Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bob Shaw Honored as 2021 “Toast of the Town” Recipient


The Family Support Council Board of Directors and staff express our heartfelt thanks to our Northwest Georgia community. As you know we were very excited at the prospect of honoring Mr. Bob Shaw, the 2021 “Toast of the Town” honoree, at the 31st annual dinner at The Farm this month.

Unfortunately, due to the spike in COVID-19 cases, the decision was made to cancel the in-person event. Instead, Shaw received his “Toast of the Town” award in a private ceremony that included 2019 honoree Bob Chandler and Family Support Council fundraising chair Karen Townsend.

“The Family Support Council deeply appreciates the very generous donations that have been made in Mr. Shaw’s honor to support our efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect,” said Holly Rice, Family Support Council executive director. “This community is filled with incredibly benevolent people who have shown that even when they are personally disappointed, their focus is on the protection of children.”


Robert Evans Shaw was born in Cartersville on Aug. 18, 1931, to Julius Clarence and Essie Evans Shaw. He and his family moved to Dalton where he attended Dalton High School and played varsity football and basketball. Healthy competition was always in his genetic makeup. After graduation he attended the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He began his career in the flooring industry as a teenager driving a truck for his father at Star Dye Co. In 1958, following his father’s death, he retooled the company into Star Finishing with his brother Bud.

Shaw was co-founder and chief executive officer of Shaw Industries Inc. for 48 years. Shaw retired from Shaw Industries, a Berkshire Hathaway company, on Sept. 1, 2006. A few years later Shaw established a new company, Engineered Floors LLC, and the first manufacturing plant began production in 2009. Today, Engineered Floors operates 10 facilities and employs 4,830 associates.

Shaw is not one to discuss his philanthropic endeavors other than to say “We are very interested in Northwest Georgia and all things that are worthwhile.” Throughout the years , Shaw has given graciously to local organizations and his commitment to excellence is seen throughout our community, but perhaps his most exceptional endeavor is the Anna Shaw Children’s Institute, which honors his late wife Anna Sue Shaw. Above all, his greatest legacy is his deep love and commitment to our community where we live, work, raise our families and enjoy life.

Shaw was married to the late Anna Sue for 57 years and they have four adult children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Shaw married Dottie Boring on Oct. 2, 2016, and they reside at The Farm, surrounded by their family. Mr. and Mrs. Shaw are active members of ChristChurch Presbyterian in Dalton.

“Many thanks to the people and companies who have demonstrated true public-spiritedness during these difficult times,” Rice said.

Special thanks to our corporate sponsors

• Wilmington Trust FSB

• Corinthian Textile Solutions

• Engineered Floors

• Hamilton Health Care System

• Miller & Martin Law

• BB&T now Truist

• Brown Foundation

• Kenneth E. Boring Charitable Foundation

• Bennie M. Laughter, LLC

• Material Handling, Inc.

• Shaw Industries Group, Inc.

• Textile Management Associates, Inc.

• Henderson, Hutcherson & McCullough PLLC

• John Kiker Company Inc.

• Laughter & Jones Financial Management LLC

• Myers Flooring Center

• Adcock Financial Group

• Advanced Insurance Strategies

• Bank OZK

• Box 1 Inc.

• Browne, Draper & Land Financial Concepts

• Coldwell Banker Kinard Realty

• Dalton Utilities/Optilink

• Dan Combs State Farm Insurance Agency

• Georgia Carpet Finishers

• Jolly Textiles — Dewey Reams

• Mayfield & Company CPA

• North Georgia Toyota

• Textile Rubber & Chemical Co.

• Norville Industries, Inc.

• Peds Care P.C.

• Belmont Chemical Co. Inc.

