Thumbs Up! - July 11, 2011

Booster seats and car seats are known to maximize protection for youngsters while traveling in a motor vehicle. With a new booster seat law now in effect for Georgia, children under age 8 are required to remain in a booster seat. There are, of course, a few exemptions -- but not many. Smaller children are still required to be fastened in car seats, an act that reduces the chances of fatal injury by 71 percent in infants and 54 percent in toddlers. The Albany Kiwanis Club can be thanked in advance for the lives of local motoring infants and toddlers. The civic organization recently donated $1,000 worth of brand new car seats to the Albany Police Department. Officers will be able to immediately help drivers with small passengers who do not have an appropriate means of restraint. However short the trip, car safety for children simply makes good sense.

Carver pool and spray park is still open for relief from the brutal summer heat. Super Sundays are designated as family fun days and three more remain. July 17 (Jungle Day), July 24 (Christmas in July) and July 31 (Carnival Fun Day) are all opportunities for families to enjoy the pool and spray park with activities including games, arts and crafts, and snacks. It's fun, family-oriented and free.

Albany's Flint RiverQuarium has a new leader. Chief Executive Officer Sanders E. Lewallen has been on the job less than one month and what a big job it is! With an economy that makes continued necessary cuts in everyone's budgets from education to personal to nonprofits, operating the RiverQuarium at its best-possible performance is an ongoing struggle. Citizens can be grateful that Lewallen, with more than 30 years of experience in this field, has come here to work. Welcome to the city.

Six little girls and one adult joined forces to make a difference for at least twelve people. Carolyn Levy runs week-long sewing camps each summer for young girls interested in learning to sew. Each week has a different theme and one particular week was "Sewing Good Deeds." The campers eagerly embraced the idea and went to work, each making a gown for a premature baby as well as a wheelchair bag. The novice seamstresses completed their projects and proudly made the donations to Phoebe Putney's neonatal intensive care unit and to Phoebe's inpatient rehabilitation unit. The girls that pulled off this accomplishment are ages 8 to 10. Good job!

Because of the efforts of an untold number of people, the Fourth of July festivities in Albany were well attended and much enjoyed. Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany opened the gates to the public for its annual celebration of America's freedom. Sherwood Baptist Church held its seventh Freedom Festival with a everything from bouncy houses to music to gator-on-a-stick. Downtown Albany celebrated with a tribute to first responders, especially those who lost their lives in 9/11. There was a parade of the Albany Panthers, SIFL champs, and much more. The evening was topped of with an impressive fireworks display. Thank you for a great weekend.