Thumbs Up! May 27, 2014

ALBANY HERALD EDITORIAL BOARD: Good news to start the week

Stamp Out Hunger is the annual event sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers and the largest single day of the year for collecting food to feed America’s hungry. This year’s event was held on May 10 and reports are impressive. Residents were asked to place nonperishable food items in bags provided by their letter carriers and leave the bags by the mailbox for pickup. In Leesburg alone postal workers collected 10.5 pallets of food weighing in at 9,296 pounds. Those items have been delivered to True Life Church of God on Fussell Road for the church’s food pantry. Most of what was collected in Southwest Georgia has made its way to Second Harvest of South Georgia (food bank) which has distribution centers in Albany, Valdosta, Thomasville and Douglas. By the evening of May 10, 172,000 pounds of food had been delivered to Second Harvest, which serves 30 counties and is the largest rural food bank in the state. To every mail carrier and to every donor, you not only can, but have, made a differnce in the lives of many.

Johnny Seabrooks has worked with the young athletes of Dougherty County for four decades. He spent 28 of those years coaching track and field Monroe and Dougherty High Schools. In the summer of 2001, Seabrooks was named as athletic director for the entire school system. Dougherty County, however, is not the only place in the state that is aware of Seabrooks’ hard work and dedication. Most recently, Seabrooks was inducted into the Georgia Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame. Before that came induction into the Halls of Fame for Albany State, Albany Sports and Georgia Track and Cross Country. Last week, Seabrooks gave notice of retirement, something he has certainly earned the right to do. The untold number of lives that Seabrooks has touched will never be forgotten, even after retirement.

Speaking of recognition, Stewbo’s was tapped as Small Business of the Year recently by the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. Bo Henry and Stewart Campbell own and operate Harvest Moon, The Catch, Henry Campbell’s and Merry Acres. Thursday, Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle dropped by Merry Acres to offer his personal congratulations for the award. Cagle said he is thoroughly impressed by the duo and what they have done for all of Albany, as well he should be.

There is much more to the job of school bus driver than one might first believe. Driving the monstrous bus is job enough but throw in a sick child now and then, high levels of noise, fighting and/or crying and the task can become almost overwhelming. Lee County bus driver Jim Smith came up with an idea to promote good bus behavior, which always increases safety, without ever raising his voice. When spring break was over, Smith began allowing students to vote for the rider that deserved the trophy for Model Student on their bus. Voting ended May 9 and Jessica Argueta, a 4th grader at Lee County Elementary, received the most votes. Smith also presented 26 certificates of appreciation to other riders for their good behavior during the year. What a great idea and congrats to young Jessica.

Nursing home residents are sometimes, despite all efforts of family and staff, quite lonely. The joy can be seen on their aging faces when visitors come, especially children. Piano teacher Lynette Harper takes her students twice each year to perform for the residents of Pelham Parkway Nursing Home. The old upright piano in the community room comes alive as the blossoming musicians play during the Christmas season and again in the springtime. Seven students, ranging from the third grade to the 11th grade recently tickled those old ivories, bringing smiles, applause and no doubt, memories from days gone by. Not to be left out, instructor Harper took her turn at the piano playing three old and tradition hymns. Now the residents have a new memory to add to all their others. Thank you.

The Albany Herald Editorial Board