• Jarrett’s Business Machines

• Professional Pharmacy

Special thanks to our “Friends”:

Special Thanks To Our Friends

Dottie and Bob Shaw

Anna, Haddy and Zack Adamson

Alice Squillario

Joe and Will Young

Debra and Bryan Macon

Louise and Michael Foster

Susan and Bob Chandler

Dee Anne and The Honorable Robert Adams

Ann and John Bryant

Sabine and Piet Dossche

Billie and Norris Little

Anita and Julian Saul

Dr. Reginald Sherrill

Nancy and Ralph Boe

Octavio Perez

Diane & Don Adcock

Margaret Bandy

Judy Bird

Carrie and Joe Dobbs

Donna and Bryan Hair

Ann and Ace Hammack

Wendy and Peter Hanson

Dixie and Bob Kinard

Lou and Lowell Kirkman

Betty and Bill Wright

Nanette and Joe Yarbrough

Loretta and Ron Harris

Glenda and Brooks Rizer

Trisha and Jim Bethel

Bennieta and Bill Chappell

Charlotte and Peter Henry

Bett and Steve Laird

Barbara and Layfield Rous

Joan and Dale Bentley

Linda and Bill Blackman

Jody and Ken Jackson

Debby and Roger Peppers

Gayler and Ken Renz

Denise and Chip Sellers

Merilyn and Gary Wilson

Louise and Skip Ham

Rose and Eddie Brown

Judy and Bob Buchanan

Patricia and Stephen Kelehear

Ann and Bill Kuzniak

Arlene and Robert Varner

Amy and Chad Anderson

Patsy and Andy Bargeron

Cheryl and Tim Baucom

Susan and Jim Bisson

Ann and Bill Bowen

Kim and Eric Brown

Lee Ann and John Brown

Amelia and James Cleghorn

Allyson and James Coker

Debbie and Derek Davis

Drs. Jane and Wes Davis

Claudette and Dr. Conrad Easley

Ava and Gerald Embry

Stephen Farrow

Joan and Dan Frierson

Janine and Doug Garwood

Twilla and Rob Gouffon

Tatum and Clint Hackney

Sandra and David Jamison

Becky and Hilliard Jolly

Judy and Jim Jolly

Judy and Bucky McCamy

Ronnie McClurg

Camilla and Terry Moore

Sally and Dr. John Poehlman

Melva and Pete Purvis

Ginger and Mike Robinson

Karen and James Rogers

Peggy and Roger Rollins

Noel and The Honorable Coy Temples

Nancy and Jim Touhy

Brandy and Ben Tunnell

Lynnie Tunnell

Susan and Art Williams

Laura and Charles Allgood

Sheriff Scott Chitwood

Kim and Greg Epps

Sandee and Rick Hooper

Sara Houston

Renee and Bill Magee

Martha and Tom Minor

Rita Norville

Wendy and Julius Shaw

Betty Sponcler

Karen and Brad Townsend

Ann and Luis Viamonte

Catherine and Fred Avett

Ruth Lee Hair

Suzanne Harbin

Debra and Chuck Harris

Jamie Jones

Carol Lumpkin

Sarah and Charles Maret

Carole Rollins

Lester Strain

Betty (Mac) Thomas

Karen and Mike Babb

Sue and John Earl Boyd

Nancy Gregg

Patricia Quarles

Jim Shaheen

Mr. Bob Shaw, 2021 Toast of the Town Honoree

Mr. Bob Shaw, 2021 Toast of the Town Honoree

Bob Shaw Toast 2021

The Family Support Council, a proud United Way Community Partner, is very grateful for the support the community provided when Covid-19 restrictions impacted our ability to fundraise in a public way.

We are so pleased to announce that we will be returning to our annual “Toast of the Town” event!  This year will mark the 31st year that the Family Support Council celebrates an outstanding community member at the annual “Toast of the Town”. Each year, the agency honors a servant leader who impacts our community in positive ways. The Family Support Council is overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude to recognize this businessman and champion for Northwest Georgia, Mr. Bob Shaw. The dinner to honor Mr. Shaw will be held on August 26, 2021 at The Farm. Proceeds will go toward the work to eradicate the tragic consequences of child abuse and neglect in Northwest Georgia.

Robert Evans Shaw was born in Cartersville, Georgia on August 18, 1931 to Julius Clarence and Essie Evans Shaw. He and his family moved to Dalton where he attended Dalton High School and played varsity football and basketball. Healthy competition was always in his genetic makeup. After graduation he attended the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He began his career in the flooring industry as a teenager driving a truck for his father at Star Dye Company and after his father’s death he retooled the company into Star Finishing in 1958 with his brother Bud.

