2003 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Johnson (19th), Cuevas, Lee, Dawkins, Hewes, Blackmon, Browning, Bryan, Burton, Canon, Carlton, Carmichael, Chamberlin, Chaney, Dearing, Dickerson, Farris, Frazier, Furniss, Gordon, Hamilton, Harden, Harvey, Horhn, Huggins, Hyde-Smith, Jackson, Johnson (38th), Jordan, King, Kirby, Little, Mettetal, Michel, Minor, Moffatt, Nunnelee, Posey, Robertson, Ross, Scoper, Simmons, Smith, Stogner, Thames, Tollison, Turner, Walden, Walls, White, Williamson

Senate Resolution 29

(As Adopted by Senate)


     WHEREAS, the recipient of the Mississippi Senate Award for Distinguished Public Service at the 15th Annual Mississippi Senate Grand Reunion is Senator Thomas Arlin "Tommy" Gollott; and

     WHEREAS, Senator "Tommy" Gollott began his public service when he was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1967, where he served from 1968-1980; and

     WHEREAS, Senator "Tommy" Gollott was elected to the Mississippi Senate in 1979, where he has continued to serve since his election; and

     WHEREAS, Senator Gollott is in his 36th consecutive year of legislative service; and

     WHEREAS, throughout his career, he has chaired numerous committees and served as President Pro Tempore of the Mississippi Senate from 1996-2000; and

     WHEREAS, Senator Gollott authored and was instrumental in passing legislation that built the Gulf Coast Coliseum and Convention Center and the South Mississippi Retardation Center in Long Beach; and

     WHEREAS, Senator Gollott is known for being the proponent of innovative legislation; and

     WHEREAS, while in the House, he authored the bill that enabled the purchase and preservation of 35,000 acres of the Pascagoula River System, the largest free-flowing river system in the lower 48 states; and

     WHEREAS, his common-sense legislation that resolved the public trust tidelands dispute was the catalyst for economic development on the Gulf Coast; and

     WHEREAS, his far-sighted legislation authorizing the gaming industry on the coast gave rise to a vibrant tourism industry and an economic boom to the Mississippi Gulf Coast; and

     WHEREAS, he also authored legislation conserving the Gulf Coast marine resource by creating the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and establishing the Public Trust Tideland Fund; and

     WHEREAS, his dedicated service to the youth of his community began in 1956 when he and his friend, Cyril Hopkins, organized the "Happy Days Youth Club" for boys of all ages; and

     WHEREAS, this was the beginning of the fulfillment of his dream, to build a Biloxi Boys Club; and

     WHEREAS, in 1966, Tommy Gollott realized his dream when he organized the first Boys Club in Biloxi, which has grown to be the "Boys and Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast" consisting of five local clubs and an activity center serving over 25,000 children in 2002; and

     WHEREAS, since the organization of these clubs, Tommy has continuously served in various positions; and

     WHEREAS, Tommy's devoted concern for the handicapped and mentally retarded led him to be the primary organizer and first President of the "Cheshire Home of Harrison County, Inc.," a group home for the developmentally disabled; and

     WHEREAS, Tommy served as President of "Cheshire Home of Harrison County" for 15 consecutive years and still remains active on the Board of Directors; and

     WHEREAS, Tommy was the founder and first President of the "Arts Fair for the Handicapped"; and

     WHEREAS, acting on his compassionate concern for victims of Hurricane Betsy in Louisiana, Tommy donated 17 truckloads of food, clothing and water, and he made each delivery himself; and

     WHEREAS, in 1965, the Jaycees awarded him its highest honor, "The Distinguished Service Award"; and

     WHEREAS, numerous national, state and community organizations have recognized his untiring service with awards including the Boys and Girls Club of America "Gold Medallion Award"; "Service to Youth Award" for 25 years of devoted service; the prestigious "Norman E. Bass Award"; "Outstanding Service Award" from the University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association; "Outstanding Citizen Award" from the Lions Club; "Outstanding Citizen of the Year" from the Gulf Coast Hotel-Motel Association of Mississippi; "Legislator of the Year" from the American Association on Mental Retardation, Mississippi Chapter; and

     WHEREAS, recognition of his tireless service to his fellow man culminated with November 18, 1993, being declared "Tommy Gollott Day" with a reception honoring Tommy held at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum and Convention Center; and

     WHEREAS, Tommy's roots run deep in the history of the Gulf Coast with his ancestors being pioneers in the seafood and moving industries; and

     WHEREAS, Tommy is a native of Harrison County and the son of the late Houston C. Gollott and the late Ida Quave Gollott; and

     WHEREAS, Tommy is married to the former Zelma Jackson of Biloxi, and they have three daughters:  Tanya G. Swoope, Lisa G. Lane and Jennifer G. Burke; and

     WHEREAS, Tommy and Zelma are the proud grandparents of seven grandchildren, four granddaughters:  Ashton Lane, Anna Kate Burke, Reagan Burke and Mallory Burke; and three grandsons:  Patrick J. Lyons, Thomas A Lyons and Tyler Lane; and

     WHEREAS, it is with pride and admiration that we recognize the compassion and commitment of this dedicated public servant and citizen whose love for the youth of this state, whose devotion to the handicapped and mentally retarded, whose generosity to the poor and underprivileged, whose conscientious stewardship of the public trust and the giving of his time, talents and wealth for the betterment of his fellow man has brought honor and respect to the Senate and the State of Mississippi:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend the distinguished public service of Senator Thomas Arlin "Tommy" Gollott of Biloxi, Mississippi, and congratulate him upon his receipt of the Mississippi Senator Award for Distinguished Public Service.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be presented to Senator Tommy Gollott and his family at the occasion of the 15th Annual Mississippi Grand Reunion held on February 20, 2003, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.