As the clock struck 5:01 p.m. Tuesday, Beth Morris donned a shiny necklace reading “Officially Retired.”
Morris, Gainesville’s recreation athletic program manager, was celebrated Tuesday at the Gainesville Civic Center for 31 years of service to the city.
“It’s been an overwhelming day. Happy, sad, really emotional. When you go through three decades and help watch kids grow up and become young men and women, it’s all very rewarding,” Morris said.
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, who was represented by Bill Kokaly, gave Morris a certificate of congressional recognition and an American flag for her work with athletics and the children of Gainesville.
“It’s been a pleasure working with her every single day,” recreation division manager Missy Bailey said.
Along with a pair of shoes, Bailey presented Morris with a box of goodies, each representing memories for her time with Gainesville athletics. Morris showed the crowd a bag of hot candies — her favorite around the office — and a photo of a squirrel that damaged City Park with the heading “Wanted Dead or Alive.”
Members of the community offered up their memories with Morris.
“It’s easy to see the professionalism, the organization and the caring attitude that she has for the youth and the city of Gainesville,” attendee Joey Edwards said.
Regarding her plans, Morris said she plans to be here for Opening Day and in the coming future. She said she would eventually like to join her family in south Georgia.