Congratulations to Mrs. Ann G. Knight for being inducted into the Georgia Hall of Fame for the Boys & Girls Club of America. The induction ceremony for career achievement was held on Aug. 31, 2023, at the Augusta Mariott.
“Mrs. Ann is a beloved founding board member on our Board of Directors,” according to the Boys and Girls Club of the Greater Cook County Area. “We are forever grateful for her love and work she’s put into this Club. We’re so proud of you, Mrs. Ann!”
Dr. Michael McCartney with the Boys and Girls Club remarked: “Congratulations to this Trailblazer! She single-handedly got the concept of a Boys & Girls Club in Adel from her brain into action, engaging 10-15 partners to form a Board and start what is now a thriving enterprise!
“The Boys and Girls Club of the Greater Cook County Area is eternally indebted to Ann Knight for her determination, guts, moxie, and heart to get this dream off the ground and steer it to where it is today, and what a future it holds! Thank you and God bless you, Ann! Thanks for asking me to partner with you 17 years ago. It has blessed me! Cook County Youth Futures are limitless now!”
“Mom, we are so proud of all you do for your community!” says Kevin Gay, Mrs. Knight’s son. “Congrats on being inducted into the Georgia Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame this year! Your vision and leadership almost 20 years ago built a club that is still helping young boys and girls today! You are the best! Thank you for teaching us to give back.”
For many years, Ann Knight felt she wore a sign on her back which read, “Call Ann Knight; she will help you.”
Ann’s career in sales, advertising, and the print business as an entrepreneur qualified her for employment with Trib Publications as editor of one of the company’s many weekly news publications in 1992. She was promoted to General Manager/Publisher of Cook Publishing Company, Inc.’s three weekly newspapers in 1994, a career which expanded over 21 years and added two additional newspapers.
Building the trust of the Cook County, Georgia, community through their hometown newspaper was her first mission to master. Having made several changes in the overall appearance of the hometown newspaper within the first week of publication was visibly noticed. A letter written to her by Mr. Eugene Patterson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning editor from Adel, with words of praise and continued encouragement has remained in her treasured correspondence file even today.
She was known for her fair treatment of all people regardless of the color of their skin and their status in the community, believing all were created equal. She took time to listen and to offer assistance in any way she possibly could.
Fast forward 10 years: A seed was planted in 2004 with a phone call to her from Adel Chief of Police Bill Butler stating the City of Adel and the Police Department needed her help. He explained some youth in Adel were committing small crimes. If arrested, it could hurt them in the years ahead. He stated most of the time youth had no supervision at home.
A steering committee was formed of business leaders, teachers, and pastors to address the youth problems. All agreed a positive place for kids was needed. Boys and Girls Club of Cook County was formed and chartered in 2006. Ann served as the first board chair for two years and served on the board until 2015.
Mrs. Knight’s education includes: 1967 graduate of Moultrie High School; Life and Health Insurance Instructor School, preparing new agents for life and health insurance licenses; and continuing education hours mandated by the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development.
Her family members are Clayton Knight, spouse; four children; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandsons (identical twins).
Her awards over the years have included: 1999 Adel-Cook County Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year; 2002-2008 Retiring Vice Chairman, Memorial Hospital; 2008 Beverly Burton Award, Boys and Girls Club; 2008 Golden Deeds, Cook County Exchange Club; 2009-2010, Cook County Civitan Citizen of the Year; 2010 Beverly Burton Award, Boys and Girls Club; Helping Hands Award, Boys and Girls Club; and 2014 Adel-Cook County Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award.