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Family Connection holds appreciation lunch
BCFC Director Wendy Sims addresses the audience. - photo by Crissie Elric

Music and decorations from the 1950s filled the Richmond Hill City Center on Thursday when Bryan County Family Connection hosted its annual appreciation luncheon to recognize those who help the organization.

BCFC Director Wendy Sims said the luncheon was to honor all those who helped make the collaborative “rock” throughout the year. She presented each collaborative partner with a certificate of appreciation.

“It’s all of you — everybody who sits on the collaborative, who comes to the monthly meetings and it’s the executive board,” she said. “Those who help me make those tough decisions that aren’t always easy to make so I just want to say thank you.”

BCFC Executive Committee Vice Chair and United Way of Bryan County Director Kristi Cox echoed the praises of the collaborative partners.

“Each person plays their own little part, they have their own little niche, but together, we are all working to build a better Bryan, so thank y’all very much,” Cox said.

And not only did Cox note how appreciative BCFC was to the community, she also took time to recognize Sims for her leadership.

“We’re very fortunate to have Wendy who is dedicated and committed to the families and children of Bryan County,” Cox said. “I can tell you she puts in tireless hours that none of you may even see or know about.”

Also at the luncheon, guest speaker Celeste Orr, a community support specialist with the Georgia Family Connection Partnership, said although she was new to working with Bryan County, she admired the strong collaborative efforts between the community and BCFC.

“I really recognize and honor you all for the work that you do together at the collaborative table here in Bryan County,” Orr said. “We really value local decision-making and we believe that the solutions are here in Bryan County for your kids.”

Orr also explained the Georgia Family Connection Partnership works with the collaborative leaders to provide support and training, data, research and evaluation, and also provide connections to state and national partners as well to ensure the health of the community.

“We empower you guys … in Bryan County and every county so that you have healthy children, children ready to start school, children succeeding in schools, stable self-sufficient families and strong communities,” Orr said.

She added the collaborative part of BCFC — and the hundreds of other Family Connection groups throughout the state — is what makes a difference.

“This is the one place we can come together and take an objective look at the conditions for families and children in our county,” Orr said. “And all of you decide how to help your kids thrive in your community.”

For more information about BCFC, or for volunteer opportunities, visit or call 653-3824.

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