New mural unveiled for Chatham County Commissioner James Holmes after original was stolen

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – For 36 years, Chatham County Commissioner and Coach James Holmes served as the program director and assistant executive director for the Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club. Now, he’s here to stay.

“He touched so many lives within these four walls so we thought, what a perfect place for him to be,” said Vincent DelMonte, Executive Director of the Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club.

However, this isn’t the first mural made in his honor. The original was stolen from Mother Mathilda Beasley Park just weeks after it’s unveiling in May.

“Someone wanted to have him on a personal note to have that size of a mural. Whatever they decide to do with it, I hope it’s in good standards,” said Sandra Simmons, Holmes’ niece.

Ever since the original mural was stolen, Ms. Simmons knew what needed to be done. That meant continuing the good work and bringing her Uncle home to the Boys & Girls Club, back to the place where it all started.

“Just to have him here I feel so with peace to know he’s going to be representing still the community. So it’s not like y’all wont be able to still see him,” said Simmons.

On Monday, executives with the Boys and Girls club announced the building of a new facility in savannah. Something Coach Holmes himself played a major role in shaping before he passed.

“He was working with us on, you know, this project. This has been going on for a few years putting everything together and he was an intricate part of putting all the pieces together,” said DelMonte. “We’re just so happy that you know, his spirit continues on in guiding us throughout this whole process, and the fact that, you know, we’ve got him here as you heard from his family that he’s come home here, and we’re just thrilled that he’s still with us.”

The Savannah artist known as Panhandle Slim made both paintings. You can find various pieces of his artwork scattered throughout the city of Savannah.

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