Thumbs Up! Feb. 24, 2014

See who deserves a thumbs up this week.

It was 12 years ago when Camilla resident Deborah Sanders held her first yard sale to raise money for the American Heart Association’s annual Heart Walk. Sanders wanted to honor her brother who fell victim to heart disease. Not only has Sanders raised money for the walk, she started out and continues to be, the “Top Walker” by raising the most money each year for the Dougherty-Lee event. So successful are her yard sales that Sanders now holds two each year, one in April and another in October. Since the first sale in 2002, this one individual has raised more than $70,000 for the AHA. In addition, Sanders has made donations through her sales to the Boys and Girls Club and the food bank in her hometown of Camilla. To say that her wish to honor her brother has been fruitful is a huge understatement.Thumbs up to you, Deborah Sanders!

Albany Area Primary Health Care Inc (AAPHC) has the largest HIV/AIDS clinic of its kind in the United States. Yes, that is Albany, Georgia. While it is the type of medical care no person wishes to need, having such a resource is an asset to the community. CEO Tary Brown states that the clinic started in 1990 and since that time, the clinic has served patients of all races and nationalities ranging in age from 2 to 86 and have provided the medical necessities for HIV/AIDS patients to live healthy productive lives. The benefit of all AAPHC’s clinics covering 100 miles across this part of the state is gigantic. From the aforementioned clinic to services such as internal medicine, pediatrics, dentistry and many more, residents can be thankful for such medical expertise. And, just so you will know, most clinics of this nature operate with 33 percent federal funds. AAPHC operates with 15 percent funding from the federal government.

MCLB-Albany’s Officers’ Spouses Club (OSC) recently held its annual auction to raise money for scholarships and grants. Those in attendance heard and made bids on items small and large, vacations to gift certificates. Open to the public, the auction was held at Doublegate Country Club and all the money raised will remain right here in the Albany community. Scholarships help the children of retired and active duty service members but there is more than just that. The OSC also gives out a part of the proceeds to local non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Boy Scouts, just to name two. Because many of the auctioned items are donated, the event raised a whopping $16,000 this year.

Speaking of MCLB-Albany, the community can look forward to the return of the U.S. Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment on March 17 at 1:00 p.m. Budget constraints caused the event to be cancelled in 2013 which makes this year’s ceremony even more inviting. It is free and open to the public and guaranteed to impress.

Congratulations to Albany Technical College’s Kristen Lord. A medical assistant student, Lord has been selected as ATC’S 2014 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership winner. Lord will move on to compete in the State GOAL competition in Atlanta in April. To even be nominated speaks volumes for the students and to take the award, at any level, is indeed an honor.

The longstanding Hope Ball, previously sponsored by the American Cancer Society, took on a new name and sponsor this year. The Cancer Coalition of South Georgia is calling its first fundraising gala a big success, as well it is entitled to do. The event drew nearly 300 and raised more than $50,000. A Night for Hope was just that and plans are already in the works for 2015’s gala. Well, done one and all.

The Albany Herald Editorial Board