Manatee County celebrates 'Miss Betty Day'

rdymond@bradenton.comDecember 12, 2012 

MANATEE -- No matter what the official proclamation said, Tuesday was "Miss Betty Day" in Manatee County.

To be factual, the Manatee County Commission on Tuesday called it, "Betty Glassburn Day," in honor of Glassburn, who has been a 4-H Club volunteer in the county since 1974 and was named 2012 Distinguished Citizen at the Manatee Coun

ty Fair last January, but everyone knows Glassburn is really, simply, "Miss Betty."

"I have known Miss Betty since I was 8 and I am still telling her, 'Miss Betty, you've been telling me what to do since I was 8,'" said Manatee County Fair Manager Dan West Tuesday. "Miss Betty has mentored hundreds and hundreds of kids in Manatee County and I am just one of them. We all love her to death and would do anything for her."

Distinguished Citizen carries with it a day in honor of the recipient and she was joined by Manatee County commissioners and others in commission chambers for her award.

Reached at her Duette home Tuesday night, the 67-year-old Miss Betty said she was overcome with pride Tuesday.

"It's really a humbling thing," she said. "There are 300,000 people in this county and they chose you. To be the one out of 300,000 is humbling."

Miss Betty started driving a Manatee County School District bus in 1974, the same year she started as running the Mighty 4-Her's of Duette out of her home on Keentown Road.

Before long, so many kids wanted to be Mighty 4-Her's that her front room was so totally jammed no one could walk.

The club was moved to the fellowship hall of Dry Prairie Baptist Church, where it has been for nearly 36 years.

"The last time I ran it by myself was about five years ago," said Glassburn, who walks with a walker now. " I'm an advisor for Paula Shuman and Barbara May, who are the leaders. You can't keep up with kids when you walk with a walker."

She said that 2012 has been the happiest year of her life. Winning Distinguished Citizen has allowed her to meet many new people, she said.

"Having my children was a happy time, but this was happiness without changing diapers," Miss Betty said.

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