The Atmore City Council gave official recognition Monday (April 10) to a group of people who don’t actively seek recognition.
The council, sitting one member short due to the death of District 2 representative Jerome Webster’s mother-in-law, formally and belatedly approved a proclamation designating April 4 as National Service Recognition Day in honor of those who volunteer their services to better the quality of life for their neighbors. (The proclamation was to have been read during the council’s April 3 meeting, which was cancelled due to lack of a quorum.)
“Let me say that it’s just delightful to look out there and see all those smiling faces,” Mayor Jim Staff said to an audience of more than two dozen, including Charles Smith, director of the Escambia County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.
“This (day of recognition) is more of an educational thing to help our mayors, and now our county commissioners, understand our programs better and become more knowledgeable of what we do,” Smith said. “In the city of Atmore, we have quite a few volunteer activities going on.”
Smith pointed out that the majority of the individuals who attended the meeting wore two volunteer hats.
“I believe everybody that’s here today is representing the hospital auxiliary at Atmore Community Hospital, but they play a dual role because they are also RSVP volunteers,” said Smith. “We also have a large group of volunteers over at Atmore Senior Center, and we have tax counseling for the elderly here at city hall. We have a lot of volunteer activities going on, and that’s what this day stems from.”
Staff pointed out that several city employees participate in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program at A.C. Moore Elementary School, and city Administrative Assistant Celia Lambert announced that “at least a dozen” firefighters and other municipal employees joined individuals from throughout the community as participants in the program.
“What they do, the impact they have made on A.C. Moore, y’all wouldn’t believe,” the mayor praised. “You wouldn’t believe the difference in those children from the time they first went until now. They are making a real positive impact. That’s what all you volunteers do, and that’s what makes this community great. I’m proud to be a part of this community.”
After those remarks were met with a hearty round of applause, Staff read the proclamation into the public record (the text of the proclamation accompanies this article), then the meeting was adjourned.
Earlier in the meeting, Staff spoke briefly about the upcoming (May 4) local observance of the National Day of Prayer.
“It’s going to be held in (Cornell Torrence Gymnasium) at Escambia County High School, like it usually is,” the mayor said. “I want to ask everybody to attend. It’s a holiday; it’s really moving; it’s just great.”
Staff did not read a mayoral proclamation that has been written for the event, explaining that the reading would be part of the observance, however, most of the committee members were in attendance at the council meeting.
In other business taken care of on Monday, the council named District 4’s Susan Smith as the city’s delegate to the Alabama League of Municipalities Convention, appointed Harold Dailey to replace Brenda Watkins on the City Planning Board, and re-appointed Kenny Smith and Debbie Rowell to the planning board.
WHEREAS, service to others is a hallmark of the American character, and central to how we meet our challenges; and
WHEREAS, the nation’s cities are increasingly turning to national service and volunteerism as a cost-effective strategy to meet their needs; and
WHEREAS, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps participants address the most pressing challenges facing our communities, from educating students for the jobs of the 21st century and supporting veterans and military families to providing health services and helping communities recover from natural disasters; participants serve in more than 50,000 locations across the country, bolstering the civic, neighborhood, and faith-based organizations that are so vital to our economic and social well-being; and
WHEREAS, national service expands economic opportunity by creating more sustainable, resilient communities and providing education, career skills, and leadership abilities for those who serve; and
WHEREAS, national service participants increase the impact of the organizations they serve, both through their direct service and by managing millions of additional volunteers; and
WHEREAS, national service participants demonstrate commitment, dedication, and patriotism by making an intensive commitment to service, a commitment that remains with them in their future endeavors; and
WHEREAS, the Corporation for National and Community Service shares a priority with mayors nationwide to engage citizens and improve lives, strengthen communities and is joined with the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, cities of service mayors and county officials across the country for Mayors and County Recognition Day for the National Service on April 4, 2017.
NOW, THEREFORE, I Jim Staff, Mayor of the City of Atmore, County of Escambia, State of Alabama, by virtue of the authority vested in me under the Municipal laws of the State of Alabama, do hereby proclaim April 4, 2017, as National Service Recognition Day, and encourage residents to recognize the positive impact of national service in our county; to thank those who serve; and to find ways to give back to their communities.