ALBANY, GA (WALB) - One of Albany's many heroes that emerged from 2017's storm damage, was honored on the national stage for his efforts.
Tom Gieryic, the owner of Gieryic's Auto body Shop in Albany, recently accepted the Phoenix Award for Disaster Recovery by a Volunteer.
Given by the Small Business Administration to a small business owner... his Auto body shop became a central station for volunteers helping clear thousands of downed trees following five major storms last year.
And, Mr. Gieryic became the reluctant face of an effort that involved dozens of volunteers... a large group that became known as the Albany Chain Gang.
"Volunteers stayed away from all of the publicity," Gieryic said. "They didn't want to have anything to do with it. Where in my shoes it was imperative that we had it, because we needed the funding."
Mr. Gieryic raised the money to supply the necessary chainsaws and their expensive upkeep, so volunteers could continue their significant efforts to help restore our communities.
But, what's really remarkable is that when the Small Business Administration called him about this award, Mr. Gieryic refused to accept it in his name only.
So now, permanently etched on the award is: Albany Chain Gang.
We all applaud Mr. Gieryic, the many Albany Chain Gang volunteers and the companies, organizations and individuals that donated toward their heroic effort.