He was initially there for the event.
But the Putnam County Family Support Services Board of Directors named Lowe its 2007 Bessie Rector Award recipient Tuesday during the Child Abuse Prevention Candlelight Vigil.
"I was very surprised," Lowe said. "I feel personally honored to be recognized by those who are so dedicated to the prevention of child abuse.
"One of the advantages of being surprised this way is you can't be expected to give a speech. I'm truly honored."
Rector died in 2006 and was a founder of PCFSS.
PCFSS Program Manager Elizabeth Butts presented the award to Lowe. She said the award is given annually to a person in the community the group feels has made "the most significant impact in the prevention of child abuse and neglect."
Several people gathered Tuesday at the church to honor children who died last year statewide as a result of maltreatment in addition to the 201 Putnam County children who were abused or neglected last year.
"We hope this simple message will be spread," said Putnam County Youth Development Commission Executive Director Linda Merkel, who welcomed those in attendance Tuesday.
PCFSS Executive Director Cari Cox then recognized all the prevention efforts within the county and stressed those in attendance Tuesday were there "to celebrate what the county does right."
Following a responsorial verse, led by Cox, all at the event lit a candle in remembrance of the children as members of the South Putnam Junior Choir performed "Feeling Good," "My Personal Code," and "It Starts With Me." The choir is directed by Connie Huber.
Putnam County Department of Child Services supervisor Heather Williams closed the event by introducing members of the department as the church bell rang 92 times, representing the 92 counties in the state.
Cox said typically, the bell would ring to indicate a total number of child deaths statewide.
The event was sponsored by Family Support Services, Department of Child Services, Putnam County Youth Develop-ment Commission, and Mental Health America of Putnam County.