Before Elizabeth Smart gave the evening’s keynote address, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County presented this year’s Helping Hands Award, given to an individual or group for their contributions.
Board member Phillip Sartain said it was “truly an honor” to present the award to Walt and Winkie Boomershine, longtime supporters of the club.
“Gainesville-Hall County is a stronger community because of people like Walt and Winkie Boomershine,” Sartain said. “It is truly my honor to present them with this award.”
“Winkie and I are humbled and honored to receive this recognition for something we’ve enjoyed doing,” Boomershine said. “We have given things and gotten so much joy in return.”
He said by definition, that didn’t make him altruistic — or, giving and expecting nothing back — but he had heard another terminology assigned to him.
“I read in The Times yesterday that I was a philanthropist. I can’t even spell it, and now I are one,” he said to laughter.
It certainly isn’t the first time the Boomershines have been called philanthropists. They were named philanthropists of the year by the North Georgia Community Foundation in 2011.
The Boomershines own automotive dealerships in the Atlanta area and have made contributions to several charities, in addition to their support of the Boys & Girls Clubs.
They played a critical role in the creation of the Georgia Council on Child Abuse, helped to reorganize Habitat for Humanity in Hall County and built more than 35 of the houses and have been involved with the Georgia Mountain Food Bank for the last seven years.