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Community leaders reflect on their blessings

More than 2,000 years ago, the Roman statesman Cicero said a “thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.”

For many, that virtue lies at the heart of Thanksgiving Day, a time for reflecting on one’s blessings while spending time with loved ones.

Among the grateful is Amy Perkins-Murphy, a therapist and chairwoman-elect of the Bryan County Board of Education.

Her cup overflows with good fortune, she said.

“It would be impossible to name all of the many blessings for which I am thankful.  God has blessed me with an incredible life,” Perkins-Murphy said. “I am so grateful for my family, especially my husband and my children. They motivate me to be my best self, to live a life of great purpose, and fill me with joy. I am also thankful for our amazing Bryan County community. It is a great gift to live in a community where people support and care for each other. I feel blessed to know so many wonderful people and to count them as friends.”

Richard Evans, Bryan County’s UGA Extension Agent, said he’s grateful for the opportunity to grow.

“This season I’m thankful for opportunities,” he said. “Some years it feels cliché to be thankful for friends and family, of which I am always thankful, but this year it seems that the opportunities afforded to myself and others in my life has greatly increased my network of family and friends. This year be thankful for all the and situations you are put in with the possible influence to help and serve others, you may never know the impact you might have down the line. “

Craig and Sharon Butts of Unity in the Community are the driving force behind Richmond Hill’s first Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, which will be held Jan. 19. They are “thankful for knowing that we must remember history and the importance of keeping history alive through the dream of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s parade in Richmond Hill.”

Hollie Barnidge, a former editor of the Bryan County News and now vice president of Lesley Francis PR, said she’s glad to see people take more of an interest in their government.

“I am thankful, of course, for my family, friends, health and career,” Barnidge said. “However, this year, I’m exceptionally happy that our society is becoming more motivated to vote, as is evidenced by the 2018 midterm elections. Midterm voter turnout hit a 50-year high in the United States, and in Bryan County, almost 60 percent of the county’s registered voters cast their ballots. I’m glad more people are beginning to realize the importance of voting and taking the initiative to make sure their voice is heard. We can -- and will -- make a difference!”

Pembroke City Administrator Alex Floyd is a new and doting father.

“I’m thankful for my family, my wife Kristen and our son Ellis,” Floyd said. “I’m thankful that I get to spend his first Christmas with him and I’m thankful for the men and women in uniform who defend our freedom and don’t get that opportunity with their children.”

Floyd said he’s also thankful he works “in local government. I’m thankful for our leadership and for the bright future I believe we all have ahead of us.”

Floyd also offered up this shout out a certain group of college football fans. “I’m thankful,” he said, “for the most dysfunctional family I know: the Pembroke Football Mafia League.”

Finally, this from Richmond Hill High School wrestling coach and teacher Rob Parker, whose teams won state titles last season.

“I am thankful for the people I am blessed to work with,” he said. “My (parapros), my fellow coaches, and mostly for my students and athletes, and my family who supports what I do, and my wonderful wife Mary Beth.”



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