CAC honors Lunsford for years of friendship, support

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CAC Director Camille Downing presents a certificate of appreciation to Jimmy Lunsford.

Board members and supporters of the Pike Regional Child/Family Advocacy Center gathered Wednesday to thank a man they credit with helping to make the center a success – Jimmy Lunsford.

“He may not be our mayor any longer, but he’ll always be our friend,” said board member and Assistant District Attorney Scherryl Harrison before addressing Lunsford. “We love you and we are always going to be there for you because you have always been there for us.”

The CAC honored Lunsford with an afternoon reception, a service award plaque and a certificate of appreciation.

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“What we are doing here today is truly a ministry,” said Lunsford. “What better place than to be associated with a church.”

Lunsford, along with Ellis Bush and Bill Beck, were recognized at the ceremony for helping the CAC secure a permanent home in the basement of the Calvary Baptist Church on Orange Street.

Concerned members of the community began discussing the need for a local CAC in the 80s and, in 2005, the group opened its doors in the church location.

“Before then we met where we could,” Harrison said. “Now, look around, all this was done by the community. Everything you see here was donated.”

The group now aids families and child abuse victims in Pike, Bullock, Barbour and Coffee counties and is expanding family advocacy programs to include job training and interview clothing for adults.

“The sky is the limit for us,” Harrison said. “Whatever we can imagine, we can achieve.”