A prominent Statesboro dentist and devoted humanitarian was honored Thursday for a lifetime of placing “service above self.”
In an evening banquet at Statesboro’s Belle House, Dr. Hudson Powell Jr. was announced the 2013 Citizen of the Year by the Rotary Club of Downtown Statesboro and the Rotary Club of Statesboro.
Powell has deep roots in Bulloch County — he grew up in Register, graduated from Statesboro High School and has operated the Statesboro Family Dental practice for more than 30 years — and an extensive track record of charitable giving.
The award given Thursday celebrates individuals that exemplify Rotary tenets of goodwill and community service.
“(Powell) has always put others in front of himself and had a gentle spirit toward everyone,” said the Rev. Jimmy Cason, the senior pastor of Statesboro First United Methodist Church, reading from a letter written by Powell’s friend and colleague Jarrett Walden, during the award presentation. “(Powell’s) dedication to this town is something that will never be forgotten, along with his humble attitude and dedication for service to others. I cannot think of any other person that fits the description for Citizen of the Year better. I just wish there were many more Hudson Powells in this world.”
The list of charitable endeavors undertaken by Powell include: multiple mission trips to Brazil to provide care for people in need, volunteering and supporting the Hearts and Hands Clinic, and volunteering each year to provide treatment to the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair workers while they are in town.
Powell, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, accepted the award from his seat, where he was immediately swarmed and greeted by congratulating friends and family.
The former Deen Day Smith Award winner was lauded by his peers in letters of recommendation read aloud during the award presentation.
“He is the most genuine person I know. He is humble, almost to a fault. I have never heard him say an unkind word about anyone,” said Cason, reading one of the letters. “In fact, he may be the only person I know who does not have a single enemy. Although he has worked hard all of his life, he was never too busy to help someone in need — (he is a) true good Samaritan.”
Several other comments praised Powell for his passion and success as a dentist, his love and commitment to family and a devotion to his faith.
Powell, who sat next to his wife, Pam, for the presentation, was surprised by several family members, who snuck into the dining hall, directly behind his table, while the presentation was being made.
His family led a line of more than 50 people who doled out handshakes and hugs.
Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.