On Tuesday, August 21, 2012 Edna Garst was awarded the Fred A. Birchmore Award for Active Aging. Garst has been teaching yoga since 1997 at the Center for Active Living at the Athens Community Council on Aging. The yoga program has since grown to be one of the most popular with classes being offered five days a week. She began to teach yoga “before yoga was cool” and currently teaches every Wednesday. She has hiked numerous parts of the Appalachian Trail and enjoys hiking with her grandchildren to the Hike Inn (a 5 mile hike in the woods to a lodge).
Garst has inspired hundreds of people to pursue yoga and an active lifestyle. “She is always up for a challenge and has a presence about her that inspires you to do something active with your life. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious,” stated Jaime Lange, the Center for Active Living Director.
Fred A. Birchmore was an Athenian who passed away this past April at age 100. In addition to being known for riding his bicycle around the world, Birchmore also is known for walking down the steps of the Washington Monument on his hands. He promoted living well and active aging. The award was started to honor his active aging accomplishments. This year’s award was presented at the Athens Senior Resources Network C.A.R.E. Expo and sponsored by Compassionate Care Hospice. Honorary nominees were Frank Cash and Katharine Dockens. Other nominees for the award were Jonell Cash, Katharine Dockens, Mary Thrasher, Joe Turnell, Annette Barfield, LaVonda Cheek, Buddy Barfield, Charles Holland, Bill Peck, John MacKay, Edna Garst, and Frank Cash.