2011-12-07 / Other Jenkins News

Planters employee earns statewide award

Vickie Williamson, with Hands on Georgia, presents Johnny Becton, with Planters EMC, the Community Service and Employee Volunteer of the Year Award. (Photo contributed) Vickie Williamson, with Hands on Georgia, presents Johnny Becton, with Planters EMC, the Community Service and Employee Volunteer of the Year Award. (Photo contributed) Cancer is a word that can cause a range of emotions – fear, dread, anxiety and sadness. But for one determined man, that same word translates to caring, sharing and hoping.

For his numerous contributions to the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life, Johnny Becton, a construction foreman with Planters Electric Membership Corporation (EMC), was recently named Employee Volunteer of the Year and presented the 2011 Community Service and Volunteerism Award.

According to Matt Brinson, Planters EMC general manager, Becton’s relationships with cancer survivors in his personal and professional life have inspired him to work tirelessly to raise funds for cancer research.

“ His efforts have helped Planters EMC raise an average of $6,250 per year in the last eight years— in Jenkins County—the County with the state’s second highest unemployment rate,” says Brinson.

Leading by example, Becton serves as Planters EMC’s Corporate Team Leader for Relay for Life, hosts all local Relay committee meetings, secures corporate partners and uses his personal time as needed to fulfill Relay commitments.

Other efforts include speaking before local groups to raise cancer awareness; encouraging Planters EMC employees to participate in payroll deduction in support of Relay for Life; and hosting a range of fundraising initiatives such as raffles, yard sales, road blocks, chickenque, half-rubber tournament and concession stands at Relay events. During Relay weekend, his support includes helping to set up tents, delivering t-shirts and coordinating clean up.

According to Bill Verner, vice president of External Affairs with Georgia EMC, the dedication and steadfastness displayed by Becton is especially meaningful since charitable organizations in recent years have experienced steady declines in volunteerism and giving. As a result, they rely upon the generosity of others to bridge the gap to provide aid to the nonserved and underserved within their communities.

“Johnny’s leadership is evident in the time he personally donates to Relay for Life as well as his efforts to educate others about the importance of supporting research to help fight this disease,” says Verner.

The purpose of the Community Service and Volunteerism Award is to spotlight the outstanding efforts and initiatives of EMC management, individual directors and employees who are working to build stronger communities and to encourage other EMCs in the state to give liberally as well.

In recognition of Becton’s selection for the Community Service and Volunteerism Award, a contribution is being made in his name to the American Cancer Society, his chosen charity.

Planters EMC is a memberowned cooperative providing electricity and related services to more than 12,000 members in Jenkins, Burke, Screven, Bulloch, Emanuel, Effingham and Richmond counties.

Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state’s 42 electric cooperatives, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp. Through this statewide network, the EMCs provide electricity and related services to more than four million people, half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area.

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