Dear Editor: There is a gross error in the story on page 3, fold edge, last paragraph. of the July 10 paper.
Let it be known that the American Cancer Society came to me in July 1999 to begin Cancer Society projects in North Bryan County . A nurse from Waycross gave them my name and info.
I've worked with many projects on the East Coast. I was a Volunteer of the Year for the United States, HHS/Medicare-Medicaid in 2000. Thirteen of us were honored that day at the Hart Senate Building. The attached photo was my visit to US Rep. Jack Kingston before the Award Ceremony later that day. There was a press release from the Honorable Kingston's office directly to the Bryan County Times. The photo was different.
The State of Georgia later honored me with a House Resolution for the above award.
The City of Pembroke also honored me.
The next year the Savannah Catholic Diocese honored me for the above and many other activities.
With Mrs. Bertha Sellers Porter and Mrs. Dianne Hagans we began the work at Holy Cross Catholic Church.
Days after Christmas, John Butler of the then Bryan County Times took photos of the Savannah ACS staffers with me, Patricia Barbee, in the paper office on US280 in Pembroke.
From there that day we began our physical "meet and greet" of community-active business owners in Pembroke.
After Mayor Judy B. Cook was sworn in we moved from Holy Cross Catholic Church to City Hall and from there the first North Bryan County Relay for Life went through gestation.
Each participating group had their own chairpersons and activity leaders all reaching towards the same goal, a successful Relay for Life.
The first Relay for Life was held the Friday into Saturday morning before Mothers' Day, 2000.
That evening Mindy Boyette took over the address system.
We were so tired we did not care who volunteered to do the simple things.
Mrs. Barbee, Mrs. Porter, and Mrs. Hagans, were thrilled to let the community take charge of their event. We are happy to see it continue.
This email was sent to the Bryan County News in response to a candidate profile of Mindy Boyette. In the profile, Boyette said she was a co-founder of the North Bryan Relay of Life. Because the letter was also by the writer sent to Boyette and her opponent, Paine Bacon, she is given the opportunity to respond to the letter in this issue. Her response runs alongside this letter.
Dear Editor: Yesterday, I was copied on an email to The Bryan County News from a Mrs. Patricia Barbee. The email from Mrs. Barbee was also copied to my opponent Mr. Paine Bacon. In this email Mrs. Barbee claims there was a gross error in the story on page 3, fold edge, in the last paragraph of the July 10 issue of the Bryan County News.
If you note, the part that is in question is a paragraph of my candidate profile in your Saturday edition. In this paragraph Mrs. Barbee is disputing where I state that I was a co-founder of the North Bryan Relay for Life and chaired the event for the first three years.
I am not sure why Mrs. Barbee has chosen to take offense to this statement as I did work very hard with her, Mrs. Bertha Porter, Mrs. Diane Hagans, along with Mrs. Vera McCoy, Mrs. Debbie Floyd, Mayor Judy B. Cook and several other volunteers as founders of the Relay For Life in North Bryan. I also was the co-chair of the inaugural event. My Co-Chair was Mayor Cook.
Mrs. Barbee referred to a photo in the Bryan County Times as to support her claim. I would like to also refer to the Bryan County Times to remind her of the actual events. In the May 17, 2000 edition of the Bryan County Times there is a story on record of the success of the inaugural event. In this story it reads, " 'This was a really exciting day for all of us who have worked hard to bring this event to North Bryan County," said Relay Chair Mindy Boyette. '
In the article it also includes a photo of myself during the event. The photo caption reads, "She made it happen- Relay for Life Committee Co-Chair Mindy Boyette organized the all-night inaugural event."
I have provided a copy of this article to the Bryan County News.
This article among others about the event and our committees' work leading up to the event are on record in the archives at the Bryan County Courthouse. I would encourage Mrs. Barbee to please refresh her memory.
The Relay For Life is a great event that not only raises funds for research, and awareness about cancer, it also brings our community together. I believe the slogan for the first Relay For Life was, "It is about a community that takes up a fight!"
I do find it sad that message has seemed to been lost in this attack on my character.
As one of the founders of this event, I am proud that it has continued on in our community. After my three year term as Event Chair, there have been several other dedicated chair-persons that have stepped up and helped the event grow. This year, my family and I really enjoyed our time at the event.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clear up this matter.
Boyette is a candidate for the Bryan County school board.