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The rains came and went, but...
Guest column
Gary Gilliard is president and CEO of Seven Ministries of Liberty County, Inc. - photo by File photo

The Board of Directors of Seven Ministries of Liberty County, Inc. would like to thank the community for supporting our Annual Back-to-School Rally.

The rains came and went, but through it all we had our largest crowd to date and again we’re grateful. First we say thanks to our corporate sponsor, ESG-Operations (the city’s public works contractor). ESG purchased over 200 book bags stuffed with supplies that helped bring smiles to the faces of the children in attendance.

Thanks to Willa Lewis and Chris Ellison of The Heritage Bank for their sponsorship and for taking time from their busy schedules to personally hand out supplies and greet the kids and their parents.

Thanks to Rev. Eric Hollis of Bridging the Gap and Ernest Davis of Guardians in Actions for their support. Both of these organizations are youth mentoring, non-profit groups that continue to do great work throughout the community.

We want to thank the Hinesville Fire Department where Chief Lamar Cook, Assistant Chief Kris Johansen, and the entire department continue to support community events throughout our city.

We thank our elected officials: Liberty County Commission Chairman Donald Lovette, Hinesville City Councilwoman Diana Reid, Hinesville City Councilwoman Vicky Nelson, Hinesville City Councilman Keith Jenkins, Riceboro City Councilman Chris Stacy, and from our board of education, we thank BoE Member Carolyn Carter and Interim Superintendent Dr. Perry for coming out to fellowship with us and meeting those in attendance.

We would like to thank Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes, and Liberty County Commissioner Eddie Walden and his wife Kathy for their annual support. This year’s event had an added twist as attorney Bob Pirkle partnered with Derrick Brooks of Jazzy’s Barber and Beauty Salon, and Larry Stigal of Coaches Corner Barber Shop to provide free haircuts to school age students.

Bob is a longtime friend, and Derrick and Larry are great barbers and together they worked to make this happened. Thanks to Robbie Bacon and Juan Fabian (both ESG employees) for providing pony rides to the children. A very special thanks to the Laymen’s Ministry from First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church and to Pastor Thorne our entire church family.

The event was held at Rebecca’s Place down the street from where we grew up. After the rain subsided, it was cool helping us to enjoy the peace and serenity of our old neighborhood; being able to give back to a community that’s given us so much is a great feeling and we thank Carolyn Carter for the use of the facility and her vision for our little corner of the world that is Rebecca’s Place.

Also helping to make the event successful was The Home Team from Azalea Street. Rickey Gilliard, Pete Gilliard, Marc Anderson, LeArtis Baker, Willie Varnedoe, Rickey Fabian, Kelcey Cauley and Chris Reid for cooking, setting up tents, and everything else that helped make this giveaway the best ever. We look forward to even better things next year.

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