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Thumbs Up! - Nov. 28, 2011

Last week, city and county officials took time to say a hearty thank you to a select group of citizens. Dougherty County Commissioner John Hayes and Albany City Commissioner Jon Howard are a pair of avid supporters of neighborhood watch programs and first in line to praise participants. With 34 identified watch groups in the Albany/Dougherty area, crime has been reduced in many of the previously unsafe (and not so clean) neighborhoods. Folks look out for one another and their property, report unsavory characters and activities and clean litter from the streets, among other things. Melvin George, a member of the South Dougherty Community League, said it best: “We don’t want the gangs. We don’t want the crime and the drugs. We want a community we can be proud of.” This message is for all watch members: It’s working!

Chances are good that Dr. Anthony O. Parker could find a position in just about any institution of higher learning in his pick of the 50 states. It has been the fortune of Albany that Parker has chosen to plant his feet firmly at Albany Technical College for the past 16 years with more to come. Advances made in programming, job placement and the physical campus during his years would never fit in just this column. The choice to name the media center for Dr. Parker speaks volumes for all his time, dedication and hard work, in good times and bad. Thank you for all you have done, continue to do and will do in the future for those wise enough to attend ATC.

It is never too late to speak words of appreciation for a good deed. On Nov. 12, the Worth County Health Department and Best Friends Humane Society hosted a free rabies clinic for the critters of county residents. Seventy-five doses of the rabies vaccine were made available at each of two locations. In economic times such as these, pet owners sometimes have to make the tough decision to hold off on vaccinations. Owners were given a year’s less worry, just for the trip to the clinic location.

The headline read: “Fans show for Posey.” While that is true, it was the willingness of San Francisco Giants catcher and hometown hero Buster Posey to take time to meet, greet and sign autographs for his fans that is really a headline. Youngsters were in awe of Posey as he signed pictures and balls. It was Christmas-come-early for many. As the speaker for Lee County’s Transitional Center fundraiser, Posey spoke to a crowd of about 400. Personal memorabilia was offered in a silent auction, some items one-of-a-kind. The generosity of Posey and his family is difficult to put into words. In this case, actions spoke loudly and clearly.

For more than five decades the Georgia Municipal Association has sponsored the Mayor’s Christmas Motorcade. The Albany city government is collecting items to be delivered to patients housed at Southwestern State Hospital. Personal items such as lotion, socks, toothbrushes and soap are often not supplied by the families, and even the smallest of gifts mean a lot to those patients. Games, puzzles and art supplies are also greatly appreciated.

The “Kids of the ’70s” reunion party back in October was a way to reconnect with friends while raising money for a local respite home. Megan’s House is under the umbrella of Easter Seals of Southern Georgia and offers caregivers, most often family members, a chance for respite from the 24/7 care of special needs children up to age 17. The cost to the family is based on a sliding scale, but operational expenses are high. The $2,600 raised at the recent event will go a long way to provide the relief needed. To you kids of the 1970s, thumbs up!!