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Hall Boys & Girls Clubs honors top volunteers
Duane Hinshaw, left, of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County congratulates Abb Hayes after it was announced that Hayes was being awarded the organization’s National Medallion award for his exemplary leadership as a board member. Hayes and Floyd Higdon were honored for their volunteer efforts. - photo by Tom Reed

Two local volunteers were given prestigious honors Wednesday for their dedication to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County.

Floyd Higdon and Abb Hayes each received separate honors for their volunteer work and leadership within the local organization at the Boys & Girls Clubs annual dinner and awards banquet.

Higdon, a 10-year volunteer with the clubs, received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for 1,400 hours of volunteer service to the Boys & Girls Clubs.

The award, created by President George W. Bush in 2003, honors Americans who engage in volunteer service.

Joe Ethier, chief professional officer of the local club, said Higdon’s commitment to the organization’s youth made him eligible for the award.

Higdon has taken the lead role in developing the Boys & Girls Clubs’ new facility next to Lyman Hall Elementary on Memorial Park Drive.

"Floyd honestly is constantly there," Ethier said. "He constantly checks in at the club to ask us what our needs are."

"We’re deeply honored that he’s chosen our kids as one of the beneficiaries of his work," Ethier said.

Hayes, also a 10-year volunteer, received the club’s National Medallion, an award relegated to board members or volunteers who have donated time, energy and helped raise money to support the organization and its programs.

"Abb’s heart ... is truly in trying to provide our kids the best opportunities to be successful in life," Ethier said. "He truly takes that to heart."

Both Hayes and Higdon received a standing ovation from the board members attending Wednesday’s annual dinner.

"Abb and Floyd and the other award recipients tonight are examples of the type of leadership that our board has provided this organization for the past 55 years," Ethier said.

"And because of their efforts, the youth of our community stand a much better chance of living a happy, healthy, productive life."