MAY 2, 2017
Tifton, Georgia


Longtime community volunteers Ferol Cosper and Shirene Daniell were named Tift County's Senior Citizens of the Year today (Tuesday, May 2) as  Tift County's 39th Annual Older Americans Month kicked off with a luncheon at First Baptist Church.
Both women were surprised to receive the George A. Wright Award for contributions to community, church, country and family.

Cosper, at age 100, still works at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village, where she has worked since the day it opened nearly 41 years ago as the Georgia Agrirama. "If you don't work, you don't eat," she believes.

She enjoys interacting with the visitors and children at the agriculture museum.

The former hospital "pink lady," general store operator, sharecropper and piano teacher still drives and plays the piano, which she taught for more than 50 years. S he still enjoys playing the piano at Salem Baptist Church and spending time with her family, including her two children, seven grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

Daniell was recognized for her long history of   volunteerism and leadership on both the local and state levels. She has served on the United Way Board of Directors and was chief financial officer and director of Volunteers and Family Support with The Carousel House, a former Alzheimer's day care facility in Tifton. She has served on the Keep America Beautiful and Keep Tift Beautiful boards and as a volunteer for Ruth's Cottage and furnished a room for a battered women's shelter.

Daniell has organized and sponsored numerous children's events; she was the force behind the Kreative Kids Parade for the former Love Affair festival and has chaired the local Toys for Tots campaign for many years. She has read books to Head Start students and, for more than 20 years, Daniell was kindergarten teacher and director at her church.

Daniell is a longtime member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, Georgia, Tifton Twentieth Century Library Club and the only woman from Tifton ever elected to serve as president of GFWC Georgia.

The Older Americans Month theme this year is "Age Out Loud," and the Tift County observance has nearly daily activities planned all month.

People's Choice Award winners Seth Griner & Lindy Dorminy Bengston
The Ga. Alzheimer's Association's "Dancing Stars of South Georgia," which paired 10 South Georgia "stars" with professional dancers for a dance competition last Saturday night, raised about  $176,000, a committee member said.

Lindy Dorminy Bengston of Tifton and her professional dance partner Seth Griner won the "People's Choice Award." Bengston raised $33,910 in donations. She is a  real estate agent with Century 21, Smith Branch & Pope in Tifton.

The "Judges' Choice Award" went to Blonese Johnson and her partner Aaron Mack. Johnson works with Cook County Medical and Tift Regional Medical Center.

The annual event at the  UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center is geared to raise awareness of Alzheimer's Disease while raising money for research to find a cure.

The dancing "stars" also included  Dr. Bill Buntin of Albany, a retired pediatrician and anesthesiologist; Melody Cowart, sales director of Williams Investments in Tifton; and Tifton's Vice Mayor Wes Ehlers.

Also, Griffin Martin, a physical therapy aide and student in Tifton; Terri Martin, administrative assistant to Dr. William Guest in Tifton; Jennifer Spring, dental hygienist with Longleaf Dental in Albany; Eric Wisham, owner of Wisham Jellies in Tifton; and Neil Clements, business management chairman at Southern Regional Technical College in Thomasville.


Earlier today ( Tuesday, May 2) the 2016-17 "TAL:K" (Tomorrow's Aspiring Leaders: Kids) leadership class held its graduation ceremony at the UGA Tifton Campus.

The group, comprised of eighth graders from Eighth Street Middle School and Tiftarea Academy, had several events throughout the school year. On Tuesday, they were entertained by guest speaker Mike Chason.

The program, organized by the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce, is sponsored by Tift Regional Health Systems, Heatcraft, Georgia Power Co., Colquitt EMC, First Community Bank and South Georgia Bank.


Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will recognize the outstanding public service record of former Lakeland Mayor Jay Shaw on May 11 when ABAC President David Bridges presents an honorary degree from ABAC to Shaw's widow, Libby, at the spring commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. in Gressette Gymnasium.

"Jay attended but did not graduate from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College," Bridges said.  "He was a proud alumnus of this institution. He served the people of Georgia with honor and integrity, and he never failed to be a
strong advocate for ABAC."

Shaw died at the age of 67 on April 20, 2015.  Born in Lakeland, he graduated from Lanier County High School and attended ABAC where he played on the 1968 tennis team.

Following the example of his father, Slaton, who served on the Lanier County School Board, Shaw embarked on a career in public service which included serving as the mayor of Lakeland for 10 years. As mayor, he became actively involved in the Georgia Municipal Association, working on behalf of towns and counties throughout the state.

Shaw was also elected as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, where he served the people of the 176th District for 18 years. He chaired the House Appropriations Committee on Health and was a strong advocate for rural hospitals.

While serving on the Joint House-Senate Study Group on Transportation, Shaw developed a passion for rural transportation issues. He gave up his House seat to serve on the Georgia Board of Transportation and had recently completed a term as its chairman at the time of his death.

The Board of Transportation honored Shaw on Oct. 19, 2016, with the dedication of the James Slaton "Jay" Shaw Memorial Highway on U.S. Highway 22/State Route 31 beginning at the intersection of State Road 11 in Lakeland to the intersection of State Road 7 in Lowndes County.

Shaw's sons, Jason and Sam, will also be recognized at the graduation ceremony. Jason Shaw is now continuing the family legacy of public service as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives.  Longtime Lakeland resident Nell Roquemore will be the commencement speaker at the event.


