1999 Hometown Heroes

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Decatur's 1999 Hometown Heroes 
1999 Hometown Heroes
Every year, the City Commission presents the the Hometown Hero awards at the December meeting of the Decatur Business Association. Here is how the nominators described the contributions of the 1999 Heroes:

Bobbie Elzey
Nominated by Linda Lurwig, Deborah Willis and Karen Leydon.
"Bobbie has been active in fundraising for the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center. She is Decatur's official "Irish Pied Piper" and as such has led several parades. She leads a functional exercise class for the elderly at the Decatur Recreation Center. Bobbie has the rare talent of bringing people together in quiet ways and bringing out the best in the people around her."

Harriet Alston
Nominated by Elizabeth Wilson.
"Harriet is a long-time booster of Decatur. She works to meet people and helps out wherever needed with school, the business association, and church. She promotes living in harmony and works to make sure people with different backgrounds and from different cultures find a common ground."

Diann Baker
Nominated by Emilie Markert and Lyn Menne.
"Diann volunteers for many community activities and encourages her employees to do the same. She takes on jobs that require time and effort, including serving as secretary to the Decatur Business Association and coordinating the volunteers for the Beach Party. Diann has a cheerful way and always manages to find a way to help, whatever the task."

Tom Barefoot
Nominated by Cheryl Burnette.
"Tom is a tireless volunteer active at Clairemont Elementary and Decatur First United Methodist Church. He is active at his church serving as youth group counselor and Sunday School teacher and he tutors in the City Schools of Decatur tutoring program. He not only does excellent volunteer work, but he remains humble about it."

Carter Wilson
Nominated by Judy Turner.
"Carter has mentored young African American males on both high school and college level. Carter volunteers at the Boys Club, the Decatur Recreation Center and has held basketball camps for low-income children. He was part of the group that started the South Decatur Community Development Corporation and helped facilitate the donation, renovation, and office construction of the SDCDC's building."
Accepting the award for Carter are his wife, Valerie, and his son, Nicholas (pictured).

Emilie Markert
Nominated by Bill Markert.
"Emilie has visited almost every DBA member during her two years as president of the organization. She organized the school book club fund that enables students to own their own books. She was on the original Beach Party organizing committee and has been involved in Decatur ever since. She brings people together to accomplish the goals of both the community and the businesses."

Jim Eley
Nominated by Judy Turner.
"Jim served on the board of the Community Center of South Decatur at a volatile time. His leadership enabled the community to continue to have access to the property. While at the Atlanta Project, he facilitated the donation of real estate that allowed the CCSD board to begin construction of the Elizabeth Wilson House. Four years ago he accepted the challenge of serving on the school board, even though he had no children still in school. He is a great role model for the community."
Accepting the award for Jim is his wife, Mattie (pictured).

Martha Clinkscales
Nominated by Connie Davis.
"Martha has acted as an advocate for young people and the homeless through her work with the Juvenile Courts and Decatur Cooperative Ministry. Her leadership role in the DeKalb Historical Society benefits many citizens. Martha has enriched Decatur and touches many lives. She leads by example."

Phyllis Schwartz
Nominated by Killian Smith.
"Decatur is a better place because of Phyllis' ability to bring services to school children in Decatur. She knows how to get things done and her hard work and perseverance have brought about many innovative programs in the City Schools of Decatur."

Juli Fleming
Nominated by Laura McCombs.
"Juli is in her second year as PTA president of Winnona Park. She handled the school's outbreak of lice, getting people to work together to address this issue – an ugly, thankless job behind the scenes. Every time I turn around, there she is helping out at the school. Juli also co-chaired the Decatur Business Association's annual Easter Egg Hunt.

Diane and Gary Simms
Nominated by Carol Morgan and Michael Harbin.
"The Simms have spent thousands of hours creating, implementing, and maintaining the Wildlife Habitat at Westchester Elementary as well as overseeing the maintenance of all the landscaping at the school. Gary coaches baseball with the Decatur Recreation Department and Diane volunteers with her daughter's Girl Scout troop. The Simms family spent more than 40 hours constructing a float with the City of Decatur logo for the July 4th parade. Diane and Gary truly love this city, have made and continue to make a huge investment in improving our quality of life."

Sue Ellen Owens
Nominated by Martha Clinkscales.
"Sue Ellen began making contributions to the city of Decatur as a school teacher two decades ago. She made early contributions to social services in Decatur by helping establish the Holy Trinity Night Shelter and the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center. In the many capacities in which she has volunteered she has contributed to improving the quality of life for Decatur's citizens."

Fran Frantz
Nominated by Sue Ellen Owens.
"Fran has for many years conducted the Log Cabin Hour for children at the Historical Complex during the summer. Her enthusiasm makes history come alive for the next generation. She helps young people – and their parents – better understand the present by explaining events and practices of the past.

Pete Whitlock
Nominated by Thomas and Anna Benefield.
"As a commercial landowner, Pete has done many things in Oakhurst. He stuck with us during the slim days and does everything he can to help the district thrive. He has faith in small business owners and works with us to get stabilized. He works hard to help the neighborhood, tries to employ local residents, and hires people locally to help with the renovation of his businesses."