Local citizen gives bikes to Macon County B&G Club

Published 1:00 pm Friday, December 25, 2015

MONTEZUMA — The Montezuma Police Department recently donated bicycles for the use of the 69 students who attend the Boys & Girls Club of Macon County.
At the program, held Dec. 18, Montezuma Police Chief Eric Finch thanked everyone in attendance for coming to celebrate Christmas with the youth of the Macon County Unit of the Boys and Girls Club.
“To  Mayor Willie James Larry who was very instrumental with helping create this club, we want to salute your many years of service to the youth of Macon County. By you having the vision to start the Leadership Youth Development Program in 1984, many youth of Macon County went on to become doctors, lawyers, businessmen and were able to develop productive careers, to the Montezuma City Council, Macon County Board of Commissioners, Macon County School Board, Dr. Shirley Reese and the Executive Board of the Americus-Sumter County Boys and Girls Club, the Advisory Board of the Macon County Unit, parents and friends,” Finch said.
The chief reminded those in the audience that the slogan of the Montezuma Police Department is “Together we can make a difference.”
“Today that slogan is just more than words on a piece of paper,” Finch said, telling the story of how the bicycle donation came to be.
He said he received a phone call from one of his friends, Howard Brown, who said he wanted to something to make a difference in the community. Brown told Finch he wanted to buy some bicycles for the children of this community, saying he would buy 100 if he needed to. The chief told his friend that at the Boys & Girls Club,  “we are trying to instill values, work ethics, community service, work force development into the youths of our Boys and Girls Club and this would be a great opportunity for us to instill these values into our children so that they can become productive citizens within our communities so that we will have a work force to draw industries to our area.”
“So, Howard and your beautiful wife Loren, we want to salute you for your most precious donation to the children of Macon County,” said Finch at the program. “I pray that your vision of making a difference will inspire others who will follow suit to help build a stronger Macon County from the bottom up.”
The donation of the bicycles was made in memory of Councilman Frank Lester, who was Howard Brown;s best friend. Lester’s wife, children and grandson, parents and sister were present, and recognized by Finch.
“We know Frank is gone, but as you can see, his spirit is shining bright in this place today,” Finch said.
The police chief said the event required work and coordination and thanked the employees of Brown Farms, Macon County Sheriff Charles Cannon and the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, Executive Director Andrea Sartiano, Operation Manager Jimmy Greene, the Macon County Unit Staff, “and most importantly, the men and women of the Montezuma Police Department. I know law enforcement officers have taken a hit all across this country, but, I want to say that the men and women I know in law enforcement care about being great servants within their communities and all lives matter.”
Finch also welcomed everyone to walk around the Boys & Girls Club facility, which was made possible through donations from local partners, Imerys Oil Solutions, Weyerhauser, the City of Montezuma, Macon County Board of Commissioners, Macon County Board of Education, Flint Area Housing Authority, local churches, clubs and private donations.
In closing, Finch said, “Today, we ask you and your friends to ask the question Howard Brown asked, ‘How can I make a difference?’  and make a difference in some child’s life. Many of our youth go home and don’t have a meal to eat after school and the staff here make sure the youths’ homework is completed and they are fed. In the book of Luke, 12 chapter 48 verse, it states  ‘But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required; and to whom men have committed much of him they will ask the more.’”