Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County

PHOTO CAPTIONS

Top: Larry Price speaks to Kiwanis DoCo members and guest clergy people about the role of pastors and ministers in the community.

Bottom: Bill Cox of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes was first to receive his gift donated by Life Way Christian Book Store.

Pastors and ministers are the spiritual and moral backbone of a community and are to be appreciated for the role they play. That was the thrust of the message brought during the annual Pastor Appreciation Day luncheon sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County at Hilton Garden Inn on October 13.

Larry Price, chair of the club’s Human and Spiritual Values Committee, delivered the primary remarks about purpose of the appreciation day and the role of clergymen in the community. Price, a long-time Kiwanis DoCo member, is the retired founder and president of Albany Winnnelson, a wholesale plumbing supplies company, and is now active in Larry Price Ministries.

“This is a way for us to honor you for the vital role you play in our community,” Price told the 13 guest ministers present, “and help with the spiritual values of our community, because the work you do is in union and harmony with Kiwanis.”

Price went on to enumerate the six objectives set out by Kiwanis International: to give primacy to the human and spiritual, rather than the material values in life; to encourage the daily living of the Golden Rule in all human relationships; to promote the adoption and verification in business of high moral and professional standards; to set an example of moral, progressive, and serviceable citizenship; to provide through Kiwanis clubs a practical means of forming enduring friendships, to render altruistic services, and to build a better community; and finally, to create and maintain that sound public opinion and high idealism that makes possible the increase of righteousness, justice, patriotism, and good will.

“What you do in your church or your parish.” Price continued, “helps our community to become better because you are equipping leaders in your church or parish to become better community citizens for us as well. These are troubling times we are living in today, and yet we know from God’s Word that there is nothing new under the sun. You may say it’s never happened before, but it has. The only difference today is with high technology it’s just reported on a lot quicker.”

Price also noted the “moral values of our nation are decaying” and pastors show “us the difference between right and wrong,” inspiring and encouraging congregants to be better and more active members.

Each clergyperson was presented a Christmas carol CD and a gift card donated by Life Way Christian Book Store and allowed a brief opportunity to share with the audience a short story about pastoral experiences that have impacted their life and ministry.

The pastors and ministers attending the luncheon were Bill Cox, Fellowship of Christian Athletes; Flynn Bridges, Student Ministries; Deacon Joy Davis, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church; Dr. Kerry Reeves and Steve Williams, Byne Memorial Baptist Church; Jeff Clark, Christ United Methodist Church; Jim Bullion, retired rector, St. Patrick’s Episcopal; Ken Chancellor, Lakeside Baptist Church; Leigh Ann Raynor, Porterfield United Methodist Church; Rabbi Holly Cohn, Temple B’nai Israel; Rebecca Rutherford, First United Methodist Church; Tom Sparks, First Presbyterian Church; and Pruince Dice, of the Albany Police Department.

             

Glen Dowling was treated to a birthday serenade by the women of the “Bad Girls Table” at the October 6 meeting. Happy Birthday, Glen!

Glen Dowling was treated to a birthday serenade by the women of the “Bad Girls Table” at the October 6 meeting. Happy Birthday, Glen!

Jamie Knight (left) is inducted October 6 as Kiwanis of Dougherty County’s newest member. His sponsor, Doug Lorber, did the pinning honors. Jamie is branch manager of the Northwest branch of SB&T Bank and he and his wife have two children. Welcome, Jamie!

Jamie Knight (left) is inducted October 6 as Kiwanis of Dougherty County’s newest member. His sponsor, Doug Lorber, did the pinning honors. Jamie is branch manager of the Northwest branch of SB&T Bank and he and his wife have two children. Welcome, Jamie!

