1999 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Turner, Canon

Senate Concurrent Resolution 609

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


WHEREAS, George "Happy" Irby is 83 years old, having "retired" at the age of 80 from working 12- and 14-hour days at the Columbus Air Force Base Officers' Club to his current schedule of working only three days a week; and

WHEREAS, after beginning work at the Columbus Club in 1958, Happy began using the tips he earned to help the needy; and

WHEREAS, he attributes his interest in helping those less fortunate to his mother, whose tradition of giving he is now carrying on, and imparting to his grandchildren; and

WHEREAS, he has never retired from his charity work, but continues to oversee "The Happy Christmas Fund," as his outreach effort is called; and

WHEREAS, last year, "Happy's Fund" raised more than $9,000.00 and delivered Christmas baskets and clothing to 289 children and 60 families; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Irby has received recognition for his unusual generosity of spirit: he was recognized with the prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service in Washington, D.C., and awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Mary Holmes Community College in West Point, both in 1995, and was honored in 1993 when chosen as a Columbus Wingman, an elite honor given to distinguished members of the community; and

WHEREAS, he was recently honored for his particular contribution by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi, who named him as a Mississippi Ageless Hero in the Vitality category in January of this year; and

WHEREAS, Happy Irby has said, "I enjoy doing things that help. It's a blessing to help where needed. You sleep good at night whether you're broke or not."; and

WHEREAS, it is the practice of this Legislature to recognize those citizens of Mississippi who give of themselves and make this state a better place to live and work:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE MISSISSIPPI STATE SENATE, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend George "Happy" Irby who, along with his family and the enlisted and officers' spouses club, continue the labor of love he began over 40 years ago that has resulted in the community-wide charity effort known as Happy's Fund.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be presented to Mr. Irby.