Lilypad Interim Executive Director Amy Boney gets a hug from former board chair Faison Middleton during a reception for Boney Thursday afternoon. Boney is leaving the Lilypad to start up a Child Abuse Center for the Southwestern Judicial Circuit in Americus.
ALBANY, Ga. — It was an emotional day at the Lily Pad center. Most are.
But instead of the raw emotions that generally accompany the day-to-day operations of a center dedicated to sexual abuse victims, Thursday, tears flowed to honor the service given by Amy Boney, the interim executive director of the Lily Pad, to help those who often feel helpless.
Boney is leaving the center to open a child abuse center in Americus which will serve the Southwest Georgia Judicial District.
"I can say that you have been a blessing to this organization and to this community," Lily Pad Chair Karen Cohilas told Boney, as her friends, family and colleagues gathered Thursday. "You've given more than your fair share of your time and efforts to help people and we're going to miss you."
Faison Middleton, the immediate past chairman of the Lily Pad board, said Boney was a workhorse who served diligently in her capacity.
"Americus and Leesburg and that circuit is certainly picking up a gem," Middleton said.
Humbled and emotional after hearing statement after statement of how she has impacted people's lives, Boney spoke about her move to Americus.
"I've said often that I hope I'm able to work myself out of a job because this is a profession whose very existence is a sign that there are very bad things roaming through our communities," Boney said. "I just hope that we're able to provide emotional and physical support to those who need it and while making sure that we're bring people to justice."
And Boney hasn't been shy about following through with cases to make sure that those responsible for harming Southwest Georgia women and children receive the punishments they deserve.
"As near as we can tell she has a perfect record in court; 75 times she's testified and 75 times there has been a conviction. Not one acquittal," Cohilas said.
As Boney shifts from Albany to parts slightly north, the Lily Pad board has hired their new executive director in Cassandra Wright. Wright is a transplant from Atlanta who said she's looking forward to the complexities of the job and to having the opportunity to bring justice and comfort to those in Southwest Georgia.