In a surprise award ceremony held Dec. 17, the inaugural “Rodney Gober: Star of the Community” award was given to Barrow County Sheriff’s Department Liuetenant Faye Spaulding, better known as “Mama Faye”.
The award was founded and presented by Stephanie Gober-Bramlett, Gober’s daughter, as a way to honor her father’s legacy of giving back to the community. Gober was a funeral director at Smith Funeral Home, deacon and community servant for over 25 years. He died of colon cancer in 2012 at the age of 49.
“He was loved fiercely by this community simply because he loved them,” said Gober-Bramlett. “He taught me that loving God means loving people and serving God means serving people.
“I want to continue that legacy and celebrate it. I want to honor those who give themselves in a way that honors the legacy my dad left behind.”
Immediately upon meeting Mama Faye, Gober-Bramlett knew she was the perfect recipient of this year’s inaugural award. “When I presented her to my team, everyone agreed, especially my son Bradyn, who she left a mark on after only meeting him once.”
The award consisted of a personal care basket, four tickets to the Gwinnett Braves game of her choice, complete with VIP services and parking, and a check for $500 from Gober-Bramlett and her team at Move Realty Company.
“Can I give everybody a hug?” a shocked and teary-eyed Mama Faye asked upon receiving her award.
“As a business owner, elected official and just a human, it’s so important for me to give back as much as I can. This first inaugural award, which will be given annually in the future, is just another way I want to do that,” said Gober-Bramlett. “Service over self.”
After 17 years at BCSO, Mama Faye wears a lot of hats. She supervises the special investigations unit, which oversees all registered sex offenders in Barrow County, coordinates with the training unit for crisis intervention, is a SWAT team negotiator, is one of three trained peer-to-peer employees through the critical incident stress management program and oversees the “Shop with a Hero” program each year.
“Faye is very busy but manages to get it all done while watching over those in our community,” said Sheriff Smith.
“It’s just in me to do this,” said Mama Faye. “It comes from my heart.”