Countdown: Local sports leader to celebrate 80th birthday
Published 8:28 pm Thursday, April 7, 2016
CHOCOWINITY — A local leader in the world of sports will be honored this weekend during a festive celebration in Chocowinity.
Bobby Andrews, whose actual birthday is April 6, will publicly mark his 80th birthday Saturday during a gospel music concert hosted by Tar Heel Variety Theater.
“It is in honor of Mr. Bobby and nothing touches his heart like gospel music, so we’re having a gospel celebration in honor of him,” said Angie Lewis, whose family owns the theater.
Headliners include Lewis herself as well as Double Portion, The Overcomers, Macon Williams, Jimmy Beasley and Kim Rogers. The show begins at 7 p.m. and there is no admission fee.
Along with gospel music, Andrews is an avid fan and supporter of local sports.
“I played ball growing up; athletics have been good to me,” Andrews noted. “I refereed games for 48 years and I still book officials for middle school games in Beaufort and Martin counties.”
In recognition of his many contributions to sports and youth ball, the Bobby Andrews Recreation Center in Washington is named in his honor.
Saturday’s concert performers were chosen by Andrews himself. He said the theater has become like a second home for him.
“It’s a special place to me, it really is,” Andrews said. “It means a lot to me to be able to come here and talk to people. These groups are really good and, who knows, somebody might get saved. They all can sing, they really can.”
Lewis said there was no hesitation when she contacted the singers and asked them to perform during the concert.
“They all jumped right on board,” she said. “They said they’d do anything for Mr. Bobby.”
The theater’s concession stand will be open as usual, and everyone in attendance will also have the opportunity to enjoy a free slice of birthday cake.
Seating is first-come, first-served, but groups requesting tables may call in advance to reserve space, according to Lewis. Anyone wishing to speak a few words in tribute to Andrews is welcome, she added.
Andrews is counting down the hours to the celebration.
“I’m excited and it will mean a lot to me for people to show up,” he said.
For more information, call 252-975-2117 or visit the theater’s website, www.tarheelvarietytheater.com. Tar Heel Variety Theater is located at 485 Carrow Road, just off N.C. Highway 33 west of Chocowinity.