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Pike celebrates Mr. Haze on his birthday

‘Mr. Haze’ Mabry, a custodian at Pike County Elementary School, has kept the school clean for 18 years, but more importantly, has touched the lives of thousands in the process.

The school system and community helped celebrate his 85th birthday as the city of Zebulon declared March 27 as Haze Mabry Jr. Day and students and staff showered him with hugs and attention on this birthday.

“He has always been a really nice person. He acts kind of like a grandfather to everyone in the school,” said fifth grader Trevor Ellington.

The elementary school celebrated him with streamers, balloons, posters and even a mural of him on the cafeteria wall for his years of hard work as janitor and being a mentor to the kids and teachers. They are raising funds to buy him a special gift with a fund set up at First Bank of Pike called Better Than Gold!

“You can join in on the celebration by visiting any First Bank of Pike location to donate to the Better Than Gold account that has been established for a very special birthday surprise for Mr. Haze,” said Lori Dailey. “Let’s fill up this account like Mr. Haze fills up our hearts!”

Hundreds of students and staff lined the halls to wish him a happy birthday as the walked by, giving everyone a smile and a high five.

“He is so bigger than life to the kids who come to school here,” said art teacher Kathy Harper.

One of the school’s Art Club students, fifth grader Cooper Johnston, even created a sculpture of Mr. Haze using recycled crayons.

Kids lined the halls to give him five and hugs and help him celebrate his special day and all the special acts of kindness he has done over the years.

“He is so special to the kids and the community! What a gem! And thank you for all you do and all you are to our kids,” said Kelly Tyler Huffman.

On his 80th birthday, ‘Mr. Haze’ was celebrated in similar fashion and the good news spread across the nation and the globe.

“We love Mr. Haze! He has such a kind, loving soul. He is the best example of pure love,” said Aspen Parker. “Happy Birthday Mr. Haze, our family truly loves you!”

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