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Thumbs Up! -- Aug. 19, 2013

For a second year, 125 first through fifth grade students will benefit from the partnership between the Albany YMCA and the Dougherty County School System as the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program kicks off a new school year. Located last year at Magnolia Elementary, a facility currently in the re-purposing mode, the program will be split between Alice Coachman and Live Oak elementary schools. Designed to provide academic enrichment opportunities for students during non-school hours, especially those who attend high poverty and/or low-performing schools, parents are also included as partners in the education of their children. Last year was a great success and there is no reason to expect any less this go-around.

Providing food for the hungry is a never-ending process. Regardless of how well a person ate on Monday, come Tuesday, he will once again need and want food. Last Thursday Teleperformance call center sponsored a food giveaway at First Apostolic Church in East Albany. There was a box of food as well as a box of hygiene items for 400 families. Volunteers handled the work of organizing and carrying the boxes when needed to vehicles for those waiting in a long line. Teleperformance has now sponsored such a giveaway for seven years. For that, here’s hoping the recipients, hungry or not, took time to say thank you.

Lee County Rivers Alive 2013 was originally planned for July but due to the high water levels and rapidly moving water, the event was postponed until August 10. On that rather warm morning, 38 volunteers gathered and began the clean up. Armed with trash bags, the group managed to collect trash from the areas around 17 of the county’s 22 bridges. At weigh-in time those 38 folks had removed 1,080 pounds of debris.

The Darton State Cavaliers have been recognized by the Golf Coaches Association of America as a GCAA All-Academic Team for 2013. To be considered for the honor, a college or university must submit the GPAs for each player on the official squad. Darton was one of only four National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) D-1 teams to receive the honor.

Ground has been broken on Albany Technical College’s “Wall of Giving.” Bricks for the wall can be engraved with the names of individuals, groups or businesses that wish to do so. The rendering of the wall was created by ATC drafting students and the construction will be handled by masonry students. The project follows right along with the school’s objective of workforce development, allows students to be a part of something that will last for many, many years, gives donors a chance to be honored or to honor others and will be a capital campaign for the college. That’s almost too many ‘wins’ to count. Call (229) 430-6624 for more information.

Telephone Pioneers of America was founded in 1911. Now locally named the Albany Council of the AT&T Pioneers, the mission has not changed much over the years. From repairing talking books to beeping baseballs and Easter eggs for the visually impaired to Hand-Operated Tricycles (HOT Trikes) provided at no cost to children who have limited or no use of their legs, the list goes. Recently the local volunteers in partnership with the Soldiers’ Connection, mailed off 140 fly traps for distribution among U.S. troops overseas. Such a simple gift will make life a little bit more comfortable. Thumbs up, AT&T Pioneers for 102 years of service.