It is worthwhile, from time to time, to recognize people in our community who have made generous contributions of their time, talent and resources to make Augusta a better place.
Before presenting my list, it is important to acknowledge the fact that only a few outstanding folks are highlighted here.
There are many other wonderful people who are not on this list. It is hoped that in the months ahead more articles will appear which will recognize additional extraordinary contributors to our community.
Here is a list of a few of these individuals. Hopefully it will cause others to follow the lead of these selfless people.
ANN BOARDMAN. For many years, Ann has been extremely generous with her commitment tomany of the civic non-profit organizations in the CSRA. She has been an active member of many boards.
She has also helped raise money and recruit others to assist in fund raising. She is a delight to work and brainstorm with.When asked to support a good cause, Ann just doesn't know how to say no.
CLINT BRYANT. Clint has the uncanny ability to touch the lives of so many in the diverse communities in our area.Also, more than anyone else, Clint has brought attention to the gang problem in the CSRA. Not only has he written and spoken widely on the subject, he has also come up with a series of proposals that can help improve what has been a deteriorating situation.
DEKE COPENHAVER. It was not just good luck that led to Deke's overwhelming victory in the latest mayoral race. Deke's deep sense of obligation, his sunny disposition, his persistence, his creativity in breaking down barriers and his spirituality shinethrough in everything he does.
JANE HOWINGTON.Jane, who devoted many years to Young Life, has served on many non-profit boards in the CSRA. She always has great ideas about how to improve each organization and to raise the funds that are so vital to each. She never asks for funds without major contributions herself.The Howingtons volunteer their lovely home for many charitable events.A dynamic Bible teacher, Jane holds classes five times each week. Her Women's Seminar each January is always uplifting and it draws such a large audience that it is now held twice on back-to-back days.
SHIRLEY LESTER and JOANN TARVER. If you get a chance to work at the soup kitchen on Fenwick Street, you will have the great pleasure of watching and assisting these two dedicated ladies as they work their magic. It is not often that one encounters the combination of high competence and deep compassion in an individual. Both have it big time.
RICHARD ROGERS. The CSRA has been blessed in recent years with a number of highly professional television journalists who are willing to give much of their free time to support community activities. Rogers, who has been an anchor at WRDW for more than 13 years, has a great nose for news, and is professional in all his reports and interviews. He serves as a delightful master of ceremonies at many charitable events in the CSRA. Happily, he has recently agreed to a new contract at WRDW, so he will be our neighbor for the foreseeable future.
RANDY SMITH. Randy's high energy (he sleeps only four hours each night), and his determination to make a contribution in many areas is very impressive. Dr. Smith recently returned from the West Bank of Israel, where he operated on burn patients for more than 12 hours each day. He received no compensation for his work, and paid all of his transportation expenses. He also has been a great financial contributor to, supporter of and fund-raiser for St. Paul's Church, University Hospital and his alma mater, Clemson University. Randy will be recounting his experiences in Israel at St. Paul's church at 10 a.m. Sunday, March 18. Everyone is welcome.
TAMERA TOOGOOD and JOHN SMITH. The creativity, fast action and hard work these two have done to support the soldiers and their families at Fort Gordon has been awesome. If you have not bought a ticket for Thursday's "reverse raffle" (a chance to win $10,000), your time is short. "A Salute to Our Soldiers" will take place this Thursday evening at the Imperial Theater. It will a grand evening. Call 706 650-3203 for information. Dr. Richard Jadick will be there to sign and personalize his new book on his extraordinary exploits in Iraq.
If any of these fine people ask you for help - to join a board or a committee, attend a fund-raiser, or write a check - please do so.
(Editor's note: Maj. Gen. Perry Smith is a board member of the Augusta Museum of History, the National Science Center and the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. He also serves on the advisory board of the regional Boy Scouts and on the vestry of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.)