'We want it to be fun because that was what Nathan was about." Those were the words of Carla Toal leading to an event meant to honor the memory of her son. At just 15 years of age, Nathan Toal was killed in a Jeep accident on the family farm. He got his nickname "Tigger" because of his energy and the joy with which he lived and shared with others. And so, the family planned and held the first "Tigger Run" in Edison on March 30. Funds raised help with the renovation of a Christian retreat in North Carolina, a special place for the Toal family. Apparently there are a lot of folks outside of the family who chose to honor Nathan by participating in the one-mile fun run followed by a 5K walk/run. Edison, population of around 1,500, saw its head count boom by at least 350 for the "Tigger Run," all the while raising $23,500. The memory of Nathan "Tigger" Toal will live on for a very long time.
Spring break has come and gone but summer will soon be here. Dougherty County students' last day of class is May 17. Before spring break, the Albany Police Department's Gang Task Force gave parents advice regarding how to involve their children in healthy and productive activities. The same message goes for the rapidly approaching summer break. Without some structure, kids will find something to do ... and it could be that bad choices are made. Gangs, vandalism, stealing and such are ways to pass the time and may seem like fun, for a while. The good news is that Albany is loaded with programs for children, many of which are free. Parents that plan ahead for summer will be glad they did. Call the YMCA, check with area churches, drop by the nearest Boys and Girls Club, ask school staff, friends, neighbors and family for suggestions. Talk to your children. With the resources available in this town, there is no good reason for idle hands to make the devil's workshop productive.
The work along Pine Avenue is progressing and upon its completion, as well as that of the Art Park, this little corner of downtown is going to shine. Already Downtown Manager/ADICA President Aaron Blair has been asked about renting the Art Park for special events. Not one to ever let such an opportunity slip by, Blair is preparing rental policies and procedures for the unique venue, including (quite wisely) a refundable deposit to protect the glass in the building.
The initials CRCT are enough to drive some students, parents and school staff to the brink of a nervous breakdown. Worry, sleeplessness and stress become the norm for far too many people because of the standardized testing each spring. Students from Lee and Dougherty counties participating in the South Georgia Pop Warner League used their Saturdays in March to polish their academics by attending a CRCT Boot Camp. At Magnolia Elementary, just as in years past, a drive-through session was held at which time parents were given a packet of information about the upcoming CRCT. These programs, as well as many others, are to be commended for doing everything possible to make testing time not the worst days of the year.
Now at $5,000, the reward for information leading to the arrest of the slayer(s) who took the lives of two 20-year-olds in a drive-by shooting on March 17 is waiting to be claimed. The money from individuals and businesses was doubled by the city to make the payoff for information a greater enticement. Do it because its the right thing to do and reap the financial reward also. If you are the person that holds the clue to this case, call Crime Stoppers at (229) 436-8477.
-- The Albany Herald Editorial Board