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Thumbs Up! - April 9, 2012

The subject of leading by example came up in a conversation the other day bringing the Bainbridge Rotary Club to mind. On a Tuesday morning last month, club members, along with its two student organizations, gathered to help package dried food for "Kids Against Hunger," the Cairo branch of the international organization. Members of the Interact Club from the high school and college students involved in the Rotaract Club met with Rotarians on the Bainbridge College campus and went to work. A total of 30 boxes were packed, each containing 36 bags. Each bag contains soy beans, rice, nutrients and dried vegetables. When mixed with water, the bag provides six generous portions of food at a cost of 25 cents per meal. With a cash donation for materials from the Rotary Club and the student volunteer hands, on that one day 2,480 meals were packaged capable of filling empty, aching bellies. That's an example worth following.

While the issuance of building permits in Lee County a few years back was hardly newsworthy, March's report is encouraging for the Albany metro area, especially given that the construction business, in the wake of a staggering downward spiral of the economy on the national, state and local levels, has suffered immensely. The good news hailing from our neighboring county is that two permits for new houses in Leesburg and eight in Lee County were issued last month. The combined estimated construction costs come in at over $1 million. The light at the end of the tunnel may still be a peephole, but at least there is one!

The smile on the face of Lt. Cathy Gervin as she addressed attendees at the Albany Police Department's swearing-in ceremony last week said it all. Gervin, a part of the APD Support Services Bureau, welcomed one dozen new officers to the department. The ceremony marked the end of 400 advanced training hours and the beginning of a new career. The newest officers have chosen a path that can be dangerous, requires patience, skill and sacrifice. APD Chief John Proctor calls police work a "noble profession" and he is right on the money with that statement.

College students that came to town for spring break to work on Habitat for Humanity homes were treated to snacks and lunch by the Junior Beta Club and Student Council members from Sherwood Acres Elementary School. The youngsters used money from a fundraisers to pay for the food and delivered it themselves. While on the job site, the students toured the homes under construction and learned about Habitat's mission. The spring-breakers took time to help the Sherwood children build their own birdhouses. Regardless of the price of diesel, this is one field trip that was worth every penny.

Four-H students from Dougherty County recently participated in the Cloverleaf Project Achievement for the Southwest District. The event featured more than 400 entries from fifth and sixth graders from 28 counties. Participants were required to present a research project and deliver a speech or demonstration accompanied by posters. A list of 60 topics was provided and local 4-H students did an outstanding job representing the county. Covering any and everything from electronics to recycling to dog care to creative stitchery to human development (and much more), students won 25 awards.

With only 23 months under its belt, the Kiwanis Club of Lee County has made monetary donations to worthy causes, participated in projects, provided scholarships and more. At the March 29 club meeting, Kiwanis International presented the still-rookie Lee County club with the Kiwanis Distinguished Club Award. Thumbs up to this civic-minded group of folks.