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Raybon Anderson named Herald Humanitarian of the Year
Raybon Anderson expresses his appreciation after being awarded the Humanitarian of the Year award during the 2008 Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Awards Tuesday at the Nessmith-Lane Center for Continuing Education on the campus of Georgia Southern University.
    Statesboro leader Raybon Anderson was humble in his acceptance of the 2008 Statesboro Herald Humanitarian of the Year Award Tuesday night at the 20th Annual Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Awards.
    "I'm shocked," he said after the gala, surrounded by people waiting in line to offer congratulations. "I say again, I've enjoyed it. I didn't know I've done so much ... I hope it has helped our community be a better place to raise our children and grandchildren."
    Anderson has made a positive impact on local agribusiness and other areas for well over 40 years, said Kenny Stone, the 1991 recipient of the  1991 Statesboro Herald Humanitarian of the Year Award, who introduced Anderson.
    "He claims a long list of honors and responsibilities, but this humble man still finds time on Wednesday mornings to meet with a select group of men for fellowship and prayer in his private office," he said.
    A member and former director of both the Statesboro Rotary Club and Forest Heights Country Club, Anderson is also past chairman of  the Bulloch County Hospital Authority, past director of First Bulloch    Bank and Trust, and served on both the Statesboro-Bulloch County Development Authority and Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce, he said.
    An avid supporter of all things Bulloch, Anderson has dedicated a great deal of his time to improve and build upon his community. He currently serves on the Averitt's Foundation of the Arts and is a past Bulloch County Commissioner, serving from 1991 to 1994. He was elected Commission chairman in 1994, serving a four-year term, Stone said.
    Under his leadership, Bulloch County hired its first county manager and voted for its first Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
    "A strong supporter of this community, he has always been involved in civic organizations," he said. Anderson has also been a driving force behind industrial progress, and "helped recruit Wal-Mart Distribution, Briggs and Stratton, and Viracon to Bulloch County," he said.
    Agriculture in Bulloch County is near and dear to Anderson's heart. "This champion of the farmer has served on the Georgia Agribusiness Council since 1986, and was the council chairman in 1992," he said.
    "He helped organize the Agritrust of Georgia in 1993, and has served as its chairman since. He also served as past president of the Georgia Plant Food Educational Society.
    "In addition to long days spent making a difference, our honoree still finds time for family. A husband of 48 years, he has a son, a daughter, and seven grandchildren, with whom he enjoys spending time. Weekends and holidays may find him fishing and hunting with the grandsons or watching his granddaughters play basketball or dance in a performance."
    Stone said Anderson has received numerous honors, including the Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Award in 1993, and being named the 1995 Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of The Year.
    "In 2003, Gov. Sonny Perdue appointed this man to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Board, and in 2005, he was elected to the Georgia Department of Transportation Board, a position to which he was reelected earlier this year.
    "His significant impact on Bulloch County agribusiness  began in 1963 when he founded Bulloch Fertilizer, Inc. Later on he formed Anderson Farms and opened Anderson General Store in 2005."
    As Anderson stepped forth to accept his award, he showed characteristic humility.
    "I'm speechless," he said. "I'm honored, I'm unworthy. This is a great community, and we cannot do enough to help one another, help our community, help our state, and help our nation. And, always give the Good Lord thanks for our many blessings. Thank you."

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