Mr. Shaw was cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of Shaw Industries, Inc. for 48 years. Mr Shaw retired from Shaw Industries, a Berkshire Hathaway company, on September 1, 2006. A few years later Mr. Shaw established a new company, Engineered Floors, LLC and the first manufacturing plant began production in 2009. Today Engineered Floors operates ten facilities and employs 4830 associates. Mr. Shaw will turn 90 in August and is still going stronger than ever!

Mr. Shaw is not one to discuss his philanthropic endeavors other than to say, “We are very interested in Northwest Georgia and all things that are worthwhile.” Throughout the years Mr. Shaw has given graciously to local organizations and his commitment to excellence is seen throughout our community, but perhaps his most exceptional endeavor is the Anna Shaw Children’s Institute, which honors his late wife, Anna Sue Shaw. Above all, his greatest legacy is his deep love and commitment to our community where we live, work, raise our families, and enjoy life.

Mr. Shaw was married to Anna Sue for fifty-seven years. They have four grown children, eight grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. Mr. Shaw married Dottie Boring on October 2, 2016 and they are active members of ChristChurch Presbyterian in Dalton, Georgia. They reside at The Farm surrounded by family.

Council Honors Bob Chandler as Toast of Town Honoree

Bob Chandler, 2019 Toast of the Town Honoree
Bob Chandler, 2019 Toast of the Town Honoree

Each year The Family Support Council honors servant leaders who are making a difference in the community at the annual “Toast of the Town.”

This year marks the group’s 30th year highlighting worthy individuals, and the council announces Bob Chandler as this year’s honoree. The event is Thursday, June 13, at The Farm to toast Chandler and work to eradicate the tragic consequences of child abuse and neglect.

Chandler, a Dalton native and passionate community leader, has worked diligently on impacting Dalton through his hard work. Chandler attended Dalton Public Schools and the McCallie School where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout and developed his football skills, thus carrying him to the University of Georgia where he was a punter under coach Vince Dooley. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in business administration. Today he is still a passionate Georgia Bulldog fan.

Chandler is no stranger to the carpet industry as his father I.V. Chandler started a bedspread manufacturing business known as Patcraft Mills. He worked there right out of college and continued with the company through many changes and acquisitions. In 1998, Shaw Industries merged with Queen Carpet, which had acquired Patcraft in 1990, and Chandler continued as head of the Patcraft Commercial Division. Today, Chandler is the executive vice president of the Shaw Commercial Division. He understands what it means to give back to a community that has blessed him and his family, event organizers said.

Chandler has long been active in his community and is passionate about his work as chairman of the board of Hamilton Medical Center and vice chairman of Hamilton Healthcare System. He cares about the quality of health care in the community and devotes countless hours attending to that mission. Chandler was the recipient of the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation Humanitarian Award in 2014. He is an elder of ChristChurch Presbyterian, chairman of BB&T bank’s local advisory board and a member of the Dalton Rotary Club.

Previously, Chandler served on the United Way of Northwest Georgia’s Board of Directors and was chair of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society for two years. He has also served on the boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Boys & Girls Clubs, Family Promise, Junior Achievement, the Carpet and Rug Institute and the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce.

Bob and his wife, Susan, have been married 45 years. They are active members of ChristChurch Presbyterian and they have two children: Matthew, who passed away in 2013, and Beth, who also works at Shaw. Beth is married to Joe Lopez and they have given Bob and Susan three grandchildren. Bobby is 6, and twins Alex and Annie are 3. The Chandlers remain close to his sister and brother-in-law, Pat and Fred Burns, and their children’s families: Patti and Doug Renz and their children Chandler and Mary Turner; Meredith and Christopher Parks and their children, William and Andrew; and Andy Burns. Chandler’s favorite hobbies are golfing, Georgia football, reading, the lake and spending time with his grandchildren.

Reservations for Toast of the Town can be made by calling (706) 272-7919.

