ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -An Albany City commissioner was in shock after he got an award he didn’t expect.
“It was a shock. It was a surprise but I think that the work that I’ve done with this board and community that they saw fit to name me as Volunteer of the Year, which I’m so appreciative of the board," said Commissioner Jon Howard.
Howard proudly accepted the award on Thursday.
He is being recognized for his voluntary efforts of keeping litter and trash off the ground.
It was during a luncheon hosted by Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful recognizing and awarding local volunteers for their efforts in 2019.
Commissioner Howard said he didn’t even know about receiving the award.
“About five minutes when I walked inside the door, I sneaked at the program and I looked at it and said ‘Oh I’m being nominated’.”
Several other people and organizations were also honored during Thursday’s luncheon.
Howard has been a commissioner for almost 30 years but said his volunteer efforts started way before he became a city leader.
“When I was in high school, we made sure that we were educated and informed. That we do not throw trash or paper down so for the last 30 something years, I’ve been involved with not only trying to keep Albany clean but also keep the state of Georgia clean also," said Howard.
Howard believes we can all follow in his footsteps through education and action.
“We certainly got to educate and inform and tell individuals that when you begin to pollute those things in the street, it really is devastating," Howard added. “Don’t sit back and complain, just get out and get involved. And it may not be a whole lot that they can do but at least if they decide to, they can keep it from in front of their door or their streets clean, we can make a difference. Not only in the city but in the county and worldwide".
Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful said Howard was presented with the award because of his efforts to create an environmentally aware community that is green, beautiful and litter-free.