Bethel Rural Community Organization formed from the merger of two previous organizations: Bethel Community Organizaion (1991) and Pigeon Valley Citizens for Rural Preservation (2000). BRCO began operation in 2001. March 23, 2006 is the inception date for the organiation's incorporation as a 501(c) 3 non-profit.
BRCO's mission is to coordinate local and regional resources to perform programs and projects that enhance the quality of rural life in Bethel Community.
Preserving yesterday; Helping Today; Planning for Tomorrow
BRCO Meetings are held the second Tuesday of every other month, beginning in January, at the BRCO community center. A pot-luck dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by a speaker at 7 p.m. and a brief business meeting. All visitors are welcome.
Richard Coltman, Board Chair
Carroll Jones, President
Randy Thompson, Vice President
Susan Baxley, Secretary
John Baxley, Treasurer
Stephanie Garrett, Treasurer in Training
About the BRCO Organization
Bethel Rural Community Organization is a non-profit organization whose focus allows us to create initiatives with benevolence projects including a food pantry, educational programs, and historic and rural preservation. Benevolence projects have included financial support for local citizens regarding dental and vision needs, children in transition, Christmas funds for children in need, utilities support for indigent citizens, funding for flood victims and families who have lost everything to house fires, payment for school track lighting as well as numerous projects to support the 3 local schools, including an annual citizenship award and scholarship. We also donate to 2 local fire departments and the sheriff's department for the Cops for Kids program. Our food pantry services families in need on an ongoing basis. Our historic preservation efforts have resulted in production of 4 CD/DVDs, 16 historic art prints, and 6 books. Our rural preservation efforts are cutting-edge and recognized throughout the state. To date, we have placed 543 acres of land into permanent conservation easement along with 5,048 feet of river frontage and 15,436 feet of other stream footage. Two DVDs, one of which is distributed statewide, describe our rural conservation efforts.
This organization, for its outstanding accomplishments, has received 3 state history awards from the NC Society of Historians, Western Carolina University's prestigious Mountain Heritage Award, Haywood Waterways' Pigeon River Award, and the top award in the region from WNC Communities for the past four years. We also earned recognition as a historic site on the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area's Heritage Trail as well as a site on the Haywood County Quilt Trail.