Bill Bowen is the Toast of the Town

Dalton | March 29, 2017

Bill Bowen will be honored as the Toast of the Town by the Family Support Council. The annual tradition continues for the 28th year and will be at The Farm on June 1.

Bill Bowen was born and raised in Dalton, as his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were instrumental in Dalton and Whitfield County’s early development. He attended Dalton Public Schools through eighth grade, then attended and graduated from The McCallie School in Chattanooga. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned a degree in business.

Bowen returned to Dalton in 1971 to join his father in the family business, Bowen Brothers, a construction supply business. After his father’s death in 1972, Bill guided the company through the phenomenal growth that Dalton experienced in the 1970s and 1980s. He then joined Hardwick Bank in 1991 where he worked until the bank was sold in 2001. He then realized his dream of opening a small, railroad-themed coffee shop in downtown Dalton called Pentz Street Station. He said, “This was my way of giving back in a small way to the redevelopment of downtown Dalton.” The coffee shop quickly became a gathering place for many locals for several years until he sold the business in 2012.

Since 2012, Bowen has taken on the role of “volunteer extraordinaire.” He was always involved in the Boy Scouts of America, but really dove in in 2012 and was honored by them in 2016 for his tireless work. He also volunteers at the Salvation Army and RossWoods Adult Daycare Services and is a Rotary Club of Dalton member where he serves as a trustee of the Georgia Rotary Student Program. He is also very active with the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society with an emphasis on restoration of the Huff House.

Bowen always makes sure to allow time for his family, especially travels with his wife Ann, and spending time with his children, Macie and Will, and their four grandchildren, Ginny, Mary Beth, William and Ollie. Bill and Ann are active members of Dalton First United Methodist Church and volunteer there as well.

For information or reservations, contact the Family Support Council at (706) 272-7919.

‘An amazing teacher’

The following article was published on June 3rd, 2016 in The Daily Citizen.

Charles Oliver • The Daily Citizen ( • Published June 3, 2016

Carole Johnson talks with Tut McFarland at The Farm Thursday during the Toast of the Town event.
Carole Johnson talks with Tut McFarland at The Farm Thursday during the Toast of the Town event.

Today, Grace Kling lives in New York City where she perfroms [sic] improvisational theater and stand up comedy.

But some of her earliest acting work was on the stage of Dalton Little Theater, and one of her earliest mentors was Gertrude “Tut” McFarland, a Dalton legend who has been involved with the Dalton Little Theater for more than 60 years.

“When I met her, I didn’t know anybody who did what I wanted to do, so she was really inspiring to me,” said Kling, a Dalton native. “She took me under her wing. She was another theater girl and she wanted to help me become a better actor.”

Kling was one of several speakers Thursday night to celebrate McFarland at the Farm during the Family Support Council’s Toast of the Town fundraiser.

Karen Townsend, fundraising chair for the Family Support Council, said Toast of the Town is the agency’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

“We look for someone to honor who is well known and very loved in the community,” she said. “And that’s exactly what Tut is. People love her. We are glad they came here to support us, but they also came here to show how much she means to them.”

Born July 19, 1926, at Hamilton Memorial Hospital in Dalton, McFarland graduated from Dalton High School in 1943 and then earned a bachelor of arts degree in speech and drama from LaGrange College.

She taught speech in Dalton Public Schools from 1947 to 1969. She then taught third grade until her retirement in 1991.

In addition to her work with the Dalton Little Theater, McFarland spent many summers studying acting and working in summer stock theater in different parts of the country.

She has also been active in Dalton First United Methodist Church and many local civic organizations.

McFarland said Thursday she was surprised to be selected the Toast of the Town.

“I’m really flattered. It’s an honor. It really is,” she said.

Jean Lowrey, the master of ceremonies for the event, said she has known McFarland all her life.

“We went to the same church. She and my aunt were very good friends,” she said. “I never took her class in school, but she probably taught half the people in this room. And those who didn’t have her as a teacher have worked with her in any one of a number of organizations that she has been so active it.”

Dalton attorney Steve Farrow was one of McFarland’s students when she taught elementary school.

