Main Street Canal Winchester will hold its sixth annual Membership and Awards Gala from 6-9 p.m. Friday in the Pine Room at Shade on the Canal restaurant.

Main Street Canal Winchester will hold its sixth annual Membership and Awards Gala from 6-9 p.m. Friday in the Pine Room at Shade on the Canal restaurant.

In addition to naming winners for service in various categories, the event will include a brief membership meeting and a short skit of "historical significance" put on by some "pillars of the community" -- who Main Street events committee chair Gaynell Garrett described as "older, established ladies that have been in the community a while."

Residents Patty Spires and Marilyn Rush-Ekelberry will perform a skit they wrote called "Splashes of History."

It will recount the lives of two teenage girls growing up in Canal Winchester during the late 1940s and early 1950s, said Main Street promotions committee chairwoman Shirley Meuser.

"Oh, we just kind of put it together," Meuser said, "because they have lived it."

She said the plot of the skit will delve into what downtown Canal Winchester was like in those days, along with a special tribute to the actresses' alma mater, Canal Winchester High School.

"It's a matter of being proud of where you come from," she added.

The awards to be presented this year are hand-painted pieces of slate, accenting the history of the region, said Main Street Canal Winchester vice president Bob Garvin.

"I thought there was nothing more appropriate," he said of the painted slate. "It's just so different."

A community service event started last year will be repeated at this year's gala: Before the audience leaves, Main Street president John Garrett said, the members will hand out thank you cards. Each person in attendance will then sign three of the cards, which will be sent to injured military veterans at Walter Reed National Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Garvin said he came up with the idea last year and was surprised at how well it was received.

"I was actually quite moved," he said. "People took this dead seriously."

The gala is open to the public. The cost is $5 per person at the door and includes hors d'oeuvres, desserts and a cash bar.

When it comes to handing out annual awards, slate is the material of choice for Main Street Canal Winchester.

Main Street vice president Bob Garvin said presenting ordinary wooden plaques isn't enough for an organization that stresses the historical background of downtown Canal Winchester, where many of the oldest homes still have slate roofs.

In keeping with the lore of the region, slate awards with local depictions are given to exceptional businesses and members of Main Street Canal Winchester.

The slate pieces are painted by Pleasantville resident Natalie Terry, owner of Country Art by Nat.

Terry said she started painting furniture and slate for her mother shortly after she graduated from high school. She said the first pieces of slate she ever did for her business came from the roof of her mother's old house.

In 2002, she said she met Garvin at the Apple Butter Festival in Groveport. In 2005, she said, she started painting picture of historical Canal Winchester sites on pieces of slate for the awards given at Main Street's annual gala.

The slate comes from many different places, she said. Former owner of the Iron Nail, Peggy Eisnaugle, donated some slate slabs recently to be used for the awards.

"I get the slate anywhere I can find slate," Terry said. "I've got piles out here at my house."

Her dentist gave her some slate from his old roof. Even the demolition sites of old barns will pique her interest in the need for slate, Terry said.

It's possible that some of the slate being used for the gala's awards is from Canal Winchester, she said.