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June 09, 2004   Email to Friend 

Alfa Rewards Good Neighbors
Debra Davis

Wilber Whatley of Ramer, second from left, accepts a $1,000 check that he will share with two of his neighbors, for reporting a theft from his neighbors Edward and Betty Broadway. From left are, Alfa Agent George Merritt, Whatley, Edward and Betty Broadway of Ramer, and Alfa Adjuster Cliff Hastings.
Edward and Betty Broadway have always appreciated good neighbors. Living in the small community of Ramer in south Montgomery County, they've always valued how friends who live close by pitch in to help when they're needed. The Broadways do the same thing when someone needs them.

But the couple didn't realize just how important their neighbors were until a theft occurred on their property last year. That same incident gave them a new appreciation for Alfa Insurance Co. as well.

The Broadways recalled the day a former yard worker stole their four wheeler. "We had left the house for a few hours that day, and while we were gone our neighbor, Wilber Whatley, who lives across the road, noticed a boy riding down the road on our four wheeler," Mr. Broadway said. "Our other neighbors, David and Laura Cargill, saw him too."

After contacting the sheriff, a search revealed the four wheeler was hidden on the property of another nearby neighbor, Hattie McClain, who also assisted in the search.

The four wheeler had been hot wired, according to Mr. Broadway. The vehicle was recovered, and because the thief lived in the area as well, the Broadways' neighbors were able to identify him. The suspect eventually was captured and after three court appearances by the Broadways and their neighbors, he was convicted.

"We are happy that we have law-abiding, concerned and caring neighbors that notified us," Mrs. Broadway said. "They were cooperative and supportive in the recovery, apprehension and conviction of the person who was responsible."

The Broadways said they wanted to do something special for their neighbors who had been so helpful. It was then they remembered the Alfa Farmers' membership signs posted on their barns and on a nearby tree. Alfa's Rural Property Protection plan offers a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of an individual for theft. Signs are available at Federation offices and must be posted to be eligible for the reward. The reward cannot be paid to a family member of the victim.

"We've had the signs up for years and sort of forgot about them," Mrs. Broadway said. "Because we live on a fixed income, we were limited as to what we could do to show our neighbors how much we appreciated them. After about 50 years with Alfa, we were very pleased to know we have this service."

Alfa Adjuster Cliff Hastings said the $1,000 reward check from Alfa Insurance will be paid to Mr. Whatley. Mr. Whatley said he plans to split the money with his two other neighbors who assisted in the conviction of the thief.

"We appreciate all of you and your honesty," Hastings told Mr. Whatley when he delivered the check to him. "We live in a day when a lot of neighbors are scared to get involved. But people like you are what being a good neighbor is really about. I know the Broadways appreciate you, and Alfa Insurance Co. appreciates you. We're glad to give you this reward."

George Merritt of Troy is the Broadways' Alfa agent. On hand for the presentation of the check, he said he's glad to work for a community-minded company.

"As the only insurance company with offices in all 67 counties in Alabama, Alfa has an interest in making our communities better," Merritt said. "This program is an opportunity for our company to recognize people within those communities who help make that happen."

Mr. Whatley said he appreciated the money, but when he got involved, he had no idea there was a reward offered. "I just did what anybody ought to do," he said. "They are good neighbors to me, and I like to think that I'm a good neighbor, too."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Theft reward signs are $3 each and may be obtained by contacting Young Farmers Director Brandon Moore at 1-800-392-5705, ext. 3153 or email bmoore@alfafarmers.org. For more information about this and other member benefits, visit the Alfa Farmers' website at www.alfafarmers.org.


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