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Commissioner Donnie Smith gives part of salary to charity

Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 7:34 PM
Last updated 8:48 PM
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Augusta Commissioner Donnie Smith is giving away a fourth of his commission salary, providing a boost to five charities that do most of their work in Augusta-Richmond County.

Smith, a lieutenant with the Georgia State Patrol, said he made the donations a campaign promise when he ran for the District 7 commission seat last year.

“I got elected to serve the community; I didn’t get elected to make $10,000,” Smith said of the part-time salary for a first-year commissioner. “Part of the purpose is to make you realize, first, that we don’t make a lot of money.”

Smith said he lives in a 52-year-old house in Montclair and isn’t a rich man. The only requirement he placed on the charities he selected is that they provide a non-profit tax return and do most of their work in Richmond County.

But Smith said each of the charities he selected for a $500 donation touched a special place in his heart:

• That’s What Friends Are For, a no-kill animal rescue service owned by Lorna Barrett. “I’m an animal lover,” said Smith, who has rescued and spayed or neutered 12 cats, in addition to his three pet cats Queenie, Bo and Bad Baby. “I’m just a bleeding heart when it comes to dogs and cats.”

• Boys and Girls Club of Augusta, which provides after-school programs for about 1,800 at-risk, impoverished youth ages 6-18. “The success rate is very high,” Smith said, while 89 percent of contributions go directly to programs, not administrative charges.

• University Hospital Breast Center, a very special place for Smith because he lost his sister three years ago to breast cancer. His surviving sister Suzanne was diagnosed two years later and has been battling the disease for 18 months, Smith said.

• The Ronald McDonald House, where “families are using their facility that otherwise wouldn’t be able to be close to their children. Certainly a child would want to be close to their mother or father” while obtaining medical treatment in Augusta, Smith said.

• Harmony Baptist Church, which runs a downtown after-school outreach program for at-risk youth. “It’s a boots-on-the-ground kind of thing that gives them a safe place, a safe environment, access to computers,” Smith said. “It’s led by a terrific preacher (Woodrow Miller) who is dedicated to the cause of saving lives.”

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truthsetmfree
94
Points
truthsetmfree 11/14/13 - 09:53 am
1
2
one fourth of his salary

what a guy. I certainly don't think this rises to the level of front page coverage. I hope he wasn't looking for publicity for his giving.

Little Lamb
48966
Points
Little Lamb 11/14/13 - 10:29 am
1
2
Mixed Feelings

Yeah, it is rather creepy to see someone putting out press releases about his charitable contributions. You should keep that kind of stuff private.

But on the other hand, if he made it a campaign promise then people would assume he didn't keep the promise if he didn't provide evidence.

TrulyWorried
16487
Points
TrulyWorried 11/14/13 - 11:31 am
1
1
Donating part of salary

why is it that people always have to see the sinister side of things?
If he had intentions of using it for publicity purposes than it would be HIS conscience - I say! I wish the rest of those folks on the commission could do the same, am sure none of them live in the poorhouse.

Sweet son
11585
Points
Sweet son 11/14/13 - 03:27 pm
0
2
Had an immediate thought when I saw the headline.

Smith, Smith, Guilfoyle, Jackson or Davis would be the charitable person. Of course I was right!

Good choices on the charities.

Augustaboy
52
Points
Augustaboy 11/14/13 - 01:49 pm
2
1
Thank you Lt. Smith

Get a grip on life. All these negative people on the comment sections. THANK YOU LT. SMITH! Maybe if more of you people gave time or money to charities. It's a simple THANK YOU. It's hard enough being a commissioner in this town.

soapy_725
44110
Points
soapy_725 11/15/13 - 09:15 am
0
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According to the Bible he should have given it all. Ego. Ego.
Unpublished

According to the Bible he should have given it all. Ego. Ego.

soapy_725
44110
Points
soapy_725 11/15/13 - 09:17 am
0
0
Commissioners should refund all their salaries to the taxpayers
Unpublished

and half of the maintenance crew aboard the ARC of No Covenant..

soapy_725
44110
Points
soapy_725 11/15/13 - 09:18 am
0
0
Donnie found favor with God and built an ARC. Whooopi !!!!
Unpublished

Donnie found favor with God and built an ARC. Whooopi !!!!

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