During a luncheon event held at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center — culminating the celebration of “Chatham Loves Seniors” month — those honorees selected from a group of more than 20 nominees expressed their thanks and their love for the county.
“6 Over 60” is a project of the Chatham Council on Aging and the News + Record. Jimmy Lewis, the COA’s grants and communications specialist, hosted the event. Mountaire Farms provided the meal.
Those honored, and what they said:
• Diana Hales, former Chatham County commissioner. “We are very, very rich in this county because of the people who live here. And what I knew when I saw the inaugural class — other than Marylou [Mackintosh], I knew every one of the honorees because I’ve worked with each of them — I think its says a lot about Chatham County, that people willing to stand up and do. We’re a county of doers.”
• George Greger-Holt, retired educator and chairman of Chatham Drug Free. “When I retired, I told people I’m retired from the school district; I’m not retired from the community. I still live here. And so I’ve continued to do what I did. Maybe a few less things than I did when I was in school ... But I’m appreciative of this and humbled by this award. And we’ve got a lot of work still left to do. So let’s keep doing it.”
• Marylou Mackintosh, tireless community volunteer. “I want to thank my good Lord for giving me the strength and energy to carry out how He wants me to serve. I want you to understand that being a volunteer is a very special thing. Being a volunteer means giving of yourself without asking anything in return. Each and every one of you right now you are volunteers, whether you know it or not. When you give that stranger a smile, or a ‘hello,’ you’re volunteering and sharing your love with that person. And you might be lifting them up more than you realize. So being a volunteer and being recognized does not mean you have to do a lot of great things. You can be a volunteer every day of your life.”
• Mary Nettles, president of the Chatham Community NAACP branch and of the Community Remembrance Coalition-Chatham. “At a very early age, I was around 60 and older people who were very involved throughout their lifetimes in promoting equality for all people. Through many organizations, including the NAACP and the CRC-C, I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to shine the light on Chatham’s racial disparity and working toward reconciliation among all residents of this amazing county.”
• The Rev. Carl Thompson Sr., who was the top vote-getter among all nominees. “Let me just say how much I appreciate the people that I’ve had the honor of being awarded along with … It’s like a homecoming with some of you, when we get together to talk about the old days and things that have happened. And that’s exciting. I’m just very appreciative of the folks that I’m sharing this award with and the work you’ve all done.”
Honoree Genevieve Megginson, the executive director of the Chatham County Partnership for Children, had a previous work commitment and was unable to attend.
Karen Howard, chairperson of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners, also spoke. She said the honorees didn’t take the opportunity to rest of their laurels, but rather to set an example for Chatham’s younger generations and to help build a strong and resilient community.
Council on Aging Director Ashlyn Martin and News + Record Publisher and Editor Bill Horner III also spoke.
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