2013 Coweta Citizen of Year to be named Feb. 7

From Staff Reports
Nominations are in and the selection committee must now decide on the 2013 Coweta County Citizen of the Year.
Nominated were five individuals and one couple who demonstrate outstanding leadership and citizenship within the Coweta County community, as well as exemplary vision, civic pride and a strong commitment to a better Coweta.
To be eligible for consideration, nominees must be Coweta residents whose activities are centered in the county and surrounding area.
Nominees may come from any walk of life with no restrictions on gender, age, race, religion or ethnic origin.
The 2013 Citizen of the Year Gala Reception will be Feb. 7 at the Coweta County Fairgrounds on Pine Road. The event will be hosted by the Newnan, White Oak Golden K, Coweta County and Grantville Kiwanis clubs. Dinner buffet and nominee meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m.
Tables for eight may be purchased through today for $200 by calling Ticket Chair Louise Davis at 770-253-7147.
Individual tickets are $25 and may be purchased through Jan. 31 at the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, 23 Bullsboro Drive; at Scott’s Book Store, Court Square in downtown Newnan; at SouthTowne Motors; or from any Coweta County Kiwanis club.

All checks are payable to the Newnan Kiwanis Club.

Coweta County Citizen of the Year nominees for 2013 are:

Brown and Marie Powell: Native Cowetans who devote their time and energy to CORRAL (Coweta Organization for Riding, Rehabilitation and Learning), the therapeutic riding program they established and operate in the Roscoe community. The Powells also stage a Live Nativity each year during the Christmas season. These programs take place on their property in the historic Sewell barn.

CORRAL has grown from a single riding ring to a facility that serves as many as 200 participants. Included are students from the Coweta County School System as well as from the community, with the help of volunteers. It is not possible to track the thousands of hours of physical labor involved in training of volunteers and riding teachers in addition to the care of all the horses needed for the program.

Bette Hickman: An artist, teacher, entrepreneur and community volunteer with a love of children.

Soon after her arrival in Coweta County in 1977, Hickman organized Cricket’s House in Senoia, an artist’s co-op featuring the work of 12 local artists in different mediums. She also established an art program through the Coweta County Recreation Department in 1979 and for the past 34 years she has taught art to hundreds of children ages 5-17 years.

Hickman worked with the Coweta County School System for seven years. As director of the Business/ Education/ Community Partnership she developed a strong program that benefited both students and businesses. She also developed the school system’s first mentor program. The framework she built in the early 1990s continues today to enhance the lives of students and community members through one-on-one mentoring relationships.

Hickman founded Global Achievers and has been the driving force behind the education non-profit since it was created in 1995. The cultural and educational exchange trips that often result from the program are frequently facilitated, organized and hosted by Hickman. The Sister City/ Sister County relationship among Newnan/ Coweta County and Ayr/ South Ayrshire, Scotland is a direct result of Hickman’s efforts. Currently, she is working closely with the City of Newnan’s Cultural Arts Commission to make it possible for a local youth arts group to perform in Ayr, Scotland in June 2014.

Hickman currently serves on the boards of directors of the Salvation Army, Newnan Cultural Arts Commission and the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and is longtime member of Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce. She was named a “Gracious Lady of Georgia” in 2005.

James “Jim” Sells Sr. has shown his dedication to the small town of Grantville in many ways, according to his nomination. He not only has assisted new citizens who choose to come to Grantville but has dedicated his time to assist new businesses to open in the community. Sells currently is Grantville’s mayor.

Sells has served on the board of directors for Habitat For Humanity for more than five years and promotes support for Habitat by doing most of his business materials shopping with this community organization. His nominator said Sells provided her family a place to live when they could not afford to obtain one and provided a job for her when he observed how the family was struggling. “Were it not for this man, many families in the Grantville area would be homeless,” she wrote.

Since 1995, Sells has been a foster parent to several children in Coweta County.

George Alexander firmly believes children are the key to our future. He spends many hours working with or for the benefit of children: Making presentations about career choices and serving as a member of the Eagle Scout Board of Review and as District Chairman of Coweta Boy Scouts. He finds time to be a mentor for the Coweta County School System and is a member of Newnan City Council. He has served as president of Newnan Kiwanis Club and the Historic Newnan Kiwanis Club. He is a member of the YMCA Board of Directors and chairman of the Advisory Board of the University of West Georgia, Newnan Campus. He is a member of the Coweta Board of Health.

Alexander served a combined total of 20 years as active duty and Navy reserve. He is a member of the Coweta Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion.

Dr. Kay Crosby’s decision to leave her medical practice and follow her calling to establish a free clinic resulted in the creation of a community resource that will continue to care for hundreds and, potentially, thousands of Coweta County residents each year. Crosby’s gift to the Coweta community is not only to the patients served by Coweta Samaritan Clinic, it is also to the volunteers and donors who have the privilege of joining with her efforts to care for our neighbors in need of medical care, according to her nomination.

In addition to volunteering her own time to treat patients in the clinic, Crosby works to recruit additional volunteer physicians and medical professionals and to raise money to operate the clinic. She and her husband are significant financial clinic donors.

More than 500 uninsured residents of Coweta have been treated and continue to benefit from the clinic services. At least 200 new patients are expected to be added in 2013. Coweta Samaritan Clinic enables patients to improve their quality of life and brings hope for their well being. The clinic demonstrates the power of volunteers and donors working together to create a huge resource for the well being of a community.

Leo “Tre” Wheat III, at just 19 years old, has made a huge impact in Coweta County and beyond, according to his nomination. He is a 2012 graduate of The Heritage School and is a natural-born leader who is constantly breaking the barriers of mediocrity in order to be the absolute best citizen possible, according to his nomination form.

He demonstrates the highest level of citizenship through his academics, athletics and his community involvement. He is a high-honors graduate of high school and is well on his way to being an honors student at Furman University in South Carolina. His involvement in tennis has proven to bring pride to Coweta as he was part of the AA Class Team Tennis Championship. In the community, he volunteers faithfully at the Newnan Junior Service League’s annual Can-A-Thon, performing art productions and more.

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