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posted Apr 5, 2016, 8:30 AM by LAVERNE ROME   [ updated Apr 5, 2016, 12:48 PM ]

The Lowndes Education Improvement Foundation (LEIF) will be hosting its Annual DistinguishedAlumnus and Awards Banquet on April 21, 2016 at 6:00 pm in the Lowndes High School Cafetorium.   Saint Augustine Road and Lake Park Chick Fil A and Cheddar’s are the presenting sponsors for the banquet. 

     Mr. Robert Soper will be honored as the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus.  Mr. Soper is a 1969 Lowndes graduate.  His daughter describes him as a Viking through and through!  He and his wife Marianne have also raised three “Viking” children.  His daughter stated, “My dad has poured his life into investing into the youth of our community. My dad has provided hope and light for countless youth.”  State Representative Amy Carter says she is proud to call Robert Soper her friend and a fellow Viking.  She stated that Mr. Soper exemplifies the integrity, professionalism, and respect she wants each and every Lowndes High School graduate to portray.


As the Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Valdosta for over 35 years, Robert has had the opportunity to serve the thousands of youth who have been involved with the Club at one time or another.   He has impacted lives in our community for many years.  He has been nationally recognized for his impact on the Boys & Girls Club Movement.  Robert is a true leader.  He leads by example.  He has earned the respect of our community because of his integrity, honesty, and vision.  He has a compassion for the youth of our community, and has spent his life pursuing opportunities to ensure the future for them is even brighter.


Mr. Soper’s honors and awards include the following: 


·         2015 – inducted into Georgia Hall of Fame for Boys & Girls Club of America

·         2014 – National Service to Youth Award for 35 years of service

·         2013 – National Contribution to the Profession Award for the Boys & Girls Club of America

·         2013 – Boys & Girls Club Football Field named ‘The Robert Soper Football Field’ in his honor

·         2010 – Boys & Girls Club of Valdosta – Man of the Year Award

·         2010 – Georgia Professional Association Distinguished Service Award

·         2004 – Executive of the Year for the Southeast Region

·         2001 – Distinguished Level Member of the Academy of Boys & Girls Club Professionals

·         1991 – National Service to Youth Award for 15 years of Service

·         1989 – Outstanding Young Men of America


           LEIF will also be honoring students from each school for their academic achievements, as well as outstanding parents and teachers.  The foundation’s main goal is to support Lowndes County Schools by utilizing tax-deductible donations to provide improved educational opportunities for students within the school systems.  Tickets for the banquet may be purchased for $10 at the Board of Education office located at 1592 Norman Drive.  All proceeds of the event will benefit LEIF.