Scott Brown, official historian for the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County, shared a little bit of local Kiwanis history with the club on October 6. He displayed the front page of The Albany Herald from Friday, September 25, 1943, announcing a Kiwanis “salute to kids,” evidence of the organization’s fundamental mission to benefit children. (Photo by David Shivers)

Scott Brown, official historian for the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County, shared a little bit of local Kiwanis history with the club on October 6. He displayed the front page of The Albany Herald from Friday, September 25, 1943, announcing a Kiwanis “salute to kids,” evidence of the organization’s fundamental mission to benefit children. (Photo by David Shivers)

PHOTO CAPTIONS, in descending order:

Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County officers for 2014-15 are (left to right) treasurer Bill McDaniel; president-elect Kristin Caso; president Alan Greer; Division 5 Lt. Gov. Leah Sandbach; immediate past president Lance Barnes; secretary Gail Carter; and vice-president Greg Fullerton. (Photo by David Shivers)

Kiwanis DoCo directors for the new year are (from left) Sami Harewood, Ben Lockett, Lt. Gov. Leah Sandbach, Jim Rodgers, and Sara Cornwell. Not pictured are Victoria Darrisaw, Scott Brown, and David Shivers. (Photo by David Shivers)

Kristin Caso receives her Henry Heinz Award recognition from 2013-14 president Lance Barnes.

New president Alan Greer makes remarks about the club’s 2014-15 year.

The Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County launched a new year October 1, preceded by installation of incoming officers and directors on September 29 in an evening dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Incoming Division 5 Lt. Gov. Leah Sandbach conducted the installation ceremonies and noted that this year will mark the 100th anniversary of Kiwanis International, founded in Detroit in 1915. (The Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County was chartered in 1952 under the sponsorship of the Albany Kiwanis Club.) As a result, Sandbach said clubs are being urged to find a way to use “100” in their activities or service projects during the year.

Special awards were presented to two outstanding Kiwanians. Kristin Caso, incoming president-elect, was the recipient of the Kiwanis Henry Heinz Award, denoting a $500 gift from the club to the Kiwanis International Foundation in her name.  Tommy Gay, outgoing as club secretary, was honored with the George Hixson Award, marking a $1,000 donation in his name to the foundation and the second time Gay has been so honored by the club.

2013-14 president Lance Barnes said it had been an exciting year and disclosed that almost $23,000 in financial gifts were distributed by the club during the year. Among the recipients were the Albany Sports Hall of Fame, Alzheimer’s Day Care, The Anchorage, the Kiwanis Student Art Contest, Boys & Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts, Operation One Voice, Crimestoppers, Dixie Youth Baseball, Dougherty High School football, Family Literacy Connection, Megan’s House, Georgia Kiwanis District, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the international Eliminate Project, the SGHSA Key Club, Liberty House, sponsored youth activities, Second Harvest Food Bank, Special Olympics, Student Ministries, the Kiwanis International Foundation, and the Albany Center for Children with Autism. The club also conducted three activity fundraisers: the Annual Pancake Breakfast, the Charles H. Smith Golf Tournament, and the Pritchett-Pippin Dance Recital.

Newly-inducted president Alan Greer challenged the club to new heights in the upcoming year, including increased new membership, particularly young professionals, re-involving former members, new service projects, and, in keeping with the origin of the Native American phrase “Kiwanis”, to have fun in the process.

In April 2015 Kiwanis Club of Dougherty is slated to host, with the assistance of neighboring clubs, the Georgia Kiwanis District Annual Art and Music Showcase at the downtown Albany Municipal Auditorium, an event that will draw hundreds of visitors from across the state and help showcase downtown Albany. For the past several years the event had been held at West Georgia University in Carrollton.

The new officers for Kiwanis Dougherty for 2014-15 are: president, Alan Greer; president-elect, Kristin Caso; vice president, Greg Fullerton; secretary, Gail Carter; treasurer, Bill McDaniel; immediate past president, Lance Barnes. In addition to the officers, the board of directors will include Sami Harewood, Victoria Darrisaw, Sara Cornwell, Ben Lockett, Jim Rodgers, Scott Brown, and David Shivers.

 

PHOTO CAPTIONS

Top: Johnny Seabrooks talks to Nakoasha Dillard about her experience with Strive2Thrive.

