“I hope I can do this without tearing up,” Karinne Green Simmons told Enterprise City Council Perry Vickers as she made her way to the podium at the front of the city council chambers during the meeting June 4.
Simmons, the Southeast Alabama Community Action Partnership Executive Director, was joined by SEACAP Executive Human Resources Assistant Willie Smith to thank Enterprise Mayor William “Bill” Cooper for his years of service on the SEACAP board.
“Mayor Cooper has been a faithful member of our SEACAP board since 1988,” Simmons said. “He recently had to come off the board because we have to have rotation in board members.
“Today I was reading a verse, Mayor Cooper, that said ‘If your gift is serving others, serve them well,’” a visibly emotional Simmons told Cooper. “You sure have done that with this many years on our board.”
SEACAP, formerly known as the Human Resource Development Corporation, was incorporated as a private, non-profit community action agency in June 1974. It serves limited income residents in Coffee, Houston, Geneva, Barbour and Henry Counties and its purpose is to promote self-help for people and neighborhoods, Simmons said.
“On behalf of our SEACAP staff and our board of directors, we thank you,” Simmons said, presenting Cooper a wrapped gift.
“I want to thank these ladies and the staff, because usually when you get things of this sort, it’s at your funeral,” Cooper quipped. “But at least I’m alive and for that I’m thankful. Thank you all so much.”
Cooper said that he was first invited to go to a SEACP meeting by the late longtime educator and civic leader B.F. Garth. “I didn’t know what to expect because you know Mr. Garth was into everything,” Cooper said with a smile. “So I went with him and that’s where I got my start working in human resources, in a sense.
“It has been a great thing because this organization helped people—you name it, they do it,” Cooper said. “It’s a very good organization and a good thing about it is they are located right here in the City of Progress but they spread out over four or five counties.”