Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young hosted his department’s employees at a banquet in their honor last Tuesday, September 17th at the National Guard Armory in Quincy.
“I just wanted to do something for the staff. They are hard-working, they’re underpaid, and they should get recognition for what they do. They deserve it,” said Young.
Young asked former FSU football coach Bobby Bowden to serve as guest speaker for the evening event. Taylor “T.J.” Bowden, the coach’s grandson, helped bring the legend to the table in his new job as an intern with Steve Winn & Associates.
Winn introduced Coach Bowden: “Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people leave footprints on our hearts and minds. Life is a very fragile thing. We must live our lives to the fullest,” said Steve Winn, who said Bowden is a man all about faith, respect, sincerity, charisma, strength, and humor. “His list of accomplishments is remarkable. In 1994 he was named one of the most creative coaches of all time,” he said about the man who is in the College Hall of Fame.
Coach Bowden said he was proud of his six children and 21 grandchildren. He told a story about his grandfather, who lost all of his money in the Great Depression and moved in with Bobby Bowden and his family, living there until Bobby was about 15. During that time, Bobby saw the great Knute Rockne speak at a Pittsburgh game. Rockne gave a list of the Five Most Important Things in Football and Family:
1. Brains - You want people who can enter college and graduate from college
2. Dependability - You want reliable people
3. Ambitious - He’ll try to be the best he can be
4. Willing to work - The Bible says if you’re not willing to work, you don’t deserve to eat
5. A positive attitude - “He won’t whine. Deal with people with kindness - you won’t have problems,” said Bowden in closing.
“What I really learned about Coach Bowden is that he has a true heart,” said Sheriff Morris Young. “These have been legendary stories from a legendary coach.”
The sheriff presented Bowden with a personal gift of a gun and badge, making him an honorary sheriff. “There’s a new sheriff in Gadsden County!” said Young.
To his staff he said: “I want to say to our employees and volunteers, thank you! We see murder, suicide, rapes and all kinds of crimes. We’ve been through a lot together in my nine years in office. It’s been a challenge every day. I truly believe we serve our people well. We’re coming together tonight for the first time in a long, long time. To the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office family: I truly love you,” said Young, before naming employees selected to be Employee of the Year in six categories:
• Employee of the Year: Deputy Pamela Anderson
• Law enforcement Officer of the Year: Marcus Dixon
• Administrative Employee of the Year: Betty Collins Carter
• Correctional Officer of the Year: Barbara Thomas