The Community Foundation of Jackson County still has tickets available for its annual dinner. Mary Lou Retton is the guest of honor.

JCCF executive director Christy Crowell said Retton is the “most popular female athlete in America,” according to a national sports survey.

Retton is coming to Jackson County Oct. 18.

Retton is a very fitting guest for the focus this year- Disabled Citizens of Jackson County and the charities that support this cause.

Retton catapulted to international fame by winning the All-Around Gold Medal in women’s gymnastics at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, becoming the first American woman ever to win a gold medal in gymnastics. She also won silver medals for Team and Vault, and bronze medals for Uneven Bars and Floor Exercise. Her five medals were the most won by any athlete at the 1984 Olympics.

We hope that everyone will get a chance to come and see her and hear her motivational message.

The community will be inspired to lead with “The Competitive Edge,” according to JCCF Executive Director Christy Crowell. She notes that Retton’s ties to West Virginia are strong and she holds a very special place in her heart for our great state.“

Known for her extraordinary achievements, Retton takes audiences from her early years as a competitor through her professional career and talks about the lessons she learned along the way … lessons from which we all can benefit.

Retton is one of the top requested motivational speakers throughout the world. JCCF, Inc. is fortunate to have her on the long list of renowned guest speakers for the annual Celebration Benefit Dinner.

“This year’s focus is again one in need of the community’s attention,” Crowell said. “Our non-profits who support our Special Needs Citizens work extremely hard to care for those who may not be able to fully or partially care for themselves. They also are a tremendous relief to the relatives and care-takers of those disabled citizens. Jackson County gains more productive citizens for the economy because of the programs available for our disabled.”

The goals are to bring attention to what each of the groups supporting the disabled do and educate the community on how to give, who to give to and where the funds go.

“This year we have developed a wonderful team of Corporate Steering partners to bring in Mary Lou Retton and help us put on this colossal event,” Crowell added. “Constellium, Dickirson, Transcanada, and Armstrong are on board. Watch for future sponsors as we progress and gain the partnership of other industry leaders in Jackson County.”

Tickets ($50 for seniors and $60 for adults) may be purchased online at and table sponsorships may be reserved for the JCCF, Inc. Celebration Benefit by stopping by the Foundation office at 108 North Church Street, Ripley (2nd Floor City National Bank); calling 304-372-4500; or through email at Seating will be assigned (front row to back) for individual tickets and sponsorships by the date the confirmation is made.

Again- tickets are selling fast, get your seat now!

The Community Foundation of Jackson County- JCCF, Inc. is a non-profit public charity created by local citizens to build permanent endowment funds and issue grants and scholarships to meet community needs.