Thumbs Up! June 23, 2014

ALBANY HERALD EDITORIAL BOARD: Good news to start the week

During the school year just completed, students at Lee County Middle School West Campus were given a goal for the number of pages to be read each nine weeks. Top readers were given certificates and a small treat for their achievements. The last nine weeks’ top 10 readers from each of the three grades at the school read a combined total of 93,563 pages. The top top readers were Gracie VanBrackle, 6th grade (4,172 pages), Afshan Hasnain, 7th grade (5,660 pages) and Katie Moon, 8th grade (7,559 pages). To all of the year’s top readers at this and every other school, congratulations!

Walter Flint is best known in Albany for the many years he lit up the night at his home and yard on West Third Avenue during the Christmas season. In fact, the iconic lights shone brightly for 52 years of 53 years spanning from 1957 to 2009. Now in his 90th year of life, Flint continues to bless those around him with charitable giving. Most recently, following a car accident and a stint at Lee County Health and Rehabilitation Center, Flint saw a simple need. Most of the beds at the rehab facility were of the old crank-up style. Due to his arthritis, having to call a caregiver every time his bed needed adjusting simply was not what this independent man wanted. So, never one to dally over an opportunity to help others, Flint purchased not one, not two, but 49 electric-powered beds for the center. The staff members no longer have to bend and crank and the residents are able to retain more independence and comfort. Not one to toot his own horn, Flint did enjoy all the thank yous (and hugs). The rehabilitation wing will soon be known to all as the Walter Flint Center for Rehabilitation, as well it should be.

The Southwest Public Health District sponsored a free community health fair on Saturday. At the time of this writing, it was not known how many people took advantage of the opportunity for blood pressure and weight screenings as well as confidential HIV tests. Just a few simple tests, with results available in a short 20 minutes, may well have made a big difference in one or more lives. While there is yet to be a cure for the HIV virus, there are medicines available to control the disease and therefore prevent and/or delay full-blown AIDS. Visiting a physician’s office can be expensive, time consuming and certainly not an outing fit for the entire family. At the community-wide, free health fair, there were a number of vendors on hand offering educational information as well as activities for the whole family. Such health fairs are a marvelous service to citizens and should be utilized when available.

Albany law enforcement officers spent a recent weekend at Krispy Kreme collecting donations for Special Olympics. The annual Cops on Doughnut Shops helps offset costs associated with the Georgia games, including housing, meals, facility rentals, equipment, medals and more. An impressive $12,000 was collected in about 40 hours. Not bad at all.

Graduating from college is worthy of a thumbs up each and every time, but especially for Kathryn Jones of Pelham. After a few years of retirement, Jones decided to finish her college degree that she began working on in the 1970s. She was to receive her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Thomas University on May 3. Due to health issues, Jones was unable to attend the commencement exercise, but three social work professors presented her with her degree at Mitchell County Hospital as well as an award for Outstanding Social Work Student of the Year. This member of the Class of 2014 wants to work with the elderly as an advocate, something she is passionate about. The biggest Thumbs up! this week goes to Kathryn Jones, age 70.