“She was an amazing teacher. She made learning fun. She was creative, always doing new and interesting things,” he said. “My kids had her for Sunday school, so we’ve had a multi-generational connection her, as I’m sure many Dalton families have had. I can’t think of anyone who deserves this honor more.”

Kathryn Sellers said she and McFarland bonded through their mutual love of history.

“I’ve learned so much from her. She just has a passion for history, and her energy is amazing, especially for her age,” she said.

Lowrey said what made the night particularly special is people had a chance to honor McFarland while also supporting an organization that does so much good in the community.

The Family Support Council’s mission is to prevent and stop child abuse and neglect. Among other services, it provides residential services and life skills coaching to teen mothers, advocacy services for abused and neglected children, support groups and other activities for grandparents raising grandchildren and parenting classes.

Agencies focusing on combating commercial exploitation of children

The following article was published on April 29th, 2016 in The Daily Citizen.

Photo by Matt Hamilton/The Daily Citizen. The Dalton City Hall lawn is covered with 1,608 pinwheels Thursday, representing the number of reported cases of child abuse or neglect. That is up from last year’s number of reported cases of 1367.

Meagan Standridge • The Daily Citizen ( • Published Apr 29, 2016

“Today we are going to talk about a very tough topic,” Mary Smith told approximately 120 people gathered at Dalton City Hall on Thursday.

Smith, child abuse prevention educator for the Family Support Council, focused on the commercial sexual exploitation of children and said it is a topic she had avoided for many years because she didn’t think it was an issue in the Dalton, Whitfield and Murray County communities.

“I now know that’s not the case,” she said at the annual Pinwheels for Prevention Ceremony. A similar ceremony was held Tuesday in Murray County.

“Now I’m trying to catch everything I can that’s related to commercial exploitation of children, because it’s here, it’s in our community,” she said.

The annual event is hosted by the Family Support Council in conjunction with the Department of Family and Children Services to raise awareness of the importance of preventing child abuse. The pinwheel is the national symbol for preventing child abuse in America and is the ceremonies are held each April during National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“The pinwheel represents the playfulness and happiness of a child,” said Smith. “And that’s what we’re wanting to promote is that all children deserve a safe and happy childhood.”

There were 1,608 pinwheels at the Whitfield event, representing the number of reported cases of child abuse or neglect. That is up from last year’s number of reported cases of 1,367.

There were 660 pinwheels at this year’s Murray County event. That number is up from 610 last year.

The event’s focus each year has historically been on child abuse, but during the last few years the focus has been on child sexual abuse. In lieu of a guest speaker, an educational training video was shown called “Darkness to Light.”

“Darkness to Light is a national movement to prevent child sexual abuse,” said Smith.

The film addresses what is child sexual abuse and the commercial exploitation of children. It chronicles the experiences of two victims who were sexually abused as children and who were later commercially exploited.

According to “Darkness to Light,” it is the “normalization” of sexual harm to children that “feeds the demand.”

Smith said this normalization is happening in local middle schools as young as sixth grade.

“One thing we are hearing is that in middle schools kids are sharing pictures, a lot more seductive pictures. Sexual exploitation is becoming normalized,” she said. “They are highly sexualized and what we’re seeing now is that boys are not respecting girls and the girls are feeling like ‘this is the way I get attention.’ They think, ‘They’re not going to like me if I don’t do this.’”

According to Smith, 1 in 10 children are sexually abused, and in 90 percent of those cases it is a family friend or relative that is the abuser.

“It’s not the ‘stranger danger’ that you hear about that’s the problem,” said Smith. “It’s the family friend. It’s people they know and trust.”

And it is the children who have been sexually abused that make up 90 percent of the children who are commercially exploited for sex.

“If you think that 90 percent of those who are involved in commercial exploitation were sexually abused as children, then we have the opportunity to prevent it,” said Smith. “And if we are vigilant about preventing our children from child sexual abuse we’re also, in essence, preventing child commercial exploitation as well.”

The Family Support Council is working with local schools to teach children about recognizing and reporting abuse. Each year it holds a Heroes Campaign to help raise awareness and the schools take part in the fundraising effort. Two schools were recognized for having raised the most money. Coker Elementary School took second place and Eton Elementary School was first.

