PDT Staff Writer
More than 60 people came out to a 78th birthday party and recognition dinner held in honor of community leader Eugene Collins, Sr. at Portsmouth Inner City Development Corporation Saturday.
The event was a surprise for Eugene Collins, who has worked as Deputy Director of Scioto County Community Action Organization for 33 years. The celebration was prefaced with prayer led by Pastor Clarence Parker.
Brady Womack, the event coordinator, read the purpose and mission of the celebration. The celebration included a City Proclamation which was read and presented by Mayor David Malone. A County Proclamation was presented and read by Womack.
Other special presentations included one presented on behalf of PIDC by Patrick Harris.
“He is a great man, he has done a lot for our community. He is well-deserving of what was done for him today,” Womack said.
Collins’ served as the Chairperson of PIDC and is a member of Ohio Regional Development Commission where he is a member of the Executive Board and Chairman of the Minority Caucus.
He is also a member of Minority Business Advisory Council, an appointment given by former Governor Ted Strickland. He has since been reappointed by Governor John Kasich.
Special remarks were given by Fred Bendolph, Al Oliver, Pat Oliver and Mary Sandford.
Collins was serenaded by his grandson, Len Collins, who sang, “I Believe I Can Fly.”
Another selection was rendered by sisters Pat Oliver, Janet Langford, Mary Sandford, Doris Bell, and Yvette Jordan.
Sylvia Collins, Collins’ wife, said she appreciates the kindness shown to her husband.
“I appreciate the people for coming out and the community. As we all know, there are times that we really do not know what all people do, and it’s just nice to elaborate and let them smell their flowers while they are living, Collins said.
The honoree said the event was a total surprise to him and he enjoyed it immensely.
“It was wonderful and it very surprising to me, because I was not aware of it at all,” Collins said.
Collins, who will soon be retiring from his position at CAO, said he is hopeful that the community will continue to press forward in a positive direction.
“I think that it is crucial that we as a community stay united, and try find different ways to make things better because this is a community that as a lot of love and compassion for things becoming better,” Collins said.
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Portia on Twitter @ PortiaWillPDT.