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Nimmons chosen Citizen of the Year Print E-mail

William H. Nimmons, Sr. was named the 2009 Recipient of the “Waddy Thompson” Citizen of the Year Award at the Bamberg County Chamber of Commerce 44th Annual Awards Banquet on Thursday evening at the Leonard E. Dawson Gymnasium on the campus of Voorhees College in Denmark.

Nimmons a former educator for many years also served on the Bamberg County Council for 28 years, presiding as council chairperson numerous times. While on county council, he was instrumental in creating the Bamberg County Handy Ride Program as well as the Olar- Govan Middle Place Regional Water System. He was instrumental in getting the Voorhees Job Training One-Stop Center in Denmark. He is a charter member of the Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority at SRS. He helped initiate the Bamberg County Litter Control Program and was instrumental in getting the Bamberg County Animal Shelter (MAMAS) established.

One of the largest crowds to ever attend the event was on hand for the annual event that recognizes the recipient of the “Waddy Thompson” Citizen of the Year Award, the “Evelyn McMillan” Volunteer of the Year Award and the “Emma Ruth Dowling” Unity Award.

Dr. Cleveland L. Sellers, Sr. President of Voorhees College was the keynote speaker. Sellers gave a brief history of Voorhees College, her founder Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Menafee and their connection to the Bamberg County and Denmark communities.

“The Voorhees College vision is the same as the community in Bamberg County,” Sellers said. “And that is to bridge the gap in the county”. He said in order to grow and be prosperous the county needed to overcome the “colloquialism” that separates us from each other and the “Hatfields and the McCoy's” attitude. “Growth can come when we can get over this. We want to work as an institution in the community. Find ways to come together, to build and grow. You have to help us sell Voorhees College,” Dr. Sellers said.

The highlight of the evening was the awarding of the chamber’s Volunteer, Unity and Citizen of the Year Awards. Douglas Stokes was named the 2009 Recipient of the “Evelyn McMillan” Volunteer of the Year Award. Stokes is the Chief of Campus Security at Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College. In addition to volunteering with the chamber, Stokes has volunteered with church programs and community organizations. He chaired and organized the first Men with Caring Hearts Valentine’s Fundraiser which raised funds for community needs such as wheel chair ramps and Thanksgiving turkeys to those in need. He spearheaded the first annual Bamberg County Community Thanksgiving Dinner and was the first director of the Upward Basketball Program in Bamberg County. Now a Disabled Veteran, Stokes still volunteers his time assisting veterans with obtaining their benefits.

Bonnie Strickland was named the 2009 recipient of the Inaugural “Emma Ruth Dowling” Unity Award. Strickland worked with kids after school through the “Good News Club”. She coordinated and managed the Upwards Basketball Program. She plans, coordinates, and manages the Community Wide Annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Ness Sports Complex; Plans and promotes the “See You At the Pole Program” which promotes prayer in schools; manages the K.I.C.K.S. Soccer Program and leads the First Baptist Church of Bamberg children in singing and ringing bells at the annual Courthouse Tree Lighting.

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