Sunbelt Ford Gives Back to Their Community

Tuesday, Sunbelt Ford distributed over $4500 to our Community Non-Profits to give back to our Community. Mr. Darien Smith and Staff were proud to present checks to the Best Friends Humane Society, Worth County Band Boosters, Mary Alice Shipp Community Center, Worth County Football Boosters, and Worth County Rams Baseball Boosters. The Sylvester-Worth County Chamber is proud to help facilitate the Drive4UR Community event each year. Sunbelt made a concentrated effort over 7 years ago to participate in two very noteworthy events that Ford has to offer communities, Drive One 4UR School and Drive 4UR Community. When you see these events advertised please take a moment of your time to participate. For each car driven, the organization you drive for makes $20.00 – up to $6,000.00 per event. Darien Smith, General Manager of Sunbelt Ford in Sylvester stated that Sunbelt Ford is proud the two events have raised over $72,000.00 for Worth County over the past 7 years. The Sylvester – Worth County Chamber would like to thank Sunbelt Ford for giving our Community Non Profits and Schools the opportunity to participate in these events and thank them for their time and efforts to help raise the much-appreciated funds for their community.

Kerry Helms, 2017 Tree Lighter, Phoebe Worth Medical Center

Tree Lighting Ceremony – Phoebe Worth Medical Center – Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2016 at 7 p.m.

Kerry Helms has always worked with his hands. In 1977, he and his father started Helms Welding & Machine in Sylvester. “I love building stuff, taking a drawing or picture and building something out of it,” Kerry said. Unfortunately, the difficult treatment from a terrifying cancer diagnosis forced him to retire. “On October 14, 2013 I was diagnosed with stage 4 rectal and metastatic liver cancer. My whole world was turned upside down,” Kerry said. “I asked Dr. Mendenhall if I could beat it, what are my chances? He said 5 percent.” Thanks to the team at the Phoebe Cancer Center, Kerry is beating those odds. “I love every one of them. They’ve been nothing but great to me. The most compassionate people I’ve met in my life,” he said. Because his diagnosis was so serious, Kerry’s doctors gave him the opportunity to consult with physicians at some of the top cancer centers in the country. Instead, he chose to start his treatment immediately in Albany. “Phoebe has got the best cancer center anywhere around, as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “It’s been a godsend just being local and not having to travel to Atlanta.” Kerry’s journey has been tough. After getting great results from his cancer treatment, he developed a rare kind of pneumonia. “I was in ICU, and I quit breathing. Luckily, the doctors were right there and they got me back breathing,” Kerry said. He spent more than two months in the hospital and another 30 days in rehab learning to walk again. Then, his cancer returned. “At times it’s hard to stay optimistic, but I know the Lord has got a reason for me to be here. I think it’s to educate people on the importance of screenings.” Kerry nearly waited too long to get screened, and that’s a mistake he doesn’t want others to make. “Being the typical man, I’m not one to go to the doctor unless I get sick, and I never got sick. Once I started having problems, I just ignored it. It just kept getting worse,” he said. Kerry is back on a chemotherapy regimen and battling his cancer with strength and determination. He still works with his hands, too. In retirement, he taught himself the art of leatherwork. He spends his free time now making belts, holsters, keychains and journal covers. “I draw everything out and cut it out by hand and sew it by hand. It is labor intensive. It takes about 8 hours to sew one. Not many people do it all by hand like that,” he said. Kerry is proud of his leatherwork, but he’s more proud of his work to spread a lifesaving message. “If I can tell you my story and express the importance of getting checked and it saves your life, then I’ve done my job.” Please make plans to join The Martin News at this year’s event on Tuesday.
Source: Phoebe Worth Medical Center

First Time For Everything…And Last!

So I have never been to Wal-mart for Black Friday specials. First let me say that Sylvester Wal-mart had it going on! They had things in order, police officers watching over the store and keeping things safe and there was no fighting and arguing that I saw. So I went up there on Thursday afternoon to get one of their Iphone 6 that was on sale for $129. Great price I thought so I went. Lord have mercy at the people! I have never seen so many people in my life. The parking lot was over full, there was people parking across the road, on the side of the road, blocking the entrances, everything! So I went in there and truly had no clue where to go. When I finally got directed to the right line, I got in line. I was number 43. They only had so many tickets they were giving out because they only had so many phones. When I got my ticket, I went and checked out and was gone. Too many people for me! 🙂

