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Thumbs Up! - Dec. 3, 2012

As city officials twiddle their thumbs in contemplation as to whether the Flint RiverQuarium is worth the investment of more public dollars, the facility is doing everything possible to support itself. ‘Tis the Season, the RiverQuarium’s holiday events schedule, has already featured “Breakfast with Santa” and the “Holiday Testing & Tour.” Still to come on Saturday will be “Ornaments for the Birds” and on Dec. 15 will be an opportunity to shop at “Handcrafted Christmas on the Plaza.” One final opportunity to have breakfast with the big guy will come on Dec. 22 which also includes the animated “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Imagination Theater. Having cinched its belt to the point of near breathlessness, the Flint RiverQuarium continues to struggle financially. Residents of this area can turn the situation around by supporting this great attraction and, at the same time, make Christmas a special time for friends and family.

Coming Wednesday to the Albany Civic Center will be a shopping opportunity unlike any other. Veterans and other interested parties can attend an information and assistance event called the Veterans Supermarket at no cost. Representatives will be available to provide veterans with a wide variety of information about services and how to apply for them. From medical benefits to obtaining medals and records to education and employment and mortgages, the folks that know what’s what will be on hand. If you need help, or know a veteran in need of services, come to the Civic Center from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. There should be no veteran from any branch of the military during any time in America’s history that is slighted in any way for any reason.

A fundraiser is under way for Worth County Middle School’s Jimmy Hughes. A football and baseball coach and a physical education teacher, Hughes has been diagnosed with cancer and is in treatment. The barbecue plate fundraiser to help offset expenses, is a bit unique in that it lasts through the entire month of December. Tickets, available from any Worth County school, the Board of Education or resident Lisa Story, are $7 each and can be redeemed for a take-out plate at Fat Boy’s BBQ Restaurant. Also a bit unique is the organizer behind this project. It’s not an adult at all but seventh-grade student Day Leigh Story. This young lady is to be commended for her effort to make life a bit easier for Coach Hughes, someone who obviously has made a difference in her life.

Several definitions are given in Webster’s New World College Dictionary for the word “charity.” It can mean the feeling of goodwill or benevolence, an act of kindness, a voluntary giving of money or other help to those in need. The first definition given, however, involves the love of one’s fellow human beings. Yet another definition is leniency in judging others. Charitable organizations deal in welfare. The word welfare gets less respect than the Christmas fruitcake, but simply means the condition of one’s health, happiness and and comfort. The one gift that can take care of one’s welfare is food. This Christmas season, and every other day of the year, there are children, elderly and working poor right here in south Georgia that seldom have, not what they want, but not even what they need to be happy, healthy and comfortable. Consider a gift to Second Harvest of South Georgia, where 96 cents of every dollar goes directly toward providing food, and make a real difference in someone’s welfare.