Throughout its 64-year history, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama has had many benefactors and supporters, and Rep. H.L. “Sonny” Callahan was certainly one of the most well-known and influential. Born during the depression into a working-class family of nine children, Rep. Callahan appreciated the importance of family, faith, hard work, education and concern for the less fortunate. He would exemplify those values throughout his life, from his service in the military, to the founding of a successful family business, to his illustrious, long career as a public servant.
In the State Legislature, Rep. Callahan particularly championed equal access to education for all, and sponsored or co-sponsored several pieces of education-related legislation. These bills established scholarship programs, funding for education through the earmarking of state oil and gas leases proceeds, increased funding for colleges, and the establishment of a center for the study of child development at the University of Alabama. In the U.S. Congress he would continue to be a champion of children and families. His efforts were the primary reason the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama chose to honor him with the naming of its newest Club, which was dedicated in August of 2009. The dedication was commemorated in the Congressional Record on May 18, 2010.
Two years ago, Tim and Brenda had the privilege to visit with Rep. Callahan at Somerby, and presented him with cards from Club kids. His continued interest in the well-being of the kids was evident as he asked many questions about the Club and its members.
Attached is Rep. Callahan’s obituary. You will note that even in his passing, the Rep. Callahan has remembered “our kids” by suggesting that memorials be made to the Club named in his honor.