Middle: Graduate Nakoasha Dillard and Strive2Thrive executive director Alvita Swain speak to the club about the organization.

Bottom: Nakoasha Dillard goes over some details with Tommy Padgett for inclusion in the club’s weekly bulletin.

Five years in, the Strive2Thrive anti-poverty initiative by the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce is having a positive impact on lives in the community in its effort to break the cycle of generational poverty.

On September 22, the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County heard about the program from  its executive director, Alvita Swain, and one of its graduates, Nakoasha Dillard. Dillard’s remarks focused on how Strive2Thrive has profoundly improved her life.

Swain provided a little history, noting that S2T was started in 2009 as “the brainchild of Cynthia George, and she actually partnered with (former Dougherty school superintendent) Dr. John Culbreath to bring the mission to fruition.”

“What we realized is, poverty is a squatter in our own backyard,” said Swain, “and as a result the mission is to eradicate that. So what Strive2Thrive basically does we take families into our program and begin a journey with them, a journey to self-sufficiency. You’ve heard ‘a hand up, not a handout,’ so what does that actually mean? A lot of times, if you pass an initiative, what happens is we give people cars, we give people houses, and we give people jobs and we insist on manners, and they still end up in a cycle of poverty. And the reason for that is we don’t work with people on business (behavior). So that’s what Strive2Thrive does. We work with helping to change the mindset to show people how to be able to maintain those things so they aren’t caught in that cycle anymore. At one time we would say we’re trying to teach a man to fish, but Strive2Thrive is trying to teach a man how to own the pond, because it’s very important to build  transgenerational legacies so that the cycles are broken and people are free from poverty for generations to come.”

Strive2Thrive currently has 91 participants, said Swain, 34 adults and 57 children. Part of the program, in addition to education and training, is pairing participating families with “coaches,” or mentors, “individuals from the middle and upper classes who come and walk alongside the participant to help them understand the hidden rules of society, because we operate in a society that’s governed by middle class values. If you don’t know the rules, it’s kind of hard to be able to navigate.”

Nakoasha Dillard, a Strive2Thrive graduate and a 2005 graduate of Westover High School, related that she was one of four children and the only girl in a single-parent home. Her family always had the basics, she said, but still, “I always wanted to get out of the situation I was born into, I just didn’t know how.”

Her life changed dramatically in 2009 with the birth of her son, and she managed to graduate from Albany Technical College in 2011 with a biotech degree, “but I knew something was still missing.” While driving one day, she saw the Strive2Thrive sign outside the Chamber of Commerce office, “and I pulled over and went in and asked questions, because on the sign it said ‘We give a hand up and not a handout.’ I was accepted into the program and my life began for the better.”

Strive2Thrive, she said, taught her about personal and professional  development, resume writing, finances, and budgeting, and she “developed relationships with other families going through the same thing I was.”

Being paired with mentors Glenn and Dawn Clack was an invaluable part of the process, according to Dillard. Having someone “who would bear with me and not be judgmental of my situation…someone I could lean on when I was going to school or through a real difficult situation with my son. Whatever I needed I was able to call on them and they were always there.” The Clacks have continued to be there since Dillard’s graduation from the program, checking on her and encouraging her to continue her progress, she added.

“I’m very thankful for those people,  who  dedicated their lives to me for those two years and  are still willing to dedicate more of themselves to me and my child,” Dillard added.

While in Strive2Thrive, Dillard entered Albany State University and graduated last year with a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration on biotech. Through Strive2Thrive community partnerships she has been able to purchase a more-dependable car for transportation and obtain better housing. Also, “I was able to learn about budgeting and finances so when I graduated from the program I could continue my life and be self-sufficient.”

Dillard emphasized, “If you really want to succeed, you have to change your mindset. You can go through the program and receive this valuable information, but if you don’t change your mindset, you will still be there (in the same situation).”

