Plaque honors friends

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 26, 2017

Katy Simpson said her mother, Evelyn Legg, and friends began meeting up at the Proctorville McDonalds in 1999.
Over the years, the group became a fixture at the restaurant, and has been known as the Bitty Committee.
“This is our home away from home,” Simpson, who lives in Fayette Township, said of the group, which meets at the restaurant on Wednesday and Friday mornings to socialize.
Now numbering about eight members, the lineup of the group has changed over the years as members have passed on.
On Thursday, the group decided to honor those who have passed, presenting a plaque to McDonalds franchise owner Steve Cielic to hang in the restaurant.
“We had mentioned how many had passed away since we started coming to McDonalds,” Simpson, whose mother died three years ago, said. “So we made a plaque for all of the friends, and we wanted to honor McDonalds.”
The plaque features 34 names of those who used to gather at the restaurant, with the inscription “gone but not forgotten,” and was hung on the wall next to a memorial plaque for Richard Cielic, the franchise’s original owner.
“It’s family business,” Steve Cielic, who took over from his father said.
He described the Bitty Committee “as part of our family.”
“I enjoy talking to them when they’re here,” he said. “I always make it a point to do that.”
In addition to the plaque presentation, the committee served a McDonald’s-themed cake, prepared by Foodfair, to those in the restaurant.
Membership in the committee ranges from a six-year-old girl, who joined when she was only a few months old, to the age of of 86.
“Everyone asks how to join our group,” Linda Dyer, of the group, said. “So we tell them they can be in Pampers or Depends.”
One of those in attendance to honor the group was Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Andy Ballard, who lives in town.
“I just became really good friends with them from coming in and buying coffee,” he said. “I got to know these ladies and they are wonderful members of the community.”

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