The 23rd Annual Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Awards gala will be held Tuesday, April 26 at the Nessmith-Lane Continuing Education Building on the Georgia Southern University campus.
The invitation-only event will begin at 7 p.m., with dinner followed by an awards ceremony honoring dozens of citizens nominated by their peers in recognition of selfless service to others.
Also, awards will be given to three Life Achievement Awards recipients and to the Statesboro Herald Humanitarian of the Year. The awards banquet is hosted by the Statesboro Herald and sponsored by numerous local businesses, individuals and other entities.
Named for renowned humanitarian Deen Day Smith Sanders, the annual event is noted for its butterfly theme. Sanders, a butterfly aficionado, opened a butterfly center at Callaway Gardens.
In addition to pastel butterfly decorations, the theme is carried throughout the evening with butterfly croissants, pastel butterfly mints and other items.
The gala and awards ceremony is also known for its delightful speakers, which has included Barbara Dooley and Tracy Ham. This year, the keynote speaker will be Lonice C. Barrett, special assistant to Gov. Nathan Deal and former commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Recipients of the Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Awards are selected from nominations submitted by the public and reviewed by a committee. Hundreds of citizens have been recognized for their kindness and generosity of time and effort throughout the past 23 years.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.