Meet Decatur's 1997 Hometown Heroes
Decatur's 1997 Hometown Heroes, in the words chosen by their nominators:
Nominated by Cathy Keeler
"Hopi is helpful and generous to Decatur neighbors and friends and an excellent ambassador for the city. He is co-president of the Decatur Taxpayers League and volunteers for the Fernbank Museum of Natural History each week. Hopi is genuinely kind and helpful, doing things for neighbors on his own, such as cutting grass and picking up leaves. He is active at Decatur First United Methodist Church where he currently serves as president of the Spirited Singles Sunday school class and is a council member for the Singles Council."
Nominated by Virginia Vaughan and Karen Rauch
"For many years Anne has given a captivating presentation about Mary Gay - bringing her life and times into sharp focus for many groups. She volunteers to do this presentation, which brings an important piece of Decatur's history to light. Anne has a modest attitude about her many and varied volunteer jobs. For two years she has successfully chaired the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center's "Take Back the Night" race/walk and has raised more than $20,000 for the organization."
Nominated by Scott Miller
"As a member of the Black History Month task force, Cassondra did an incredible job of researching our city's black history and planning our celebration. She spent untold hours seeking out and interviewing older and former Decatur residents who could tell the story of the Beacon community and other once-strong black enclaves where Decatur's hometown spirit thrived. She helped put together an entrancing video that pulled together bits and pieces of this story and made it live for those of us who didn't experience it."
Nominated by Pat Solomon
"Most of Decatur's great activities are produced by volunteers, and that is where you will find Fred. I cannot think of an event in the past few years that does not have Fred helping, from assisting with organizing to actual manual labor to make it happen. Fred also organized and presented a "Bike Rodeo" for low income children in our city. He presented 50 helmets and a program on bike safety to the children. Fred always asks, ?hat can I do?' and then gets right to work to help."
Nominated by John Randall
"John Joyner's contributions are many, but the one that stands out was his dedication in serving on the Decatur Downtown Development Authority committee to make the MARTA compromise work. Because of his efforts we now have a beautiful MARTA bus transfer area where patrons are comfortable and dry, and the traffic congestion on Church Street has eased. He does many things behind the scenes in Decatur and is rarely credited for all he does. He serves as a mentor and advisor for many."
Nominated by Linda Sabo
"Jane is an active volunteer for many organizations, serving as a room mother, Brownie troop leader, PTA president at Clairemont and Renfroe, soccer team parent, and Decatur Presbyterian Pre-School Board liaison with family and children services. She served as co-chair of the Decatur Holiday Marketplace & Cafe, co-chair of the Decatur Arts Festival Garden Tour for three years, and co-chair of the Holiday Tour of Homes for two years. Jane debuted as a Chillette' with Mr. Big and the Chillettes at the 1997 Big Chill Benefit Dance – an activity that took courage as well as talent."
Celia Powell and Paul Powell
Nominated by Sue Ellen Owens, Mary Prozora and Shirley Wright
"It is hard to separate Paul's contributions from that of Celia's. They work together as a team and support each other's volunteer endeavors. When Paul as chair organizes a work day at the Swanton House, Celia is there with tools in hand. While Celia is out of town on business in those critical last minute days before the arts festival, Paul calls and offers his time to step in for her and do what he can to help out.
"Both Celia and Paul serve Decatur by serving their church. As chairpersons of the family council, they plan activities in which families can participate and through which they can build better, more positive relationships."
"I applaud their willingness to take on the most mundane of tasks and see them through to completion. They are steady and without need for praise or recognition"
Nominated by Pat Solomon
"Melissa is always willing to offer a helping hand. She has organized food donations for families in crisis and financial donations for families in need. She helped organize a bone marrow donor drive that added 600 names to the National Registry of Bone Marrow Donors. She helped organize the Decatur Cotillion Club's Golf Tournament for Our House, Inc. She devoted many hours and a great deal of effort staging the 1997 Heritage Festival for the school children. Melissa makes Decatur a better place because she understands the meaning of community. She knows that we live in a better place when we care for one another."
Nominated by Cathy O'Brien
"Since moving to Decatur in 1976, my mother has dedicated thousands of hours to making this city a better place in which to live, learn, and worship. As a founder of the Concerts on the Square series, she has helped bring vitality to the heart of the city. As a campaign coordinator and activist, she has canvassed the city in support of leaders who share her concerns and beliefs. As a wife and mother for more than 30 years, she has been a tireless advocate for Decatur's schoolchildren, including serving as a member of the Decatur Board of Education. She is humble and charitable and treats every individual with kindness and dignity."
Nominated by Lyn Menne
"Carol organized and chairs the DeKalb Historical Society's Historic Decatur Cemetery committee. She initiated and followed through on efforts to recognize and protect one of the city's most important historic and natural resources - the cemetery. She worked to secure national recognition, generate grant funds and increase support for this resource. Carol has focused considerable efforts on the cemetery, and none of the advances there would have been made without her leadership."
Nominated by Scott Miller
"I see Joanne at almost every Decatur event, after work hours, volunteering her time, talent, and joyful spirit. She has taken on huge jobs like coordinating 300 volunteers for the 1997 Decatur Arts Festival. She worked out the shifts, lined up volunteers for each shift, saw that we were reminded, and filled in the gaps herself. Joanne adds that vital nurturing, enveloping dimension to Decatur events that give them their true hometown flavor - she draws people into the circle. Whenever I see her, I get a boost of small-town joy."
Nominated by Beverly Dabney
"Through Judy's leadership, fund-raising efforts, volunteerism, diversity, and commitment to exceed expectations, Decatur is truly a better place. She has served in leadership positions in many organizations, including the Decatur Business Association, Decatur Rotary, Agnes Scott Business Campaign, Leadership DeKalb, DeKalb Chamber of Commerce Board, Atlanta Project Board, South Decatur Community Development Corporation, Decatur Youth Business Association Advisory Board, and more. Her most recent accomplishment is delivering on a promise to Decatur through the establishment of a hometown bank, Decatur First Bank, otherwise known as "Judy's Bank."