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Thumbs Up! - Oct. 21, 2013

EDITORIAL: Thumbs Up! is a weekly salute to those working to make life better in metro Albany and Southwest Georgia.

Addiction: A habit that is very difficult to break, so much so that it can be labeled a disease. A person having an addiction, recovering from an addiction or living with an addict lives a shaky existence. Treatment today is so much more advanced than in the past that many are able to move quickly into the recovery stage of the disease. While in recovery, the body is healing, but a multitude of problems still exist. Estrangement from loved ones, unemployment, no place to call home and more can, and often does, cause an addict to relapse. Emily Wilson went through a number of treatment centers battling her addiction to alcohol. It was tough, even with family to support her. Now well past those early days, weeks and months of recovery, Wilson, along with her husband Brett, have opened Private Residence Inc. on Pine Avenue to help other women. The idea is to bridge that time from a detoxification program back into a life many have lost touch with by way of drugs and alcohol. The activities taken as day-to-day norms for most people often have to be learned for the first time or relearned in the life of sobriety. Private residence women are required to work, attend meetings and, once employed, develop a budget and pay their housing expenses as well as for personal items. Recovery: To get back something that was lost — in this case, life, love and family.

Paws Patrol pet partners therapy animal team recently went on a field trip to International Studies Elementary Charter School. There the dogs and handlers visited third-grade students. The kids have been reading the book “Because of Winn-Dixie” and one assignment is to research service dogs. The therapy dogs provided a real hands-on learning session. Students were allowed to interact with the animals and given information about the “work” of a therapy animal. Several breeds of dogs were among the group, as well as one cat. Thanks, Paws Patrol, for choosing International Studies for your day out.

The Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office is hosting its 4th annual Building Unity in the Community cookout next Saturday (Oct 26) at C.W. Heath Park. Sheriff Kevin Sproul is passionate about building a sense of community among all Albany/Dougherty County residents. The cookout’s location changes year-to-year allowing a a greater variety of people to be involved. The park is located on Jordan Street just off Maple Street. Everyone is invited to come out from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. for good food, games and activities for the children.

Exchange Club members are quite serious when it comes to recognizing the recipient(s) of the Firefighter of the Year Award. It is a high honor that is given for an action resulting in the saving of a life and determined by peers within the fire department. The 2013 Exchange Club Firefighter of the Year Award has been bestowed upon Captain Tony Denby and firefighter Derrick Eldridge. The duo rescued a victim from a burning structure and turned him over to EMS workers then returned to extinguish the fire with limited water supply and while awaiting backup. Albany Fire Chief James Carswell called the actions of Denby and Eldridge “amazing.” That pretty well sums it up.

The Albany Herald Editorial Board