Pee Dee Big Brothers, Big Sisters recognize service of John Rabun
Members and friends of the Pee Dee Area Big Brothers Big Sisters Association gathered at St. John’s Church Family Life Center in Florence on April 30 for the organization’s appreciation banquet. The local agency is celebrating 62 years of service to the Pee Dee area. Speaker for the occasion was Dr. Fred Carter, president of Francis Marion University since 1999. Highlighting the meeting was the presentation of the 2015 Eugene N. Zeigler Volunteer of the Year Award to John Rabun of Florence. He is president of Powers Construction Co. and has served as a volunteer Big Brother to two “Little Brothers” since 2010 and served on the agency board of directors for many years.
The award was presented by his “Little Brother,”14-year old John Higgins of Florence. The speaker, Dr. Carter previously served as chief of staff to Gov. Mark Sanford, (2003), executive director of the South Carolina Budget and Control Board from 1991-1999, the senior executive assistant to South Carolina Gov. Carroll Campbell from 1987-1991, and as faculty member and chairman of the political science department at the College of Charleston from 1981-1987. He has authored five book and numerous chapters and articles.
He has honorary degrees from the College of Charleston, Lander University and The Citadel. Agency president John Rabun gave an overview of the past years services and thanked the community for making the work of the organization possible. Rabun noted the great demand for services from the community as nearly 55 percent of all families with children in South Carolina are now single parent families. “Numerous studies have clearly shown that boys, in particular, who lack a positive adult male role model often exhibit aggressive behaviors, frequently becoming discipline problems, do poorer in school and often become involved in crime,” said Rabun.
One recent independent study showed that compared to their peers, children who participated in the program were 46 percent less likely to skip a day of school, earned higher grades and felt better about their school work: one-third less likely to hit someone and were generally more trusting of their parent or guardian. Big Brothers Big Sisters serves children from primarily father-absent homes. The age ranges are boys, 8-18, and girls, 6-13. Call the office at 843-662-7081 for more information.