The Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire is known for its incredible financial support to families of fallen or critically injured first responders. On Jan. 25, they will take time once again to honor those first responders who do their jobs despite knowing their personal health and well-being are in jeopardy.
The 2018 Valor Awards at the historic Metal Building at Trustees' Garden includes a meet and greet from 5-6 p.m. along with live music, a bar and heavy hor d'oeuvres.
Each year, the Two Hundred Club honors two first responders or groups from the 20 Georgia and South Carolina counties they serve. This year's honorees include three members of Savannah Fire: Patrick Grant, Matthew Metivier and Eric Harries, along with Skylar Strickland of the Tybee Island Police Department.
Strickland said he was surprised to find out he was being honored at this year's Valor Awards.
"I don't think what I did was that great of a feat. I have kids, so I never thought twice about rescuing those girls. I was just doing my job to help kids. I'm just a regular Joe trying to help."
He thinks someone running into a burning building is more deserving. Which is essentially what the firefighters being honored did when they pulled a man out of a burning mobile home.
And if he wasn't being honored at the Valor Awards, you'd probably never know Strickland saved a child's life during his patrol. He says he's just a regular guy who grew up in Savannah, playing sports for Calvary and deciding to stay near his hometown to become a police officer. For the past three years, he has served on the Tybee Island Police Department and despite what the day (or night) throws his way, he just considers each task a part of his job.
He says he was on his normal patrol near the jetties at 18th Street last year when a couple came running up to him. "They were yelling, help us, help us!" he says. "I could see the kids in the water being pulled out by the rip currents."
He jumped in the water and was able to get to one of the young girls and pull her to safety while a lifeguard rescued the other young girl. Once he knew the girls were safe and being cared for, Strickland says it was back to business as usual. He went back to the station, changed his wet clothes and finished his patrol. And he says he never had a chance to speak to the family again.
When asked what he hopes the community can learn from going to an event like the 2018 Valor Awards, Strickland takes a deep breath and thinks about the question before saying, "Police, firefighters, EMS are just normal people doing a very different job. There are no scripts for what we do every day. We do what we can do to help people and that's what this is all about."
IF YOU GO:
What: 2018 Valor Awards of the Two Hundred Club
When: 5-8 p.m. Jan. 25
Where: Historic Metal Building at Trustees' Garden, 10 E. Broad St.
Info: 912-721-4418, twohundredclub.org, firstname.lastname@example.org