Rep. John McCravy (R-Greenwood) recognized 26 long-time Corrections officers and public servants employed by Leath Correctional Institute on Monday.
After the National Anthem, played by the Leath Inmate Crescendo Band, Warden Patricia J. Yeldell opened the ceremony. An honorary slideshow thanking the long-time employees was shown, and an uplifting song given from a young lady named Ivory Baylor. McCravy, after joking about the difficulty in getting through security, spoke about the dedication of the employees. Then he joined Yeldell in presenting 26 certificates of commendation from the SC House of Representatives to the employees.
The following were commended for their years of dedicated service to the SC Dept. of Corrections: Melissa Parks, for 20 years, Yolanda Middleton for 20 years, Kasandra Mitchell for 20 years, Georgina Zirkle for 20 years, Ravin McCaslister for 20 years, Melissa Harrison for 21 years, Robbilynn Irby for 21 years, Lena Cartledge for 22 years, Ada Welton for 23 years, Mirianda Boyd for 23 years, Faye Puckett for 23 years, Johnny Cobb for 24 years, Dale Gilchrist for 24 years, Jacquelyn Josey-Lewis for 25 years, Audrey Turner for 25 years, Tammy Cunningham for 26 years, Sandra Dodgen for 26 years, Lavonne Holloway for 27 years, Loretta Moore for 28 years, Janie Bryant for 28 years, Jean Barley for 30 years, Warden Patricia Jones-Yeldell for 31 years, Harrison McHugh for 31 years, Susan Smith for 31 years, Mamie Callaham for 32 years, and Candace Gillion for 36 years.
Awards were met with cheers and applause. Each woman walked the chapel’s red carpet to receive her certificate, some with embarrassment, some with confidence, all with much glee from their coworkers. The chaplain closed the ceremony with a passionate prayer.
“The officers of the Department of Corrections do their job protecting the public and the inmates 24/7 without recognition.” McCravy said during his speech. “We don’t hear about their heroic actions because they are performed out of sight of the public eye. This event is to thank them for their service to our state.”