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Posted: December 20, 2009 12:30 a.m.

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Social Circle celebrates employees

Annual Secret Santa also a huge success

Lee Sandow/

The best of the best: City Manager Doug White presents an Employee of the Year award to Jennifer Pacilla from the Social Circle Utility Department.

The City of Social Circle held it’s annual Employee Appreciation luncheon on Friday to celebrate the people that make the city work.

City Manager Doug White spoke during the luncheon, held inside the Social Circle Fire Department, praising the city employees for all their hard work.

"This has been a good year for the City of Social Circle," White said. "We appreciate everything you all do; thank all of you for what you do for us."

Employees dined on freshly prepared meals cooked by members of several different branches of the city, including the gas department and the water department.

Even locations that were no longer part of the city payroll, such as members of the Water Company which went private several years ago, and the Social Circle Library, which is now a branch of the Uncle Remus Regional Library System, were invited to dine at the event.

Many city managers and city council members were present, though some, such as Mayor James Burgess, were out of town on business. Councilman David Keener served desserts.

Despite not being there, Burgess also made his gratitude known by distributing Christmas turkeys — paid for out of his own pocket — to all the employees present.

Four Employee of the Year awards were distributed. Andy Arrow from the department of public safety, Clarence Smith from the street department, Jennifer Pacilla from the utility department and Shannon Patterson, also from the department of public safety, received awards.

In addition to the employee of the Year award, Patterson also received special recognition for her work with the Social Circle Secret Santa Program, which each Christmas distributes toys to needy families throughout the community.

According to Patterson, more than 220 kids from more than 80 families will have been helped this year.

Families who have applied for aid can pick up gifts from the Social Circle Fire Department on Monday night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Patterson said that while it is too late to donate for 2009, gifts are accepted throughout the year to be donated at the next Christmas. Donations of unopened toys can be delivered at any time to the Social Circle Fire Department.

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