Hometown Heroes 2000
Thomas and Anna Benefield
nominated by Margie Yondorf
They are the new lifeblood of Oakhurst and have helped make the Oakhurst business district up and coming. They own Yellow Dog Folk Art & Gallery, one of the first four businesses to revitalize the business district. In addition, they both chair numerous committees (Anna the Oakhurst Neighbor's Association and Thomas the South Decatur Community Development Corporation) and most recently led a group of volunteers in producing the successful third annual Arts & Music Festival in Oakhurst. They are a credit to their 20-something age group and I applaud their enthusiasm for our community.
nominated by Elizabeth Wilson
Mary Boyd is willing to do everything for the community. She has faithfully served on the Decatur Housing Authority for at least 20 years. She participated in the Citizens Police Academy, the first class of Decatur 101, served as a band parent, PTA and Booster Club member, and helped with the College Heights Senior Citizen Program. She has been a strong advocate for children in the community. She always has a smile and a kind word for everyone. She is the glue that holds many activities together.
nominated by John Joyner
Mark understands that for one to take advantage of the good things offered by the community, one has to contribute to the community. He will pick a community project, work on that project until its successful conclusion and then move to another project. He is currently the president of the Decatur Business Association after serving for many years on its board of directors. He has chaired the Beach Party, Concerts on the Square, served on the City's 175th anniversary committee (even going so far as to perform the role of Stephen Decatur and leading the July 4th Pied Piper Parade). He is active in the schools, in activities associated with his legal profession, and is a graduate of Leadership DeKalb.
nominated by Liz O'Brien
In the late 1970s Catherine co-chaired Decatur's first 4th of July celebration on the Decatur square. She served as the founding co-chair of the Concerts on the Square series and continued to serve on the committee for over 10 years. She has been involved with the schools as a member of the Winnona Park PTA as well as the DHS Parent Support Group and Band Parents. She has worked at keeping Decatur citizens informed on issues important to them. She now serves on the Decatur Historic Preservation Commission.
nominated by Suzy Crenshaw and Emilie Markert
David has served as treasurer, chairperson-elect and chairperson of the board of Decatur Cooperative Ministry. For eight years he worked on various committees such as heading up fundraising and helping to find a new location for the shelter. He has been involved with the Decatur Business Association since its inception and has served on every Beach Party Committee since the very beginning, including serving as co-chair for two years. He is a graduate of Leadership DeKalb, the Citizens Police Academy, and the first class of Decatur 101. He also served on the Clean & Beautiful Task Force Committee.
nominated by Laura Gravely
Alma serves as co-president of the College Heights Neighborhood Association where she strives constantly to bring old and new, black and white together while facing many nay-sayers and old fears and prejudices. She is vigilant in her attempts to let her neighbors know they are welcome and wanted at all community events. She participated in the Decatur Roundtables Strategic Planning Process, is active in PTA and other school activities at College Heights, Renfroe, and DHS. Her greatest contribution is her optimism, her joy for living, and her firm belief that her fellow citizens are good people and that given opportunity, they will do the right thing.
nominated by Padgy Hamrick and Nina Hopkins
Larry was raised in the City of Decatur and attended City of Decatur schools. His children attended City of Decatur schools, and his grandchildren have attended City of Decatur schools. He contributes to fund-raising activities and other organizations that benefit the community. He has served on the board of directors for the Decatur Youth Boys Organization, which originated at DHS to provide activities for boys and girls after school, allowing them to earn income. He regularly donates Shrine Circus tickets to Our House and the Methodist Childrens Home.
nominated by Laura Gravely
Mike and three friends opened the Brick Store Pub three years ago and have been making Decatur a better place ever since. He brings his infectious enthusiasm, charm and boundless energy to Decatur and everything he does. He is a driving force behind rejuvenating the retail and restaurant arm of the Decatur Business Association and serves as chair of this group and as their representative to the DBA board. He has been instrumental in the birth of the Great Decatur Beer Tasting Festival, which has been wildly successful and contributes proceeds back to the community every year.
nominated by Dr. Ida Love
The City of Decatur is an integral part of Jan Goodloe's life. She was one of the founders of Christmas Decatur and serves on the Education Committee of the DBA. She works tirelessly to bring the schools and the community together. She serves as president of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) and works tirelessly to increase parent involvement in the schools and improve the quality of life in the Decatur community. She embraces difficult tasks with a combined sense of organization and purpose.
nominated by Turk Fritz
Jim is always behind the scenes supporting a variety of activities and organizations, including the Decatur Tour of Homes, the inaugural Decatur Youth Fund Golf Tournament, Decatur High School band camp, and various other fund-raising activities. I have known Jim for 40 years ? first as his little league baseball coach. He has made Decatur a better place by improving the lives of many others throughout the city.
nominated by Mary Miller and Peggy Merriss
As part of her requirements for the Master Gardening program at the DeKalb County Extension Service, Carolyn had to set up a garden or landscape in a public area. She chose to work at the Decatur Recreation Center. Using her expertise and help from the middle-school students from the 3:00 Project, she greatly improved the outside appearance of the Recreation Center. She also served on Decatur's Recycling Task Force.
nominated by Cheryl Burnette and Emilie Markert
Terry has chaired the Concerts on the Square Committee for two years and has served as membership chair of the Decatur Business Association for two years. He helped organize the Decatur Cooperative Ministry's annual fundraiser ? The Garden of Eatin'. He helped bring the Decatur merchants together and to a higher level of participation in community activities. His positive attitude and enthusiasm for success have encouraged others.
nominated by Linda Harris and Lyn Menne
Bill is a behind-the-scenes worker who insists on never being in the spotlight but is always there to lend a helping hand. He has served as the volunteer coordinator for the Beer Tasting Festival and took on this task with cheerfulness and determination to make the event go smoothly. He is a conscientious member of the DBA and can be found helping out with the Beach Party (and has since its inception), Big Chill Benefit Dance, Concerts on the Square, Tour of Homes, and many other activities. He is a member of the Decatur First United Methodist Church and serves in a number of other community organizations.
nominated by Marceil Joyner and Linda Harris
We began listing the things JoAnn does and within minutes we had filled up five pages. JoAnn is a lifetime resident of Decatur and a mainstay of Decatur Presbyterian Church, where she has been a member of the session and served as elder, sings in the choir, chaired the committee to publish a cookbook, and volunteers in the office. She is an active neighborhood leader and always welcomes new neighbors with home-baked goodies. She was a key volunteer during the Olympics, and has participated in the Friendship Force and many other activities. When Decatur decided to build its first downtown residential condos, JoAnn and her husband Pat were the first to sign up.
nominated by Paul Sharian
Vee Simmons serves on the board of directors of DEAM (Decatur Emergency Assistance Ministry) and is a volunteer office worker for that organization. She is active in her church, Grace United Methodist, including serving as chairperson of the board of Grace Academy for four years. She volunteers at Fernbank. She is a longtime Decatur educator, serving as a teacher, principal, and superintendent of City of Decatur schools.
nominated by Weny Worrall
Ellen has a strong commitment to bringing people together across racial, socio-economic lines and was instrumental in starting Clairemont School's Diversity Committee. This group joined with parents from Glenwood and Westchester to form the Families United Neighborhoods Team. The focus is to share concerns, listen and support each other. She is an active member of Oakhurst Baptist Church, having chaired the Deacons for the Congregation. She works with Decatur Cooperative Ministry and has served on their board of directors.