An Augusta man who was killed in June was honored Tuesday by the Columbia County West Rotary Club with the establishment of a scholarship fund in his name.
Rotary Club member Bob Rhoades, of Augusta Allergy, initiated the Johnnie W. Davis Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of his longtime friend, Johnnie "Shorty" Davis, who was shot June 30 on Luckey Street in Augusta.
"We who knew Johnnie Davis knew that he deserved better than to be another crime statistic," Rhoades said. "He met all of his obligations as a citizen, as a man, as a husband, a father and a neighbor without expecting or asking anything in return."
The first recipient of the scholarship will be Davis' daughter, Symone Davis, a senior at T.W. Josey Comprehensive High School in Augusta.
"He'll not be there on his daughter Symone's graduation from high school next year, nor to be a grandfather to her children," Rhoades said. "We can only honor him for the man he was: a citizen who gave much but expected little for himself."
Symone and her mother, Mildred Davis, were on hand to celebrate the occasion.
"I'm overwhelmed by it," Symone said.
"It gives me the opportunity to go to college. I would just like to thank everybody who took part in it."
Mildred Davis said her husband was a caring father and grandfather with a great spirit.
"I know he's here today in spirit, looking down on us with joy and laughter," she said. "I know in his heart he feels like Dr. Rhoades did a wonderful thing, not only for my daughter, but for the next child that's going to college."
Rhoades said he would like to award the scholarship annually to one student, alternating between schools in Columbia and Richmond counties.
"It's just the beginning," he said. "We're trying to help them jump through some hurdles."
Rhoades said the scholarship will be funded through various projects.
The scholarship is designed for a student who could not completely pay for college. The recipient would be granted at least $1,000 per year.
Recipients would be required to pay a portion of the scholarship money after graduation and assist with future scholarship candidates.
"It's a very beautiful thing," Mildred Davis said. "I hope the Lord keeps blessing them as they've blessed us."
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