable musician steeped in the tradition of his native Blue Ridge, yet also a virtuosic and electric innovator." He has performed on NPR's "Folk Master's Program" and "An American Roots Fourth of July."

In addition to appearances at many performing arts centers, colleges and festivals throughout the United States and abroad, Little has also performed at the Museum of Natural History's Smithsonian Institution Baird Auditorium in Washington, D.C., the American Folk Festival in Bangor, Maine, and Merlefest in Wilkesboro, N.C.

The April 21 gala begins with a 6 p.m. reception followed by a full-course buffet dinner at 6:45 p.m. The "roasting and toasting" will begin after dinner and will precede Little's performance.

Tickets to the gala are $75 each, $50 of the price tax deductible. Proceeds will establish the Bob Isaac Hall of Honor Opportunity Fund, an unrestricted endowment to be matched dollar for dollar by federal Title III funds.

To order tickets or more information call Jeri Bledsoe in the MECC Foundation Office at (276)523-2400, ext. 287. Gifts to the Bob Isaac Hall of Honor Opportunity Fund are also welcome and may be sent to the MECC Foundation, 3441 Mountain Empire Road, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219.

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