SAVANNAH, GA – October 12, 2023 – Last night, the 200 Club partnered with Evans General Contractors and The Savannah Convention Center to celebrate first responders with its annual Valor Awards and Appreciation Gala. The nonprofit organization presented awards to first responders who heroically risked their lives to keep others safe.
During the awards ceremony, the 200 Club recognized 21 heroes with medals and plaques, presenting 7 Christopher Argentinis Valor Awards, 11 Life Saving Awards, 2 Community Oriented Policing Awards and 1 Fire Commissioner’s Award.
The Christopher Argentinis Valor Award is given to first responders who demonstrated a great strength of mind or spirit that enabled them to encounter danger with firmness and resolve, while knowing their personal health and well-being were in jeopardy. Awardees included:
- Firefighter A02 Frank Hill (Chatham Emergency Services)
- Firefighter Dillion Layton (Chatham Emergency Servies)
- Trooper Cameron Reese (Georgia State Patrol)
- Chief Deputy Chris Moser (Evans County Sheriff’s Office)
- Lieutenant Walt Purcell (Evans County Sheriff’s Office)
- Deputy Michael Keyfauver (Evans County Sheriff’s Office)
- Trooper Andy Benjamin (Georgia State Patrol)
The Life Saving Award is given to first responders who demonstrated quick action and determination in applying their skills resulting in the preservation of life during an incident. These awardees included:
- Deputy Omar Fernandez (Chatham County Sheriff’s Office)
- Deputy Craig Butt (Chatham County Sheriff’s Office)
- Deputy Bradley Murrell (Chatham County Sheriff’s Office)
- Deputy Jason Flowers (Chatham County Sheriff’s Office)
- Captain Christopher Fennell (Savannah Fire Department)
- Advanced Firefighter Phillip Haag (Savannah Fire Department)
- Advanced Firefighter Ian Kelsey (Savannah Fire Department)
- Advanced Firefighter Jacob Bolden (Savannah Fire Department)
- Advanced Firefighter Mario Smith (Savannah Fire Department)
- Captain Brian Smith (Savannah Fire Department)
- Fire Engineer Shawn Hartl (Savannah Fire Department)
The Community Oriented Policing Award is given to police officers who demonstrate a commitment and dedication to building positive relationships between their offices and local community. Awardees included:
- Sheriff John T. Wilcher (Chatham County Georgia) for developing and implementing the Books, Bikes, and Badges program.
- Police Chief Jeff Hadley (Chatham County Police Department) for developing and implementing the Books, Bikes, and Badges program.
The Fire Commissioner’s Award is given to the firefighter who demonstrates a commitment and dedication to building positive relationships between their office and local community. This was awarded to:
- Chief Elzie Kitchen (Savannah Fire Department) for the implementation of Camp Ignite, a young women’s empowerment and leadership program.
The honorees were selected for the awards by a committee of law enforcement and fire command officers, according to Club President and CEO Mark Dana. Nominations were received from the 20 counties that are supported by the 200 Club.
“Everything The 200 Club does is to serve and honor our local heroes, which is why we will always recognize first responders who display great acts of valor in the face of danger and put others’ safety and wellbeing before themselves,” Dana said. “We hope these awards are a symbol of our sincere appreciation for these brave individuals’ service.”
The 200 Club honors the sacrifice of fallen first responders who have given their lives while protecting others. As a nonprofit organization, they provide immediate and significant financial assistance, fully funded college education to the surviving spouse and children, and ongoing commitment and support to the families of first responders who lose their lives in the line of duty while protecting our communities.