Debt of gratitude

Published 8:00 pm Monday, May 2, 2016

Democrat or Republican, people who do good things for the community deserve to be recognized for their efforts.

And the three folks honored during the Suffolk Democratic Committee’s annual Heroes Luncheon on Sunday are well deserving of the praise and recognition they received.

Jean Copeland, Beverly Outlaw and Suffolk Treasurer Ron Williams were this year’s honorees, and the Suffolk Democratic Committee would have been hard pressed to find three people more deserving of the honor.

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Copeland is a graduate of Virginia Union University and Virginia State University and taught at Southampton County Schools for 41 years. She is a member of Laurel Hill United Church of Christ, president of Holland/Holy Neck/Pittmantown Civic League, a former electoral board member, former treasurer for the Suffolk Democratic Committee and former board of trustees member at Elon University.

She is the person many people in Holland think of first when they’re looking for help solving community problems. She puts the word “service” into the phrase “community service.”

Outlaw is a member of the electoral board and also is a nurse, which has made her passionate about access to health care.

“Beverly has really come to the forefront to educate me on a lot of the issues,” her nominator, Susan Rowland, said. “I think it shows her compassion and love for her fellow citizen that she wants to make sure we get access to health care.”

As the city treasurer since 1982, Ron Williams has conducted his annual United Way Golf Tournament for the last 21 years, resulting in more than $300,000 being donated to local organizations.

“We’ve been able to support some agencies that otherwise would have had a really tough time,” Williams said. He specifically mentioned the Boys and Girls Clubs Suffolk Unit and the Sickle Cell Association as worthy recipients of the funds raised from the annual tournament.

Congratulations to these fine Suffolk citizens. The city owes them a debt of gratitude.