ALTON - The late Reverend George Humbert was a beloved figure in Alton. His legacy will be honored at the second annual Alton Mayor’s Charity and Fundraiser Ball next month.
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“He just loved Alton,” Lynna Humbert, George’s wife, said of her husband. “He did a lot for Alton. He participated in a lot of things ... He had no judgments against people for whatever. I think he was just a good man.”
George moved to Alton as an adult to raise his family and serve as the pastor of the College Avenue Presbyterian Church, a role he held for 31 years. He always looked for ways to help people in the community, and he volunteered with the AIDS Interfaith Network and the Oasis Women’s Center for years.
Throughout his life, George continued to work with Oasis in various roles. He spent several years as the board president and volunteered from when the center opened in 1978 until his passing in May.
“He was supportive of Oasis Women’s Center since the beginning,” said Margarette Trushel, executive director and founding member of the organization. “He has been active in this community for decades, always fighting for social and economic justice and community justice ... He recognized the inherent value in everyone and met them where they were at in their walk in life.”
As a pastor and volunteer, these traits stood out to everyone who met him. Lynna credits George’s kindness and compassion to his time in the Peace Corps, when he lived in Malawi, Africa for two years before returning to the U.S. to attend Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. This is when he met Lynna; the two married in 1971 and had two children.
Lynna has fond memories of volunteering alongside George at Oasis and building friendships with community members through their church. She laughed while recounting how her kids would complain that errands took hours longer than necessary because George would stop to talk with everyone.
“He never met a stranger,” she said, adding that the Humberts’ children and grandchildren will be returning to Alton for the Mayor’s Ball. “They’re really happy about it. They knew what their father and grandfather meant to this town and, of course, what he meant to them. So they’ll like it that he’s honored.”
The Mayor’s Ball raises money for the Friends of David Goins organization and a local nonprofit, and they take a few minutes to recognize an important Alton resident before the dance. Last year, George accepted the donation on behalf of Oasis Women’s Center and joined the community in honoring Yvonne Campbell of My Just Desserts.
It was an easy decision to honor George this year, though both Lynna and Trushel said he never needed recognition for his work. He served Alton residents with compassion and respect, and this is what will be remembered about him at the ball and for years to come.
“You couldn’t honor him enough,” Trushel said. “There’s nobody that will ever replace him. He is very loved and very missed.”
For more information about Oasis Women’s Center and their work, including how to access their resources for survivors of domestic violence, visit their official website. The center relies on donations, and Trushel said they are most in need of diapers, wipes, hygiene products and cleaning supplies right now.
This year, the Alton Mayor’s Charity and Fundraiser Ball will fundraise for Friends of David Goins and the Overnight Warming Center. Comedian Shawn Banks will emcee, and two NFL players from Alton will also be recognized. For more information, check out this article at RiverBender.com or visit the event page at GoinsforMayor.com.
The Mayor’s Ball top sponsors include Mayor and Sheila Goins; Dr. Tracey Cooley with TMWC Wellness; Barry and Gaye Julian; Integrated Packing Company; Gori Law Firm; Sheppard, Morgan & Schwaab; Beverly Farm Foundation; Argosy Casino; Senator Chris Belt; S&R Custom Creations; Alderwoman Rosetta Brown; David Cole with David Cole Realty Group and Keller Williams Marquee; LaMay's Catering; Alton Dispensary; Bread of Life Fellowship Church; and a host of associate sponsors.
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