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THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007
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Debbie Heard top PACT volunteer

By Paul Huggins
phuggins@decaturdaily.com 340-2395

Debbie Heard received the 2007 Gail Hurst Volunteer of the Year Award for dedicated service to Parents and Children Together.

Heard joined the PACT board in 1999 and is current chairwoman of the advocacy committee. She previously chaired the family resource library and scrapbook committees and served as board liaison for the Hand-in-Hand, school and parenting programs.

The award is named for the founder of the family education agency.

In presenting the award, last year's winner, Sylvia Betts, complimented Heard for her fund-raising and public speaking efforts as well as having local civic groups, such as Rotary Club of Decatur, partner with PACT.

"This is just very humbling because the women who have gotten this award before are my heroes," Heard said.

Previous recipients besides Betts include Nita Tutwiler, Jeanette Dougherty, Jeanne Smith, Melinda Woller, Susan Watson, Sandi Mohr, Marie Stephens, Betty Vaughan, Mary Pettey, Lindy Smith, Kathy Garrett, Sara Alice Godwin, Andy and Belinda Villarreal, Barbara Smith, Diane McDaniel, Linda Peek, Carol Ozier, Carolyn Sparks, Tay Williams, Brenda Terry, Naomi Griffith and Gail Hurst.

PACT also awarded the $1,000 Gail Hurst Scholarship to Mary Montgomery.

Montgomery is a mother of six who, at 51 when her children were grown, started attending college. She has earned a bachelor's degree in education from Athens State and is working toward a master's degree at West Alabama.

PACT also honored Decatur High Developmental students with its Outstanding Community Volunteer Award in recognition of their ongoing commitment to PACT. One specific service they provide is preparing the information packets sent to new parents. They prepared 1,800 last year.

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