Rep. Ed Setzler attended the council meeting and presented a resolution honoring the work Thrash has done over his three terms in office. He’s announced he won’t be running for a fourth term because of health reasons.
“When I became aware that (Thrash) wouldn’t be running, we thought it was fitting to recognize him from the House,” Setzler said. “I think about a gentleman who was serving in a way I looked up to. He’s the kind of guy I learned from as an elected official.”
Council members, those in the audience and Thrash’s wife Suzie wiped their eyes as Setzler read the resolution. It commends Thrash on his involvement on the recreation and culture commission, historic preservation commission, as past president of the Cobb Municipal Association, and as president of the third district’s west region of the Georgia Municipal Association.
Thrash also created the Kennesaw Youth Council, which encourages teens to get involved in civic affairs, and the Dream Foundation to help fund the Bill Thrash Kennesaw Teen Center. The Teen Center provides a safe place for kids to go after school. The center is self-funded, Councilman Bruce Jenkins said, and the youth council was able to raise enough money to provide a bus to bring the students home from the after-school program.
“The youth center was his brainchild,” Jenkins said.
‘Always thinking of others’
Thrash envisioned a place for at-risk teens to go after school for guidance and supervision, said Dallas White, a Dream Foundation board member.
“A lot of it took place around the time he was diagnosed with cancer, but he continues, to this day, to show up to the teen center and hug on the kids and let them know he cares for them,” White said.
Thrash gathered involvement from the business community, schools, city government, churches and nonprofit organizations, White said.
It caters to about 25 students three days a week, per Thrash’s vision, and board members hope to expand it to 40 students four days a week next year, White said.
“(Thrash) never shows concern for himself,” White said. “He’s always thinking of others. Now the stories from the center are encouraging him.”
A little extra effort
White said Thrash was touched by the story of two ninth-graders from Kennesaw Mountain High School who have learned the hard work that goes into being successful and have started putting in greater effort with their homework and activities.
The resolution declares Thrash a “dedicated pubic servant, loving husband, father, friend and champion of families and youth.”
Although Thrash has been battling cancer for the last few years, he rarely misses a meeting and attends by phone when he can’t be there in person, Jenkins said.
Thrash was humbled and appreciative, but unable to comment on the gesture after the meeting.