The theme for Thursday’s Donalsonville-Seminole County Chamber of Commerce annual meeting was all about working together to make today just a little better than yesterday. That theme was echoed by the selfless actions of this year’s Citizen of the Year recipient, Billy Williams. Nominated by multiple citizens Williams was cited for his efforts to go above and beyond the call of duty helping those in need in our storm-ravaged community.
Williams, a local pharmacist, was nominated in part for volunteering his time s the case manager for the community’s Blue Tarp Project and working tirelessly to advocate on behalf of homeowners in desperate need of home repair and assistance.
The Blue Tarp Project of Seminole County, a non-profit long-term recovery group founded by area churches and community leaders, that assists non-insured homeowners with needed roof repairs in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. Its goal is to remove every blue tarp from Seminole County. Williams and the Blue Tarp Project has helped and continues to help provide tangible relief, and offer hope and encouragement to people who have lost much,
In accepting the award, Williams expressed these words of appreciation, “First of all, it goes without saying that I feel very humbled. It was a total shock. In my mind there are many people in Donalsonville who have given and sacrificed a lot. Churches, community leaders as well as many, many individuals have given much in years past and even more this past year as we recovered from the hurricane.
No doubt Hurricane Michael changed topography, demographics, etc. – for years to come, but it also changed things for the better. It gave each of us a true sense of belonging to the precious virtue called community. Neighbor helped neighbor, friend helped friend and many relationships were forged forever. We were able to see ordinary people exhibit gifts, talents and leadership no one knew existed.
Hurricane Michael may have wreaked havoc in our community, but we have a much needed momentum to move forward. In some sense, it renewed our identity as a community. One might even say that “Michael” gave us hope for the future. Now, our focus is to press forward, because going back to the old Donalsonville is not an option.
By the grace of God, I will continue to do my part behind the scenes, and look for more ways to encourage others. Thank you again for this great honor.”