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May 7, 2014

'Pastor Dan' honored with Golden Deeds Award

TIFTON — When people think of a true volunteer and someone who goes the extra mile to make sure people have what they need, many in the Tift Area community immediately think of the Rev. Dan Eidson, who was recently honored with the 61st annual Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds award.

The Book of Golden Deeds Award recognizes dedicated volunteers who give endless hours of their time and talents toward making their communities better places to live. The Golden Deeds project is the longest running project of the Exchange Club of Tifton. This year, the award was renamed in honor of longtime chair Helen Rainer, who passed away in 2013.

Friends, neighbors, church members and local charitable organization directors talk of how fortunate Tifton is to have Pastor Dan as part of this community. Eidson moved to Tifton more than 20 years ago with his family. He has served at First Baptist Chula in the past and is currently at Victory Baptist. But serving in the church is certainly not all that Pastor Dan does.

O’Neal Bozeman, a friend who nominated Eidson for the Golden Deeds Award said, “Not only has Dan ministered to his congregation, but he has spent countless hours involved in meeting the needs of all the people in our community.”

Church members of Pastor Dan add that he is known for his love for people. He always put the needs of others before himself and is dedicated to serving the Lord by serving his fellow man. He is passionately devoted to those who are in need.

Pastor Dan has a list of hundreds of e-mails that he maintains to send out blasts when someone is in need of furniture, appliances and even jobs. But he doesn’t stop with just asking – Eidson gets involved in getting the need fulfilled.

“I’ve been with Dan when he is delivering a refrigerator to a needy woman and another time a washer and dryer to a couple whose home had been burned. He has also delivered food, furniture, clothes and Christmas presents,” said Bozeman.

Among many other things, Eidson has served as Tift County EMS chaplain, on the board of the Coastal Plain CASA, a chaplain at Tift Regional Medical Center, on the Tift County Chapter of the Red Cross Disaster Assistance Team and as a devotional speaker to several nursing and assisted living homes.

“Pastor Dan has been a guiding light of compassion and service for this community for many years,” said Greg Millette, United Way executive director, who has served with Eidson on other boards. Other friends added, “it has been a pleasure to work with him in carrying out God’s plan of being a missionary in our community, in putting others first.”

Every letter that was received nominating Pastor Dan for this award ended with his friends noting how honored they were to know him. They all described him as a true servant of God.

Eidson has been married to Frances for 43 years and they have two children, Amy, who is married to Blake Smith, and Daniel, who is married to the former Amy Bailey. They also have seven grandchildren.

Coordinators of the award this year were Betty Cromer and Regenia Wells. Tyron Spearman, past president of the Exchange Club of Tifton, read the names and presented photos of the 60 former recipients. Also in attendance were seven former recipients of the award.

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The 2014 Tift County Lady Devils volleyball team. Summer Bennett, Chat Butts, Carolina Carter, Kaleigh Hobby, Molly Jones, Savannah Kendrick, Mariena McCullough, Dail Adaway, Vanity Golson, Alex Miller, Taylor Nimmo, Amanda Riddle, Logan Seeman, Taylor Cross, Karina Delgado, Audrey McElhaney, Madison Spivey, Julianna Cross and Olivia Thomas Assistants are Dana Fletcher and Chance Benson. Head coach is Courtney Mitchell.

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