Beacon of Light Award 2018
Over a period of decades, Fosteen Banks has given of her time, talents, efforts and resources to the community, in particular the school children.
For many years, when it was time to ring the supper bell (school club dinners, team sports banquets, booster club fundraisers, pre-game meals, fall festivals, PTA events, special occasions), Fosteen Banks was the “go-to” girl. She was a natural for the task as she already knew the lay of the land like the back of her hand.
Mrs. Banks was employed for many years as the Ware County High School cafeteria manager. One of the two cafeterias on the Cherokee Street campus (currently Ware County Middle School) is named in her honor, Fosteen’s Diner. It was so christened in the 1980s while she was still on the clock. And the name is still over the door to this day.
Fosteen certainly knew her way around the kitchen. But she was needed elsewhere to boot. And she was always a cheerful volunteer. She and her husband, the late Thomas Banks, worked as volunteers in the WCHS Athletic Boosters Club for many years including holding offices, operating concession stands, fundraising, and in various other volunteer club functions.
The Bankses were true supporters of Ware High athletics, following the Gators on road trips even after their children, Debbie and Tommy, had graduated and moved on from WCHS.
Fosteen was a member/officer of the Ware County Exchange Club and worked in the club’s fair concession booth — known for its foot-long hot dogs — for many years. She also prepared meals for the Waycross Exchange Club.
For some two decades, she prepared delicious banquet meals for the Waycross-Ware County Sports Hall. And she and her crew, including her beloved sister Dean Griffin (now deceased) were sought by several local churches for weekly family night worship dinners.
Fosteen (Thomas too) has been faithful to serving at Calvary Baptist Church through the decades.
Always quick with a smile and a joke, Thomas Banks had a sense of humor that was legendary and (almost) without equal. His wit was matched (and surpassed) only by Fosteen’s gentle whimsy and pleasant demeanor.
The Rev. F.J. Beverly, who passed several years ago, was the hall of fame chaplain for about 20 years. The hall of fame board chose to honor his memory by instituting this award. Past winners have been Dan Stipe, Gus Karle, Harris Boyd, and Hollis Bethea.