A professor at ASU encouraged students to write, and as a result Dillard has published a book, which she titled “Surviving College While Raising a Toddler”.  In it, she says, she opened her life to others who may be in the same situation and  talks  about having a support system, faith in God, improvement programs such as Strive2Thrive, and self-initiative at ASU. There is also a chapter “on my failures that I went through,” failures and disappointments that strengthened and taught her not to give up.

Dillard is currently employed as a certified pharmacy technician and in process of enrolling to earn a master’s degree in health services. With that degree, she says, “I can be an advocate in the community to say, ‘I have lived in the place you are living in,’ and keep pushing and do not give up.”

Ultimately, Dillard believes, “You do not have to stay in the same situation you are in, and the ‘generational curse,’ as I call it, can be broken.”

Our annual golf tournament is coming up October 20th. Info is on the form!

Our annual golf tournament is coming up October 20th. Info is on the form!

Dougherty County Schools’ athletic director Johnny Seabrooks, a member of Kiwanis of Dougherty, introduces the lineup of DCSS football coaches.


The high school football season is well underway, and on September 15 the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County got the traditional annual report from the head coaches of Dougherty County’s four high school teams.
Coaches Charles Truitt of Monroe High School, Corey  Joyner of Dougherty High School, Octavia Jones of Westover High School, and Felton Williams from Albany High School each talked about the early results for their  respective teams as well prospects for the rest of the season.
Coach Truitt commented that although the Monroe High record was a 1-2, “We look forward to continuing to get better as the season goes on.”
Although they are competitive on the playing field, all of the coaches expressed a commonality, and that is an emphasis on academic success for their players. Looking to the future, said Coach Joyner, the teams are grooming “young guys to be not only great football players but also to be great men.”
Kiwanis of Dougherty feeds the Dougherty High team once a year, this year on September 4, and Joyner expressed appreciation for that.
Coach Jones noted his team’s nationally-televised match-up against Lee County. Even though Westover lost 13-0, he said, “it was a great experience for all the coaches and all the kids and fans.” His team is taking a “one game at a time approach,” building on what they learn from their mistakes in each contest.
Coach Williams said there are 75 players in Albany High gridiron program, including 9th grade, junior varsity, and varsity, and “the kids are playing hard.”
In his introduction of the coaches, Johnny Seabrooks, a Kiwanis of Dougherty member and athletics director for the Dougherty County School System, thanked the club “for what you do for the Dougherty County School System and especially Dougherty County School System athletics.”

Dougherty County Schools’ athletic director Johnny Seabrooks, a member of Kiwanis of Dougherty, introduces the lineup of DCSS football coaches.

The high school football season is well underway, and on September 15 the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County got the traditional annual report from the head coaches of Dougherty County’s four high school teams.

Coaches Charles Truitt of Monroe High School, Corey  Joyner of Dougherty High School, Octavia Jones of Westover High School, and Felton Williams from Albany High School each talked about the early results for their  respective teams as well prospects for the rest of the season.

Coach Truitt commented that although the Monroe High record was a 1-2, “We look forward to continuing to get better as the season goes on.”

Although they are competitive on the playing field, all of the coaches expressed a commonality, and that is an emphasis on academic success for their players. Looking to the future, said Coach Joyner, the teams are grooming “young guys to be not only great football players but also to be great men.”

Kiwanis of Dougherty feeds the Dougherty High team once a year, this year on September 4, and Joyner expressed appreciation for that.

Coach Jones noted his team’s nationally-televised match-up against Lee County. Even though Westover lost 13-0, he said, “it was a great experience for all the coaches and all the kids and fans.” His team is taking a “one game at a time approach,” building on what they learn from their mistakes in each contest.

Coach Williams said there are 75 players in Albany High gridiron program, including 9th grade, junior varsity, and varsity, and “the kids are playing hard.”

In his introduction of the coaches, Johnny Seabrooks, a Kiwanis of Dougherty member and athletics director for the Dougherty County School System, thanked the club “for what you do for the Dougherty County School System and especially Dougherty County School System athletics.”