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Thumbs Up! - Oct. 28, 2013

Homecoming week for Albany State University brought family and friends together from all across the country for one really big reunion. Special activities throughout the week were topped off with a parade followed by a Rams victory on the football field. Kia of Albany sweetened the celebration with a $20,000 donation to the college to support athletics and scholarships. ASU’s National Alumni Association added another $12,000, earmarked for athletics, the band and scholarships. And a good time was had by all.

What, one could ask, do Lee County High School’s wrestling team and theatre honor society have in common? Members of both groups have teamed up to Trick-or-Treat So Kids Can Eat. Working to collect non-perishable food items and/or cash to help Second Harvest Food Bank, the students want to head off the monster called hunger. Acting alone last year, the LCHS theatre group collected nearly 3,000 pounds of food, more than any other school in Georgia. Add the wrestling team as well as AP English, drama and dance classes and it’s anyone’s guess what this year’s efforts will bring. Donations, large or small, can be dropped off at the high school.

Darton State College continues to excel with its athletic programs. Soccer is, without a doubt, one of the most successful programs on campus. Men’s soccer coach Bart Sasnett reached his 100th win with the Cavaliers on October 17. During Sasnett’s time at Darton, the Cavs have made three NJCAA Championship appearances with two going all the way to the Final Four. In addition, there have been nine All-American players, 56 All-Region players and six Academic All-Americans. Congratulations Coach Sasnett on your milestone win which also secured the team’s No. 1 seed in the Region XVII which opens at Darton on November 2.

Perhaps it has been longer ago than many want to think, but there was a time when dress codes for school were basically set at home. Boys wore long pants with shirts tucked in and girls wore dresses or skirts and blouses. No shorts for anyone and few, if any, questioned the notion of what was or was not appropriate. Albany Technical College has one main goal and that is to prepare its students for the workplace. Whether it be studying to work in a beauty salon, hospital, daycare, law office or the automobile repair shop, ATC not only has a dress code, it is enforced. Apparently it cannot be assumed that adults, whatever the age, already know that wearing pajama bottoms, halter tops, saggy pants (also against the law in Albany) and short-shorts to class is not acceptable. Thank you, Albany Tech, for your efforts to fully prepare students for the real world.

The sheriff in Dougherty County has a long history of personal involvement with the troubled, abused, neglected and confused at-risk youth. Kevin Sproul and his wife have been known to own their own home to these kids, long before he became the sheriff. So, it comes as no surprise that Sheriff Sproul has continued and expanded his efforts to help the young people find and follow a road to success. Under the direction Lt. Terron Hayes, there are currently 18 different programs through the department to help these young people make sound decisions about life choices, understanding that consequences of one’s actions can be life-altering…good or bad. All of the programs have a line-item budget of zero and are supported purely by donations and the annual golf tournament each spring. To simply thank Sheriff Sproul and Lt. Hayes seems somehow not quite enough. So, here’s a big ‘Thumbs up!” for caring and sharing of your lives with the soon-to-be adults in our community.