Dennis Sanders' dedication to McDuffie County is being rewarded.
The District Attorney of the Toombs Judicial Circuit was recently presented with the Robert Benham Award for Community Service at a special ceremony in Atlanta.
"It really was kind of overwhelming. I honestly didn't expect all that," Mr. Sanders said. "It was almost embarrassing. I guess I was flattered to the point that really I could feel my face kind of flushed as I was standing there and they were reading all this stuff."
The award, named in honor of The Hon. Robert Benham of the Supreme Court of Georgia, recognizes lawyers and judges who have combined a professional career with outstanding service and dedication to their community through voluntary participation in community organizations, government sponsored activities or humanitarian work outside of their professional practice.
The award is an original glass sculpture featuring three figures in a cooperative posture holding the seal of the State Bar of Georgia. It was presented to Mr. Sanders during the 2005 Midyear Meeting of the State Bar of Georgia Jan. 13-15 at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta.
Mr. Sanders has served in the Toombs County District Attorney's office for 32 years, starting in 1973 as an Assistant District Attorney. He was first elected District Attorney in 1984.
And during that time, Mr. Sanders said, he's tried to remain active in McDuffie County and the other communities in his circuit.
During the presentation ceremony, Court of Appeals Judge Alan Blackburn said Mr. Sanders "has spent most of his adult life volunteering with young people, coaching them, and leading by example."
Away from his office and the courtroom, Mr. Sanders has served as the play-by-play voice of the Thomson High Bulldogs on WTHO radio station since 1976. In 28 years behind the microphone, he's never missed a game.
"The rewards aren't monetary, but the rewards are something special that money can't buy. And I think that's why people give their time," Mr. Sanders said. "In addition to that I do think that it's a duty that every attorney has. Particularly in a smaller community, the attorneys, I think, are under an obligation to work in the community and particularly with youth."
Mr. Sanders also served as a spokesperson for the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta. He regularly speaks to elementary, middle and high school students in all six counties of the Toombs Judicial Circuit about the values of fairness, sportsmanship and hard work.
He also coaches recreation department football and baseball, the Thomson High School summer baseball team and participates in RA and adult sports activities at the First Baptist Church of Thomson.
Mr. Sanders is a graduate of the Mercer University, Walter F. George School of Law.