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Jaycees name young woman, man of the year

POSTED: April 9, 2008 5:01 a.m.
TOM REED/The Times

Jennifer Gottsman is named by the Jaycees as Young Woman of the Year

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Larry Baldwin and Jennifer Willers Gottsman may be best known in Gainesville through their professions, but it was their selfless volunteer work for the children of Hall County that won them recognition Saturday as the Gainesville Jaycees’ Young Man and Young Woman of the year.

Baldwin, Hall County’s solicitor-general since 2004, chairs the Boys and Girls Clubs’ "duck derby" fundraiser, reads to children and donates books. He also serves on the board of Gateway House, a center for victims of domestic violence.

"This year’s winner is a do-er," said presenter Allen Nivens. "He demonstrates his leadership through a calm confidence that can be both seen and felt by those with whom he works.

"We are fortunate to have volunteers like him who believe that the best way to give a lasting contribution to our community is by investing time and resources in our young people today."

Baldwin appeared moved by the surprise recognition.

He told a black-tie audience at the Chattahoochee Country Club that he felt honored to be in the company of past Young Man of the Year recipients like Carl Romberg, Woody Stewart, Harold Smith and Philip Wilheit.

"They have meant so much to me, my career and my causes," he said.

Of his two primary causes, the Boys and Girls Club and Gateway House, Baldwin said, "those are my two things that I believe in. I think we should try to help our children. I learned in kindergarten that boys shouldn’t hit girls."

Gottsman, a physician with Pediatric Associates, was recognized for her work with Challenged Child and Friends, a nonprofit center for children with disabilities, and the creation of "Summer Sensations" a therapy program for children with autism.

"Jennifer sees her involvement in the community not as an option, but as a role; a role that she embraces with enthusiasm, passion and determination," presenter Denise Deal said. "She has definitely succeeded in making this community a better place for countless families and children."

Gottsman said she was at a loss for words.

"I am honored to serve the children of this community," she said. "I was at the right place at the right time and surrounded by some great people and able to do good things to make a difference."



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