SYLVANIA - Saturday was declared by Mayor Margaret Evans "Dr. Lamar Blalock, Mrs. Mary Frances Blalock and Friends of Screven County Animals Day" in Sylvania.
The first annual Blessing of the Pets and Pet Fun Day was a reflection of volunteers' united efforts to bring attention to orphaned and unwanted pets, the written proclamation stated.
The Friends of Screven County Animals (FOSCA) has joined the Screven County Animal shelter, rescue groups from around the country, and the Blalock family in achieving their overall goal of helping the animals find loving, lifelong homes.
The success of more than 300 pet adoptions since the organization began in May 2009 was made possible by the Blalocks allowing the use of the building rent free, said Mayor Evans.
"It is a pleasure to have such diligent volunteers using the building," said Mary Frances Blalock.
Dr. Lamar Blalock came to Screven County to begin his veterinary practice after his graduation in 1942 from Alabama Polytechnic Institute, which later became Auburn University in 1960. At a time when a great deal of his attention was demanded in caring for large farm animals, he worked out of his trunk and traveled from one place to another, staying in touch with his wife Mary Frances on his Motorola two-way radio, one of the first in the area, to find out where to go next.
Mary Frances LaFavor moved to Sylvania in 1943, after graduating from Georgia State College for Women in Milledgeville. The two married in December 1946 and lived in a small house on South Main Street before moving into the second house built in Sylvan Heights. Dr. and Mrs. Blalock had three children, Debra, Zack and Avery.
After working out of his garage for some time, Dr. Blalock contracted with Harry Mallard to build a "real" clinic at 634 West Ogeechee Street in 1954. This is the building that now serves the community through FOSCA.
Although he passed away in March 2004, Dr. Blalock left a legacy behind and set the example for caring for the animals in Screven County.
Saturday's events included a blessing of the pets by Rev. Carol Morgan, Pastor of Newington Methodist Church.
Also in attendance, Rep. Jon Burns said the FOSCA volunteers and Blalock family are to be commended for a job well done. "One thing that impresses me," he said, "is when people step up and don't wait for the government to do things."