Margie Weaver was not looking forward to the July 16 Dawson County commission meeting.
Commissioners had scheduled the final public hearing on the 2010 budget, and
Weaver, director of the county’s senior center, was asked to attend because “a citizen had made complaints on the center’s spending.”
“I told (the county) I had cut to the bone and didn’t know how I could cut anymore,” Weaver said.
The longtime director was a bit on edge and sat near the front of the room, so she could address the commission when called.
At the same time, without her knowing, Weaver’s family snuck into the meeting, ready to give Weaver one of the biggest surprises of her life.
As the meeting was called to order, County Manger Kevin Tanner came to the front of the room and began retracing Weaver’s last 25 years as director of the senior center.
“She’s someone who is very valuable to us, not just the employees but the whole community,” said Tanner, as he presented Weaver with two dozen roses and a plaque recognizing her service and dedication to local residents.
Weaver held back tears, at least until she saw the faces of her family and heard the applause that erupted at the gathering.
“They surprised me so much. I had no idea,” she said smiling and sharing hugs, just as she has each day for the last 25 years at the senior center.
Recruited by then sole commissioner Joe Lane Cox, Weaver joined the county’s staff on July 16, 1984.
A native of Pickens County, Weaver moved to Dawsonville 51 years ago.
“I had known Margie for several years, and I knew she was hardworking, dependable, likable, could get along with anybody and is honest,” Cox said.
At the time the center was having trouble keeping a director.
“Margie was someone I thought would stay for a good, long time, and she has,” Cox said. “She’s been working her little fingers to the bone ever since.”
Mike Berg, commission chairman, said he is honored to have someone with Weaver’s dedication overseeing operations at the center.
“She is just so well loved and such an expert in what she does, and boy has she done a great job,” Berg said.
A senior herself, Weaver, 70, considers the people at the center her extended family.
“I just love everyone of them,” she said Monday.
Weaver's immediate family includes her daughter, Sharon Reagan; son, Danny Weaver; grandchildren, Randy and Jennifer Reagan, Samantha and Michael Bruce, Jade and Chrissy Weaver; and great-grandson, Chase Bruce.
Much has changed in Dawson County and at the senior center over the last quarter century, including the growing number of seniors using the center and the variety of its services.
“As a result of Weaver’s hard work, our community has seen tremendous improvements in the services we provide our seniors,” Tanner said. “She’s such a great asset to us.”