Lifetime Roswell Redcoats member Madlyn Wafful (seated) and president Ruth Wise share a laugh Friday during a surprise party in Wafful’s honor thrown by the organization. Ilissa Gilmore Photo
The Roswell Chamber of Commerce Redcoats recognized one of its lifetime members for her achievement of earning more than 10,000 points through event participation, Friday, at the Sally Port Inn.
The Redcoats act as ambassadors on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, attending events such as ribbon cuttings, said president Ruth Wise.
For each event members attend, they earn five to 10 points. To be a lifetime member means that one has earned 1,000 points.
Madlyn Wafful was one of 10 women to join the Redcoats when it first allowed female members in 1980.
Fellow Lifetime Member JoAnn Reeves joined a year after Wafful and was the 11th woman inducted.
“A lot of the men resented us,” she said. “They didn’t want us in it.”
Thirty-two years later, Wafful is the first member, male or female, to earn more than 10,000 points.
Wafful also was the only female in the Kentucky Fried Chicken University graduating class in 1966. That same year, she came to Roswell and operated several businesses, including two Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants, while raising her five children.
“She’s a strong, strong person,” Reeves said. “I love her.”
The organization honored member Wafful with a plaque, pin, slideshow and a lighthearted roast from fellow and former Redcoats, as well as friends and family, who praised her honest wit and “young at heart” personality.
Mayor Del Jurney, a former Redcoat, also proclaimed the day “Madlyn Wafful Day,” and commended her as “a woman of many talents, accomplishments and friends.”
“Ain’t that something?” Wafful said. “Not too many people get that in their lifetime and I’m never going to get it again, so I’m going to enjoy it.”
Wafful said the event came as a total surprise to her; she didn’t figure out what was happening until she saw a banner on the wall with her name on it.
“I’ve seen it happen to everyone else,” she said. “But not me. You can’t imagine what it feels like.”
Wafful said what she likes most about being a member is the camaraderie she shares with the others.
“Good people like this make it all worthwhile,” she said.