The Rutherford County Democratic Party honored Dr. Bobby Flay England with a Lifetime Achievement Award, “for a lifetime dedicated to helping others—as a beloved physician, and as a dedicated public servant.“

Born in Spindale, and currently of Ellenboro, Dr. England graduated from R-S Central High School, served in the United States Air Force for four years, then obtained a B.S. Degree in Biology/Chemistry from Wofford College, and an M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina. He practiced medicine locally as a family physician with the England-Godfrey Family Practice.

Not content to limit his community contribution to his profession, Dr. England became active in Democratic politics and ran for the Rutherford County Board of Education. He served on that board from 1974-1994. He later ran for the North Carolina House of Representatives for District 112. He was elected and served four terms representing the people of Rutherford County and Cleveland County from 2003-2011. During his time in the NC legislature, he served as Vice-Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Justice and Public Safety, and served on various other subcommittees.

Dr. England has also served on the Isothermal College Board of Trustees, the Rutherford-Polk-McDowell Board of Health, and the NC Institute of Medicine. Dr. England is married to Carolyn Lindsay England. They are members of the First Baptist Church of Forest City.

The Rutherford County Democrats also honored Spindale resident Robert Hensley with the Democrat of the Year Award. Rob has been Treasurer of the party for several years, but he does not limit his participation to his financial role. He appears and pitches in at all events. When presenting the award, Chair Ken Jordan noted, “When a person goes about quietly doing the job that has been asked of them, and jobs not asked of them, we often fail to notice. This award demonstrates the party’s appreciation and acknowledgment that his invaluable work does not go unnoticed.“

The Friday, April 26 event, called, Blue Wave Bonanza: A Party for our Party!, drew an enthusiastic and well-attended crowd who celebrated a festive evening at Campagna Restaurant at the Tryon Equestrian Center. Guests enjoyed an hour of socializing beginning at 6pm, followed by the formal program and dinner beginning at 7pm.

Several elected officials attended, in addition to two candidates running in the 2020 election. One of these candidates, Gina Collias, Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, spoke briefly about her reasons for running, her qualifications, and her eagerness to represent Rutherford County and all of District 10 in Washington.

North Carolina Senator Terry Van Duyn provided the Keynote Address. Van Duyn is a Democratic candidate for North Carolina Lieutenant Governor in 2020. Terry highlighted her experience in the Senate which she feels puts her at a distinct advantage to step into the Lieutenant Governor role. She spoke passionately, and the crowd responded to her commitment to the values and future of North Carolinians.

The event was chaired by party Secretary, Rae Frykberg, of Lake Lure. Committee members were Anna Robinson, Rose Bevington, and Fredia Hamrick, of Ellenboro; Margaret Dwiggins, of Rutherfordton; and Nancy Nelson, of Lake Lure. The consensus from the evening was that it was a successful event, brought people of shared values together, and provided an enjoyable evening of fellowship.

Dinner Committee

ORGANIZATION: Rutherford County Democratic Party is located at 142 W. Main St., Forest City. Mailing address is P.O. Box 125, Forest City, NC 28043. Website

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