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An eventful evening at the Senior Center
Senior Center
Pictured, from left, Judge Horace J. Johnson, Fay Laing-Salmon, Zelma Hillman-Stewart, Patricia Mayfield, and Reverend William "Billy" B. Wade

COVINGTON, Ga. - The third Annual Honor and Legacy Awards Banquet held at the Senior Center on June 16 proved a delightful evening for all who attended. This event honors local citi­zens who advocate for seniors while working to improve the community for everyone. The rousing crowd enjoyed festive music, a delicious dinner by McKay-Woods Catering, and the much-anticipated presen­tation of the five awards.

Energizing the crowd with her dynamic personality, Shakila Henderson-Baker was the mistress of ceremony. Henderson-Baker is a mem­ber of the Newton County Board of Education, the direc­tor of volunteer and support services for Longleaf Hospice and the owner of the psycho­educational consulting service Center of Life Health and Wellness.

Adding much humor to the event, Almond Turner assisted as master of ceremony. Turner is also a member of the BOE, the former assistant chief of the Covington Police Depart­ment and a talented trumpet player in the Newton County Community Band.

For the third year in a row, Raymond Hammonds and Soundtrack provided excel­lent and lively entertainment as well as tribute songs for the award recipients. Represent­ing the Arts Association in Newton County and accom­panied by Raymond Ham­monds at the piano, Gracie Bates enchanted the crowd with two selections in honor of the T.K. Adams and Louise B. Adams Art and Education Award.

Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr. was honored with the T.K. Adams and Louise B. Adams Art and Education Award. As a Alcovy Judicial Circuit Su­perior Court judge, the found­er of Newton Mentoring, a past president and continued supporter of the Arts Associ­ation in Newton County, and a member of the Washington Street Community Center Board of Directors, Johnson exemplifies extraordinary ser­vice, leadership, and commu­nity outreach by connecting both younger and older gen­erations for a positive impact.

Reverend William (Billy) B. Wade, Jr. of First Presbyterian Church in Covington received the Josephine B. Brown Civic Award. A pillar of the com­munity, Reverend Wade has always been outspoken on ethical and social issues while quietly striving to make life more abundant for all people. As a leader of Faith Works of Newton County, a charter member of the Martin Luther King Celebration Committee, and the president of Newton County Habitat for Humani­ty, Reverend Wade serves well beyond the pulpit.

The Dr. William L. and Virginia C. Dobbs Visionary Business Award was present­ed to Patricia Mayfield. Op­erating Mayfield Ace Hard­ware on her own since 1985, Mayfield successfully faced the challenges of a woman in business. The incredible risk of combining hardware and giftware proved highly effec­tive as it created a unique store fulfilling needs of local resi­dents as well as becoming a regional draw. The store’s cur­rent location has 28 employ­ees, and 11 are over the age of 50. As one of the first female Kiwanis members, an early president and continued sup­porter of Main Street Coving­ton, and an active Chamber of Commerce member, Mayfield has searched for ways to help enrich the lives of those in the community.

Zelma Hillman-Stewart re­ceived the Above and Beyond Education Award. As a long-time and favored Newton County elementary school teacher, Hillman-Stewart pro­vided a firm foundation for her students while encour­aging them to pursue their dreams. After her 30-plus years of dedicated teaching, she has seen many of her students achieve extremely successful careers. After re­tirement, Hillman-Stewart volunteered for the hospital auxiliary where two scholar­ships were established in her name for students pursuing higher education degrees in health studies. Additionally, Hillman-Stewart remains ac­tive with various ministries in her church, Bethlehem Bap­tist.

The Beacon of Light Reli­gious Award was bestowed to Fay Laing-Salmon, owner of EJB Adult Day Care and member of Bethlehem Bap­tist Church. When her father, Ellude Jeremiah Brown, ex­perienced a significant health decline, Laing-Salmon be­came inspired by her faith to not only to help her father maintain a strong quality of life but to also help give oth­er disabled individuals the ability to live as normal a life as possible. Using her father’s initials, Laing-Salmon estab­lished EJB Adult Day Care to serve senior citizens suffering from Alzheimer’s, other cog­nitive disorders, Parkinson’s, and various physical disabil­ities. As a former nurse and educator, Laing-Salmon real­ized the importance of respite care for family members, and she expanded her business to include three locations to serve more clients and their families.

Congratulations to all the recipients! Newton County is grateful for your service.

For more information about the Senior Center, visit 6183 Turner Lake Road in Coving­ton, call 770-787-0038 or visit departments/senior-services.