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Thumbs Up! - Feb. 4, 2013

Editorial

Celebrities as well as locals participated in the 27th annual Celebrity Quail Hunt in and around the county last month. Over this past weekend, the Purple Heart Outdoor Tour, a quail hunt for decorated servicemen and firefighters, came to enjoy the bounty of Southwest Georgia’s quail population. Later this week, the 25th Georgia Quail Hunt will be in the area. The economic impact of these visitors can be measured in dollars and there are many. The goodwill, the beautiful land and a full dose of Southern hospitality is what the visitors take back home. To host families, plantation owners, restaurant servers and everyone else that crossed paths with these visitors, thank you for all your efforts to showcase Southwest Georgia.

Soup was truly on at the 2013 Empty Bowls event! More than 100 people bought $20 tickets for the event, a lunchtime fundraiser for the Albany Area Arts Council and the SOWEGA Council on Aging. Ticket holders were lined up at the door when it opened to pick out a one-of-a-kind bowl, all designed by local artists and enjoy a hearty lunch of soup, gumbo and stews from 18 area restaurants. Empty Bowls is a national movement to draw attention to the fact that there are indeed many people, young and old, that go hungry each day right here in America.

Law enforcement in the city just got a bit stronger. Eight brand new officers were sworn in last week at the Albany Police Department. Certification to become an APD officer does not come easily. An interested candidate must meet certain criteria and invest time and money before even being accepted into the police academy. There is a background check ($245), fingerprinting ($52.90), application fee ($150) and once accepted, tuition ($3,093). These costs do not include uniforms or the required physical exam. Including orientation, the curriculum takes 416 hours to complete, much of which is done away from home and family. To the new officers, thank you for choosing to protect the citizens of Albany.

Fall sports programs at Darton State College saw the men and women’s soccer teams as well as the men and women’s cross country teams win Region XVII titles. No doubt the sweep of fall sports for the region was a deciding factor in a recent designation by the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators. Among all two-year colleges in, not just the state, but in the nation, Darton fall sports took the No.5 ranking. Sports fan or no, that is impressive.

Back in October of last year, a spinning event to raise money for cancer screenings and cancer care development was hosted by Tony’s Fitness Group on N. Westover Blvd. The total amount raised to benefit the work of the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia was $7,809.75. A second such indoor cycling event, “RIDEforHope’ will take place on March 7 with a goal of raising $10,000. Come on out and join the fitness fun all the while fighting the everlasting battle against cancer.