Thumbs Up! Aug. 11, 2014.

See who deserves a thumbs up this week.

Representatives of Mars Chocolate North America made a sweet addition to last week’s Albany City Commission work session. Mack Phillips and Michele C0ney came bearing an ample supply of peanut bars manufactured at Albany’s plant. On their minds was a request to ceremonially rename a portion of Oakridge Drive to Mars Chocolate Boulevard in recognition of the company’s 50th anniversary in Albany. It was a work session, so no decisions are final, but everyone present was all for the renaming, and why not? In the past five decades, companies have come and gone, often leaving faithful, long-term employees without a job and all the problems that goes along with unemployment. Meanwhile, Mars marches on and says they would “love to grow.” Aside from the on-site jobs, Phillips pointed out that 90 percent of all the peanuts roasted at the Albany plant are grown in Georgia. The commissioners are well aware of the impact this company has in this city and county; the peanut bars simply served to reinforce that knowledge.

Residing at an animal shelter is no picnic for any dog or cat. Workers and volunteers go as many extra miles as possible to provide food, shelter, warmth and love to each animal, sometimes there simply is not enough of one or more of these to go around. Albany Humane Society administrator Peggy Davis got wind of a special grant from the global charity Greater Good and set in motion an application. Joining the charity is well-known pet food company Pedigree. Grants are awarded across the nation with a single purpose in mind — to improve shelter across the country. Albany’s shelter was selected and volunteers joined together on August 3 to improve the facility with paint, bench construction, landscaping, increased storage and more. The grant included $5,000 toward property improvements as well as $5,000 worth of Pedigree dog food. Thank you to all the shelter staff, volunteers, Greater Good and Pedigree for making a difference in Albany.

Kiwanis International’s Eliminate Project, a joint project with UNICEF, is a worldwide effort to eradicate maternal and neonatal tetanus. Mark your calendars for Friday, Sept. 19. That is the date that the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County and the Southwest Georgia Home School Association Key Club will sponsor a dance competition to raise funds for the above-mentioned cause. The event will be held at the new SOWEGA Council on Aging Senior Life Enrichment Center on Society Avenue. So you think you can’t dance? Come and enjoy the fun anyway. Tickets are also good for a fine dinner catered by Kaye Blalock. For more information or to sign up a dance team, call Darlene Butler at (229) 344-4063.

Veterans in the Sylvester area are excited to announce the formation of American Legion Post 335. Members are already making plans and looking for opportunities to support veteran families, as well as to participate in community events. Ray Humphrey, commander of Albany’s Post 30, has transferred his membership to Sylvester (where he resides) and will use his expertise to command the new post. Membership has already reached 125 percent of the initial goal and more applications are coming in. Humphrey says all qualified veterans are invited to apply for membership to ” the biggest little post in Georgia.”

Thumbs Up! to every individual, organization, club and church that helped school children be prepared to return to the classroom by donating school supplies. It would not be possible to name each person or group as there were many. Just know that the pencil a child is using today could well be one that you donated. Thank you, one and all.

The Albany Herald Editorial Board