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Thumbs Up - Feb. 13, 2012

Once each year an executive committee meets from the MillerCoors corporate offices to determine which of its eight breweries has shown the most improvement. The decision to select a site for the Spirit of the Brewery is one taken quite seriously as each facility and its employees are thoroughly scrutinized. The brewery employees are the key element in that they must be engaged, passionate, friendly, helpful, professional and knowledgeable all the while maintaining a clean and neat facility. With that said, all of Albany can be proud to be the home of the 2011 recipient of the Spirit of the Brewery Award. Congratulations go out to MillerCoors Albany Brewery!

When participants of the Albany Citizens Police Academy complete the 12-week session, they take away an immense amount of knowledge about crime, law enforcement and the roles that citizens have in the task of promoting a safe community. What a lot of folks do not know is that there is an Albany Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association. Members serve as ambassadors to the community while enlisting others to be the eyes and ears of the police department. One thing the association does is award a youngster with the designation of “Youth of the Month.” In January, in cooperation with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Albany, Makeba West was recognized for her character, leadership and scholarship. At the young age of seven, this little lady is off to a very impressive start in life.

The Georgia Meth Project is a large-scale prevention program aimed at reducing the use of methamphetamine through public service messages, including several rather frightening television commercials. Dougherty Comprehensive High School’s Teen Age Support Council (TASCO) recently participated in the campaign to get the message out to fellow students. TASCO members distributed information about the risks of using meth (and other drugs). Students receiving the handouts were given treats as well as a chain link with the project’s slogan “Not Even Once” printed in black. The links will become a part of the school’s ongoing chain associated with the community-wide Rachel’s Challenge Campaign.

Jason and Mendy Warren have done what most of us would be far too afraid to do. No, they haven’t repelled off a skyscraper or walked a tightrope across a canyon. This couple has opened a new business. Our Daily Bread held its official opening last Friday in downtown Albany. The menu includes sandwiches, homemade (hand-cranked) pasta, made-from-scratch cakes and more. As the season changes, fresh vegetables and fruits will be available. And if that isn’t enough, available each day starting at 7:30 a.m., there are fresh bagels, also made from scratch. This duo has taken a leap of faith and spent their life savings on remodeling, stocking and rebranding the store. Go have lunch there or get a cup of coffee and a slice of cake ... the Warrens will be glad to see you and you’ll be glad you visited.

The shoes of Henrietta McArthur Singletary are going to be difficult to fill. As the first and only board chair for the Phoebe Foundation Board of Directors, Singletary led the foundation to successfully complete a number of capital campaigns. One of the most recent (and highly acclaimed) was the construction of the $7 million Willson Hospice House. Thank you for 23 years of service to not only the Phoebe Foundation, but to everyone touched by your hard work and dedication.