Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

West Columbia resident honored by president

Sybil Peacock Jarrells

Sybil Peacock Jarrells

Sybil Peacock Jarrells received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, a medallion ,and a letter from the President recognizing her many years of volunteer service. President Biden’s letter stated, “On behalf of the American people, I extend my heartfelt appreciation. I am proud to present you with the President’s Lifetime Achievement award and the commemorative medallion contained herein.”

Sybil was born in Conecuh County, Alabama in 1942. She graduated from Evergreen High School and was married to Ben Brantley who passed in 1997. Sybil retired from the City of Columbus, Ga. She now resides in West Columbia with her husband, Ralph E. Jarrells.

Her volunteer activities included working with children in Romania, Uganda, and Belize. She founded James 1:27, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and organized the first baseball program in the country of Belize. She spearheaded a volunteer program that raised enough equipment and uniforms to outfit 39 teams, so far. Over 400 children are playing “America’s game” thanks to Sybil Peacock Jarrells. COVID has slowed the effort, but she continues to gather donations for the children in Belize.

“Programs like Belize Baseball and Sybil League are the best form of foreign aid. One person helping another person. That is the basis of our program in Belize,” Jarrells said responding to her thoughts about the presidential recognition. “I am honored and humbled by the recognition by President Biden.”

Sybil and her husband, author Ralph E. Jarrells, were awarded the Presidential Gold Medal for volunteer service last year by President Donald Trump. Ralph said of her award, “I am so proud of Sybil and this honor. This Lifetime Achievement Award is an appropriate birthday present as we celebrate Sybil’s 79th birthday.”

Belize is the only Central American country with no organized baseball program. When Sybil decided that Belize Baseball was going to be a signature volunteer program for her, the “ragtag” group of kids in Belize wanted to play “little league” with two bats, two balls, and two gloves. In four short years, 39 teams, and almost 400 children have everything they need to play competitively.

Sybil is quick to share the honor and the glory with dozens of individuals who have donated equipment, the Lexington Blowfish baseball organization and Vicki and Bill Shanahan team owners, The Lexington Chronicle, West Metro Rotary, Trey Love, former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tyler Stovall, Harvest Aviation, and many others.

“Without these wonderful people, we could not have been able to do what we have done for the children of Belize,” Sybil added. “I love you all.”

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