Griffin-Spalding County School System Superintendent Curtis Jones was among those honored.
Jones said people in Griffin-Spalding County are sometimes accused of complaining but not doing anything constructive. But the event Saturday night was proof that in Griffin-Spalding, people do care about education, he said. Spalding County Chief Magistrate Judge Rita Cavanaugh was also honored.
“I am so proud of the opportunity to be here this evening,” she said.
She said she loves Spalding County and all the people who attended the event.
“It’s a pleasure to be here this afternoon and I’m so thankful for this honor,” said Henry George Reid, retired director of Griffin Solid Waste.
He said he has seen a great deal of progress in his life, including a black superintendent of schools and a black U.S. president. He said he is proud of his family and employees.
“I would like to thank the Kelsey trustee board for inviting me to this occasion,” retired nurse Portia Hodo said. “I am happy to be here.”
She cited the biblical commands to love God and one’s neighbor, then described her hospital career. She said she began in the hospital basement and made her way to the top of the building by the time she retired.
Dr. M. Gerald Hood, gynecologist and obstetrician, came next.
“I have had the privilege of being raised in the honorable city of Griffin,” he said.
He said when he was growing up, there were only three black doctors and one black dentist.
He then praised the award system. He said it honors those ordinary people who are often overlooked in favor of athletes and said the awards have a good influence on young people.
“I could stand up here and thank folks all night and I’ve just got one minute,” said Eula Redding, honored for her community volunteerism.
She thanked the people for the good they have done for the people of Meriwether Homes.
Lee Howell, public relations and advertising director for the Cronic Automotive Group, was honored for his service as a state representative.
“I’m a little embarrassed to be singled out like this,” he said. “You’d almost think I’m something special, and I’m not.”
He described three goals he set in college — become a journalist, get elected to the state House of Representatives and write a book. He has accomplished the first two goals but not the third. The ceremony ended with an elaborate routine from the colorfully clad dancers of the Visions Dance Studio.