Mr. Ted Henley, a Trenton native, has been a volunteer with the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office for 41 years. Sheriff Bobby Schultz, along with the staff at the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office, hosted a dinner party to honor Mr. Henley on Monday evening, June 5.
Mr. Henley’s wife Marjorie Henley along with their two sons Juan Henley of Trenton and Stephen Henley of Dallas, Texas were on hand to help him celebrate.
Several speakers told of the contribution that he has made through his years of volunteering.
Charlotte Kearney, Mr. Henley’s sister and longtime Trenton Elementary School teacher was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Kearney introduced Ron Mills of the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Volunteers. Mills said Mr. Henley has served during five sheriffs’ administrations. He has served in all facets of the Sheriff’s Volunteers including training of new members, patrol, school crossing guard, funeral escort service, accident control and special event security.
Mr. Henley serves his local community and is a member of The American Legion, The Marine Corps League, The Marine Corps Devil Dogs, the Gilchrist County Historical Society, the Character Council and the Trenton Food Pantry. For many years he has helped the Marine Corps League with their Toys for Tots program which provides toys through out Gilchrist, Levy and Dixie Counties during the Christmas season.
Jim Mash the Gilchrist County Veterans Service Officer said Mr. Henley helped make his job easier. He said in his spare time he travels to Veterans Hospital in Gainesville to visit fellow veterans.
Jo Buckles, Administrator at Ayers Health & Rehabilitation Center told the guests that when she thought of Ted Henley, the word “gentleman” came to mind. Buckles went on to thank him for his many visits to the local nursing home. She said somedays he was there when she arrived in the morning and still there when she left in the afternoon. She also reminded everyone that back in 2016 he was their Volunteer of the Year.
Cathy Browning of the Gilchrist Food Pantry told everyone how much she appreciated Mr. Henley’s cheerful nature and all his help with food distribution. She also said that every year Mr. Henley buys 1,200 pounds of food for the pantry which goes back into the community. Several other friends and family spoke praising him for his generous nature and reminding everyone how much a part of this community he is.
Reverend Frank James of the Bethel AME Church said that Mr. Henley was always there to help in the church and he was always helping in the community wherever there was a need. Reverend James said, “Whatever I ask he will do, that is if he hasn’t already taken care of it, before I ask. He went on to say, “I thank God for the life he has lead.”
After dinner, Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz thanked those who helped organize the event including Captain Sheryl Brown and the good people at Otter Springs.
Sheriff Schultz said, “Mr. Ted is one of the most humble people I have ever met. He has a servant’s heart, he is a true servant of God and man. He is someone in our community that everyone can look up to.” Sheriff Schultz said, “You are a hero in my mind.” He went on to say, “He means a lot to us all and you can’t think of Gilchrist County without thinking of Ted Henley.
Mr. Henley thanked everyone for coming to the event and for throwing him a party, then he said, “I’m going to take a little time off, but if you need me, call me.”
Mr. Henley celebrated his 80th birthday on June 7.