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Councilman praises efforts against hunger

Posted: October 26, 2010 3:50 p.m.
Updated: October 27, 2010 5:00 a.m.

Camden City Council showed its support of the fight against homelessness and hunger beyond merely making a proclamation Tuesday morning. It did proclaim the week of Nov. 14-20 as National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, but with Councilman Pat Partin’s lead, it also lauded the efforts of those organizations, especially Food for the Soul.

Partin noted the presence of the Rev. Frank Griffith, retired pastor of Lyttleton Street United Methodist Church, who serves as chairman of Food for the Soul’s board of directors.

“Our preacher (Griffith) came back Sunday and gave a sermon that brought tears to my eyes,” said Partin. “This community has reached out. There were two people who passed away and left part of their estate so that those less fortunate could have a hot meal. This group has taken that and gone forward and gone beyond that.”

Partin offered applause both for the community and Food for the Soul for their generosity.

Mayor Jeffrey Graham called hunger and homelessness a challenge for the entire county and listed the following organizations mentioned in the proclamation along with Food for the Soul:

New Day on Mill Transitional Homeless Shelter, Christian Community Ministries, House of Bread, Hear to SERVE, Community of HOPE, Greater Faith and Joy Tabernacle, Green Hill Baptist Church, St. Matthew Baptist Church, Sacks of Love, and the Kershaw County Housing Partnership.

“These groups have pulled together and council is proud of … their coalition effort,” said Graham.

Councilwoman Alfred Mae Drakeford said she remembered when the United Way of Kershaw County devoted itself to the goal of eliminating hunger and homelessness in Kershaw County.

“I asked myself, ‘How are we going to do that?’ But, now, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and that makes you want to work that much harder,” said Drakeford.

Council then unanimously made the proclamation, which was presented to Griffith and Kershaw County Housing Coordinator Marie Sheheen.

Council also unanimously proclaimed October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and November as Epilepsy Awareness Month. Partin remarked on the fact that all of Kershaw County’s high school ball teams were playing “pink” games to raise breast cancer awareness.

Councilman Ned Towell said he was glad to see both proclamations on the agenda.

“I have epilepsy and am a supporter of making people more aware of it,” said Towell.

Council recognized three employees for their service to the city of Camden.

City Finance Department Director Mel Pearson presented Linda Rush with a 10-year pin.

“She is a pleasure to work with and a remarkable employee,” said Pearson. “She started at the service counter and dealt with everything that goes with that. Then there was an open for an accounts payable position and she retreated to the basement which was a very good move for the city. She doesn’t just pay our bills, but keeps our meter readers in line.”

Pearson said what Rush does takes a combination of organizational and technical skills not found in every employee.

Camden Police Department Maj. D.A. Trapp presented Patrolman William D. West with a 5-year pin.

“We struggle to find young people in our community who want to serve that community,” said Trapp. “William’s family has been here forever; everyone knows him. That’s an asset. In the short five years he’s been with us, he’s joined our tactical team and is a trainer.

“The key thing we’re proud of is his ability to make decisions. We saw that early on and you don’t see that every day in someone so young. We hope he’ll stay with us a long, I’ll tell you that,” Trapp said.

A 5-year pin was also waiting for Randall Lee of the city’s public works department but was not available for Tuesday morning’s meeting.

A presentation on the proposed penny capital sales tax was canceled due to the absence of Kershaw County Capital Projects Sales Tax committee member Chuck Nash.

Council will next meet in work session at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4. Its next regular meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9. All meetings are held on the second floor of Camden City Hall, 1000 Lyttleton St., and are open to the public.

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