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Scarborough chosen Rotary Citizen of the Year

It is rare for a person to earn a Citizen of the Year Award from the Sylvania Rotary Club twice.
However, few people are like Betty Scarborough, the activity director at Syl-View Health Care Center.
“Mrs. Betty, we are proud to name you the Sylvania Rotary Club Citizen of the Year for 2014,” said Enoch Autry, this year’s Rotary president who awarded the honor to Scarborough at the Briar Creek Country Club April 24.
When the first Rotary presentation was made to Scarborough in 1992, it was done inside Sylvania’s elementary school as fellow Rotarian Ben Boyer pointed out that the honor is based on Rotary’s ideal of “Service Above Self.” On that Feb. 26, 1992, night, Boyer said Betty Scarborough epitomizes that ideal.
And she still does.
Autry presented Scarborough with the 2014 award, but also gave her one with the year 1992 on it. It seems that during some renovations at Syl-View that her first Rotary honor was broken.
Scarborough, who is from Eastman, Ga., is the wife of Don Scarborough, who pastored at Double Heads Baptist Church.
“Now Don spends his time snapping countless photos that line the walls of Syl-View and attempting to keep up with an always busy Mrs. Betty,” Autry said at the Sylvania club’s annual anniversary dinner as the club celebrates 76 years.
Scarborough is a graduate of Mercer University as she earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in pychology and sociology. She also is a big-time supporter of the Dawgs of the University of Georgia.
She served as youth director at Bethany Baptist Church in Cochran from 1966 to 1970 and held in the same position at Second Baptist Church in Macon from 1970 to 1975.
Scarborough would become increasingly interested in the nursing home field when she served for three years at the activities director at Pineview Nursing Home in Pineview in southwest central Georgia.
In August 1982, Scarborough chose to stay with same line of work, but from a different view as she left from being the director of activities at Pineview to the same role at Syl-View on Pine Street in Sylvania.
Since that time, Scarborough and the staff at Syl-View have developed an incredible program that utilizes more than 100 volunteers each year.
“So using some quick math skills, in 32 years that would be 3,200 volunteers and that number probably is closer to 4,000 total,” Autry said.
“Those volunteers range from elementary school children who may come to Syl-View with their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to a lady who is in her 90s,” Autry said.
“The residents of Syl-View know how much Scarborough and her organized army of volunteers care for their needs and their well being. They see it first-hand every day. The residents know the volunteers and Mrs. Betty are amazing, but the continuous string of state awards offer solid proof they aren’t just the best in Sylvania, they are the best in Georgia’s 159 counties,” Autry said.
“Our volunteers have won national and international awards,” Scarborough said. “There is no better place than Sylvania and it’s because of all of you.”
The Ms. Syl-View Pageant winner each year is a consistent finalist for the state nursing home pageant honors. They are won radio, newspaper and overall media state awards. Some are named the Total Community Involvement Media Awards.
“The moniker ‘total community involvement’ is so true of Syl-View,” Autry said.
For their efforts, individual volunteers have won teen volunteer of the year, group volunteer of the year, and adult volunteer of the year.
“Mrs. Betty and her Syl-View awards selection committee even saw something worthwhile in your Rotary president to name him adult volunteer of the year even though I say the guy truly doesn’t deserve it,” Autry said referring to himself.
The Scarboroughs have two children – Phil and Susan.
Susan and her husband Ricky Allen also made a surprise entrance for the award presentation.
In attendance with the Scarboroughs also was Syl-View administrator Rachel Eggleston.
“Mrs. Betty, you are a remarkable lady. We are extremely fortunate to have you and Don in our community,” Autry said. “Twenty-two years ago, Mrs. Betty, you were honored by the Sylvania Rotary membership for putting ‘service above self.’ Today the Sylvania Rotary Club commends you for the person you are now and the devotion you have instilled into our community for 32 years.”
The Rotarians and their guests had a low-country boil meal. Musical entertainment was provided by Matt Dylan Thompson, a SCHS student who has performed in front of thousands at the FFA national convention and was asked to join the Southern Rock icon Marshall Tucker Band when the group played on the Star Stage at the Screven Motor Speedway in December.
Before Thompson arrived at the dinner anniversary that evening after performing in the SCHS music tech showcase.