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 http://www.co.newton.ga.us/ departments/senior-services.