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Judge Mikell named Kiwanian of the Year
Member honored at clubs 49th anniversary dinner
022609 KIWANIAN MIKELL 1 web
Bulloch County State Court Judge Gary Mikell, left, and wife Kim chuckle as Mike Bowen makes a humorous introduction while honoring Mikell as the Kiwanian of the Year during the Statesboro Kiwanis Club 49th Anniversary dinner at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fairgrounds Thursday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
    Bulloch County’s state court Judge Gary Mikell was honored Thursday as the Statesboro Kiwanis Club named him the 2009 Kiwanian of the Year.
    Son of long-time Statesboro Kiwanis Club member Felton Mikell and a long-time member himself, Gary Mikell was humble in his acceptance of the award and gave his father credit.
    “He was the Kiwanian of Kiwanians, and I dedicate this (award) to him,” he said.
    Mikell was also given another prestigious award during the club’s 49 annual anniversary celebration: Wyatt Johnson, the only active charter member of the Statesboro Kiwanis Club, awarded Mikell and two others with the George F. Hickson Fellowship Awards.
    The award is granted by Kiwanis International based up club membership, activity and dedication. Long-time members Don Whaley and Mike Bowen also received the honor.
    Bowen introduced Mikell in a manner that dropped hints throughout as he led up to identifying Mikell, but information in the first sentence gave the secret away.
    As he took the stage  to receive his award, Mikell asked “Is there anybody else in here that was born in Williams County, North Dakota?”
    Mikell’s parent were both World War II veterans and he was six months old when they moved to Statesboro. He graduated from Statesboro High School with honors; received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Georgia Southern University, graduating summa cum laude and worked for the Savannah Morning News and Evening Press.
    After entering the United States Air Force and being stationed in Korea, where he met his wife Kim, Mikell returned after an honorable discharge and graduated from Mercer Law School cum laude in 1985.
    A few years later he returned to Statesboro to practice law and was elected Bulloch County state court solicitor in 1996 and t he Bulloch County State Court Judge in 2000.
    Mikell has been highly active in the Statesboro Kiwanis Club, having served as president. He played a key role in moving the club’s weekly meetings from a local hotel in Statesboro to the club’s community building constructed on the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fairgrounds.
    The Statesboro Kiwanis Club’s annual fundraiser is the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair, with proceeds being funneled back into the community through donations to various charities, programs and causes. Throughout his membership Mikell and his family has been seen working at the fair in various capacities almost every night it is open.
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