Sandee Hooper, board president of the Family Support Council, presented the awards. Hooper said many children in the community will be able to go to Camp Aim this year with the money raised. Camp Aim is a camp for children who are victims of sexual abuse.

“It is a two-week therapeutic day camp designed to provide children who are victims of sexual abuse a non-threatening and fun environment in which to deal with their issues of abuse,” according to the Family Support Council’s website (

If you know of a child who would benefit from attending Camp Aim, you make a referral to the Family Support Council at (706) 272-7919.

It will take a community effort to stop child abuse and exploitation, Smith and Heather Donahue, director of DOC-UP, said.

“Trafficking is something that exists right here,” Donahue said. “I don’t think we can pretend like it doesn’t happen here anymore.”

Eleven men, many from the Atlanta area, were arrested in a sex trafficking sting in Whitfield County in February as part of Operation Watchful Guardians, a multi-agency undercover investigation coordinated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. All of the men came to Whitfield County expecting to meet a child to have sex, officials said. Whitfield County was chosen as the site of the sting because of its proximity to Tennessee.

Donahue said that’s why the training “is so important, not just for people who work with children, but for the community to start recognizing adults who are trafficked.”

“I’m a mom and I think it’s an important issue. I am an ordinary person and I want my kids to know that it takes ordinary people saying no to things like this, that it’s not OK,” Donahue said. “If enough ordinary people get together and say this can not go on in my hometown, I don’t want my children exposed to this or potentially victimized by this, I think we can make a difference.”

According to Smith, if 5 percent of community members are trained in recognizing and reporting child sexual abuse, “then you can make cultural change.”

“In Whitfield County, that tipping point is 3,779 people,” Smith said. “Within a little over a year we have already trained, in Whitfield County, over 3,000 people. We hope that we can begin with our goal of 10 percent as well too. We can only do that with your help.”

If you would like to take the Darkness to Light training, call the Family Support Council at (706) 272-7919 or visit for more information. If you know of a child who has been abused you can call (855) 422-4453 to make a report.

Mr. Bartley now D2L Facilitator!

Tom Bartley, at the Family Support Council, is now an approved facilitator to offer Darkness 2 Light’s Stewards of Children Child Abuse Prevention Training to Early Learning Child Care Providers for credit hours. The training is two hours, so 2 CEU’s will be given along with a certificate. Because of a grant that the Family Support Council has to offer the training in Whitfield and Murray Counties, the training is free. If you are interested, contact Tom at the Family Support Council: 706-272-7919 or This training is limited to providers in Whitfield and Murray Counties.

Kroger Community Awards

krogercommunityrewardsPlease help Family Support Council raise funds for our camp for sexually abused children (Camp A.I.M.) by signing up for the Kroger Community Rewards® program.

Kroger Community Rewards® is one of many similar programs in place that will donate a portion of your grocery bill to an organization of your choice. Register online at, and be sure to swipe your card or enter your phone number every time you shop at Kroger!

Darkness 2 Light Training

April 6, 2016

Darkness 2 Light will be hosting Stewards of Children, Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training in Spanish, on Thursday, April 21st at the Gaston Community Center Room A from 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM.

Authorized Facilitator: Nelly Avendano

Please respond to Nelly Avendano,, by Tuesday, April 19th.

Darkness 2 Light (D2L) is a national nonprofit organization that provides individuals, organizations, and communities with the tools to protect children from sexual abuse. Using an evidence-informed platform, D2L programs teach adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.


6 de Abril, 2016

Darkness 2 Light (D2L) organizará un clase de entrenamiento “Stewards of Children”, sobre maltrato sexual de niños. Estará presentado en español en jueves, el 21 de abril, 2016, en Gaston Community Center Room A, 10:00AM – 12:00PM.

Facilitador autorizada: Nelly Avendano

Responda a Nelly Avendano,, antes del 19 de abril.

Darkness 2 Light es una organización nacional no lucrativa que provee herramientas a individuos, organizaciones, y comunidades para protege niños del maltrato sexual. Usando un programa informada por la evidencia, los programas de D2L enseña a adultos a prevenir, identificar, y reaccionar al maltrato de niños.