The Tifton Twentieth Century Library Club is finalizing plans for its "Fashion with a Passion" fashion show next week at the Leroy Rogers Senior Center. The show is at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, at the senior/community center. The fashion show benefits the club's ABAC scholarship and Literacy Volunteers, among other local charities. The event features models representing various community organizations. 

Shown above, from left, are Twentieth Century Library Club President Bonnie Sayles, club members Sandi Newman of the Society of St. Andrew, Genie McCook and Shirene Daniell, and Natasha Patrick of the Leroy Rogers Senior Center.


The Tifton-Tift County Public Library Foundation held a reception last Sunday, April 30, for Dr. Hal Henderson, who recently retired from the Foundation board.

Henderson, a retired political science professor at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, was the founder of the Library Foundation and served as its president for a dozen years.

The Foundation made a $500 contribution to a library outreach project in Henderson's honor and also announced the establishment of the "Dr. Hal Henderson Georgia Political Lecture Series," an annual Library Foundation event that will begin later this year.

In photo at left, Henderson stands with his wife Teena.
Please join your host and neighbor Joe Pope this  Sunday, May 7, from 1 to 3 p.m. at this adorable 2-story home. It offers over 3,000 sq ft of living space and is located in the well-established subdivision north of 20th Street.

You will appreciate the charm the wrap-around porch offers as you notice the matured landscaping and fine curb appeal. As you tour the interior of the home, you will enjoy the stone fireplace in the den, the beautiful hardwood floors, custom cabinets and the exposed rafters with tongue and groove ceilings. The home offers 4 bedrooms/3 baths, a formal dining room, quaint kitchen with breakfast area and a spacious den. The master bedroom brags of a very large walk-in closet, and the master bath features a large shower and separate tub. This property also offers a mother-in-law suite/rental apartment above the double garage.  

Owner is relocating and can accommodate a quick closing date. Price has been reduced from $275,000 and now offering $255,900.


Donna Ammons, right, manager of the Tifton Veterans Affairs Clinic, spoke to the Rotary Club of Tifton last Wednesday and told the club about changes in the VA and how the Tifton clinic is growing faster than anticipated. At left is Rotarian Jack Perry, who introduced Ammons.

The staff at the Hilton Garden Inn hosted the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce's "Sunset Tifton" business after-hours event Thursday. A large crowd attended and viewed photos of some of the renovation plans the hotel will be undergoing soon. Also, the hotel gave away $800 in door prizes throughout the event. The Chamber holds Sunset Tifton events quarterly as a way for Chamber members to network and learn more about other businesses in the community.


Students at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College carried the American flag and the Carry The Load flag in a route across the campus for 24 consecutive hours in the fourth annual Carry The Load Step-Off event last Wednesday and Thursday. "Carry The Load" provides an active way to honor and celebrate our nation's heroes by connecting Americans to the sacrifices made by our military, law enforcement, firefighters and first responders. 

Nine ABAC students are now traveling 2,000 miles between New York and Dallas in the 30-day Carry The Load national event that ends on Memorial Day. The event's focus is to remind people about the true meaning of Memorial Day
Tifton will host the first overnight stop on the 2017 Hemmings Motor News Great Race on Saturday, June 24, race organizers say.
The Great Race, the world's premier old car rally, will bring 120 of the world's finest antique automobiles to Tifton for the $150,000 race, with the first car rolling onto downtown Main Street at 4:30 p.m.
In all, the race participants will cover more than 2,100 miles in nine days. The event starts on Main Street in downtown Jacksonville, Fla., earlier that Saturday and finishes on July 2 in Traverse City, Mich., on the banks of Grand Traverse Bay just off Lake Michigan as part of that city's annual Cherry Festival.

Teams and cars from Japan, England, Germany, Canada and across the United States will be participating in their vintage automobiles dating back as far as 1916.
"There are more than 450 people just in our entourage from all around the world taking part in this incredible adventure," said its director, Jeff Stumb.

Along the route, competitors will travel parts of the original Dixie Highway in seven states -- Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

The Great Race, which began 34 years ago, is not a speed race but a time/speed/distance rally. The vehicles, each with a driver and navigator, are given precise instructions each day that detail every move down to the second. They are scored at secret checkpoints along the way and are penalized one second for each second either early or late. As in golf, the lowest score wins.
Each stop on the Great Race is free to the public, and spectators will be able to visit with the participants and look at the cars for several hours. It is common for kids to climb in the cars for a first-hand look.

"We are really excited about these amazing cars making a stop in downtown this year. We want to win the award for 'Best Overnight Stop' so we need the community's help in welcoming these teams to Tifton," said Angela Elder, Tifton event coordinator.

Cars built in 1972 and earlier are eligible, with most entries having been manufactured before World War II. A 1916 Hudson Hillclimber, a 1916 Hudson Four Passenger Speedster, a 1916 Chevrolet Phaeton, a 1917 Peerless Racer and a chain-driven 1918 American LaFrance Speedster are the oldest cars scheduled to be in the 2017 Great Race. The 2017 winners will receive $50,000 of the $150,000 total purse.
For information, contact the Tifton tourism office at 229-386-0216.


59 Chase Circle, Tifton, GA
MLS # 126159

NEW CONSTRUCTION:  New and growing subdivision; 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and split floor plan; 1,650 square feet. Wood and ceramic tile flooring, modern kitchen, 2-car garage and pond access.
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