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Seven Ministries back-to-school rally drew record crowd
Letter to the Editor generic

Dear editor:

The 2018 Seven Ministries Back to School Rally was held July 14 and what a time it was!  

A record crowd showed up and we were able to supply more than 200 school-age children with an assortment of school supplies including backpacks.  

For the second year in a row, our corporate sponsor was ESG Operations, Hinesville’s Public Works Contractor and we’re grateful for that partnership.  Seven Ministries Board Member and Hinesville City Councilwoman Diana Reid worked to gain sponsorship and did a yeoman’s job!  

Diana’s list of supporters included Annie Torres, Chick-Fil-A, Terry and Rena Middleton with Coca-Cola, Melissa Ray with State Farm, Ernest Davis and Family, Rose Kenner and Family, P. C. Simonton, Kenneth Howard, Kappa Lamba Chi, Carolyn Frasier, Low Country Large Cars United, Jodee Adams with Yellow Cab, and Dexter and Sabrina Newby and the Liberty County Minority Chamber.

Funds for this event are made possible through our annual fundraiser, The Jackie Gilliard-Henderson Memorial Scholarship Walk A Thon.  

This year’s walk was held in May so everyone that contributed in that event also contributed to the school supplies giveaway.  

However, I want to thank a few others that donated to the rally in particular.  

Thanks to Jones, Osteen and Jones Attorneys-At-Law, Attorney Robert Pirkle, Commissioner Eddie Walden and his wife, Kathryn, Commissioner Pat Bowen, Jackie Burley, Hinesville Fire Chief Lamar Cook, First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church Laymen’s Ministry, John and Willa Lewis and the Cosmopolitan Club, Hinesville Police Department Crime Prevention Officer Kevin Remillard, HPD Chief Bill Kirkendall, my friend Officer Pat Cochran and other members of the police department, ESG employees Juan Fabian and Robbie Bacon for providing pony rides.  

I want to thank District 2 School Board Member and family friend Carolyn Carter for the use the hallowed grounds known as Rebecca’s Place, and Pastor S.L. Thorne and the entire First Calvary Missionary Church Family for their support year in and year out.

The food was great and I have to thank my friend and fellow commissioner, Pit Master Eddie Walden for braving the heat and manning the grill to cook the hotdogs and hamburgers with his secret recipe.  

I also want to thank Wal thourville City Councilman and ESG employee Larry Baker and his wife,  Brenda, for coming out to be with us, along with former School Superintendent Dr. Valya Lee, and current Deputy School Superintendent Dr. Barbra for joining us.

We normally have our rally the last Saturday in July so we don’t interfere with the countywide rally in Riceboro, but family obligations caused us to move it up a few weeks.  

We advertised our event in churches, placed a column in the Coastal Courier, shared the news on social media, and of course word of mouth. 

While everyone was more than welcome to attend, we reached our target audience of inner city kids from government housing projects by passing out flyers to recipients of the county’s summer lunch program. The projects and free lunch programs are near and dear to my heart because my family benefited from both.

The feeling one gets when serving others is absolutely priceless. God bless.

Gary Gilliard


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