Community gathers for Proctorville meet, greet

Published 11:03 pm Saturday, May 30, 2009

PROCTORVILLE — One of the most difficult things for anyone is introducing themselves to strangers when moving to a new community.

Researchers have even named a phobia after it — tropophobia, the fear of moving or making changes. It afflicts tens of thousands of people nationwide.

But for Proctorville Kroger employee Mohammad Hassan there was good reason he wanted to introduce himself and his staff to as many people as possible.

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Hassan just relocated to Proctorville as the co-manager of the grocery chain.

Thus he reintroduced the annual Kroger Community Day back to the Proctorville community Saturday after a decades-long absence.

Hassan, who took over operations of the store in February, said the idea to bring the community day back came not from a distant place, but right from his new adopted village.

“I was going though and looking at a photo album from some years ago that the store kept and it showed past photos of previous community days,” Hassan said. “That’s where the idea came from. We want to be involved in the community.”

Dodging darkening clouds and spurts of rain, Hassan’s three-hour “meet and greet” turned out to be a welcome event.

“We have had a pretty good turnout,” Hassan said.

The festivities started with the local unit of the United States Marine Corps raising a new flag in front of the store at 11 a.m. sharp.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary brought in one of their rescue boats for visitors to check out as well as its remote-controlled “Coastie” boat for the kids.

Also in attendance were rescue personnel and a truck from Proctorville Community Fire and Rescue, Ohio University Proctorville Center. WKEE 100.5 was on site with a remote truck.

Concessions were provided from Pepsi, Coca-Cola, RC Cola and Frito Lay. Heiner’s Bakery set up a grill for hot dogs and the Tea Room Café located in the Finishing Touch Gallery offered items from its menu.

A raffle was being held simultaneously on behalf of the American Cancer Society. Donated prizes included a variety of cookout equipment, coolers, beverage holders and candles.