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Thumbs Up! - Nov. 12, 2012

It is not every day that all members of any governing body agrees on any one issue or topic. It was such a day, however, last week when the Dougherty County Commission voted unanimously on its selection of a representative to sit on the Albany-Dougherty Economic Commission board. Albany Technical College President Anthony Parker was that appointee. With the continued success of the college, in good and not-so-good economic times, Parker’s selection by the county is an excellent one. While no Midas nor magician, Parker has a talent for getting things done and making a difference in the lives of others all the while remaining ever so humble.

When the list naming the Governor’s Public Safety Awards came to the newspaper, it included the name of a Lee County firefighter. Gov. Nathan Deal recognized just 18 public safety professionals for acts of heroism. Lt. Alan Harris was on that short list. The commendation related the events of July 30, 2011 when Harris saved the life of a paraplegic man from a residential fire. Harris, surprised at the nomination from the department’s chief, James Howell, was even more surprised to actually win the award. “I was just doing my job.” In this case, a fine job it was, Lt. Harris. Congratulations.

Dr. Edwin Green has worn many hats as a 20-year member of the Albany Kiwanis Club. Along the way, Green has served as secretary and president and has been the recipient of numerous recognitions from fellow Kiwanians. His top claim to fame, however, comes from donning his Cat in the Hat getup and reading to students in the Dougherty County School System. Every week, Green shares the joys and wonders of reading and over the years, an untold number of students have been on the receiving end of his dedication. It is no wonder, then that Green has been named the 2012 Albany Kiwanian of the Year. Thank you for this, and all your work, to make Albany a better place to live.

Speaking of awards, one most definitely deserved has been bestowed upon Harley Calhoun. The force behind all the athletic programs at Westover High School, Calhoun has been named the GHSA Region 1-AAAA Athletic Director of the Year. Way to go, coach!

The first-time Kid’s Marine Corps Birthday Ball was recently held at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany. About 72 dressed up kids ages 2 -14 walked the red carpet for the event. The experience of a Marine Corps Ball brought to life the traditions and history so very important to Marines. Complete with presentation of colors and an escorted birthday cake, all the elements were there. In a collaborative effort, Marine Corps Logistics Command and MCLB-Albany family readiness officers hosted the event. Such a success it was that plans are to make this an annual event.

The chance to make a difference in someone’s life seems easier than usual this time of year. Whether good or bad, children mimic the actions of adults around them. Be a positive role model by letting the kids in your class, your church, your family and/or neighborhood be a part of sharing in the joy of giving this Thanksgiving and Christmas season. It can be as small as a can of food or a gently used toy but the lessons learned will be much, much bigger.