Nomination Meeting to be Held

Nomination meetings to fill two positions on the Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) Board of Directors will be held during simultaneous meetings on Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. in Swainsboro and in Colquitt. The Georgia Farm Bureau Federation will conduct the meetings to fill terms, which expire Dec. 31, in the GPC Commission’s Districts One and Three. The GPC District One nomination meeting will be held at 10 a.m. at the Miller County Farm Bureau Office at 314 East Bremond Street in Colquitt. Tim Burch of Baker County is the incumbent in this district. Counties in District One include: Baker, Calhoun, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell and Seminole. The District Three nomination meeting will be held at 10 a.m. at the Emanuel County Farm Bureau office at 320 Lambs Bridge Road in Swainsboro. Joe Boddiford of Screven County is the incumbent in this district. Counties in District Three include: Appling, Bacon, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Candler, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glascock, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Montgomery, Pierce, Richmond, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, Washington and Wayne. “Georgia Farm Bureau encourages peanut farmers in the Georgia Peanut Commission’s First and Third districts to attend their district meetings and participate in making nominations for these commission positions,” Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long said. “The peanut commission plays an important role in promoting Georgia peanuts, crop research and education and needs grower input to effectively represent them.” The Georgia peanut production area is divided into five districts based on acreage distribution and geographical location with one board member representing each district. Each nominee must produce peanuts and live within the district for which he is nominated. Any producer living in the district may be nominated or make nominations at the meeting. Incumbents are eligible for renomination. If more than one person is nominated, an election will be conducted by mail ballot. Commission by-laws state that a person must receive a majority of the votes cast for a position in order to be elected to the commission board. If only one person qualifies for the position, no election is required, and the nominated person automatically becomes a member of the commission board. Commission members serve terms of three years. If multiple people are nominated for a GPC seat, then the current director will continue to serve until the election is completed. Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization. The organization has 158 county offices, and its volunteer members actively participate in activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors.

Shop Sylvester on Small Business Saturday

Small businesses often are overlooked by customers who are enticed by larger companies, and this can adversely affect the local economy in more negative ways than might appear on the surface level. The rise of shopping malls and large chain stores such as Walmart and other retailers has caused irreversible damage to Main Street in the last half-century or so, and it’s paramount to remember the importance of supporting local small businesses. After all, why should we not celebrate the spirit of enterprise and entrepreneurship, as exemplified by small business owners who take the risk of following their dreams? After all, it’s a common thing for politicians to talk about supporting Main Street over big business, and how small business owners often face greater hardships than larger companies. Since Small Business Saturday is held on the Saturday following Thanksgiving Day, it falls right during the peak shopping periods of the year. The 1960s saw the rise of the American shopping mall, and the decades since have seen large chain retailers further cementing their position in terms of taking over the retail sphere and displacing smaller, family-run businesses. This model has spread further throughout the world, and chain retailers have been usurping small businesses’ market share worldwide in the last few decades. That being said, the difference is most stark in countries like the US, where small businesses have often been obliterated within a year or two of some large chain retailer coming to town and opening up shop. In India and much of Southeast Asia, shopping malls coexist with small shops largely because they serve different markets as has been noted in the past, the corner shop is not going anywhere anytime soon in India because customers can purchase items on credit, and that’s just something that you’ll never be able to do in a Wal-Mart or BigBazaar. In the United States, the context is different, though. Different economic realities combined with different cultural ideas about how small businesses operate has ultimately been more harmful to those businesses in developed countries than in developing economies. And with all of the odds stacked against them, small businesses in the US need a day in their honor. Small Business Saturday is a relatively recent phenomenon with the first one being held in Roslindale Village, Massachusetts in 2010 as a counterpart to Black Friday. Small Business Saturday was originally sponsored by American Express and the non-profit National Trust for Historic Preservation. From the very start, the day has been promoted through advertising on both social media and more traditional means such as television and radio advertisement. Since 2013, Small Business Saturday has also existed in the UK following the success of its American counterpart. You may be wondering how to celebrate Small Business Saturday since it is possible that you might have been lead to believe that small businesses are a thing of the past. As a consumer, you can choose to spend your money at local small businesses on this day rather than going to the big box retailers at the local mall. After all, the best way to support small businesses is to go and spend money at them rather than somewhere else. You can also tell your friends to do the same, perhaps making a point of organizing a shopping day where you only visit small, local enterprises instead of chain stores. While you may or may not end up paying more, it’s important to remember that spending your money at a small business generally puts more money into the local economy than if you’re spending that money in a chain store. Some small business owners find that Small Business Saturday is a great time to run marketing promotions, as they can further capitalize on the increased foot traffic from the already busy holiday shopping season and on their online traffic. If you own a small business, you can run some promotion for the day, and otherwise put up a post on your Facebook page. If your small business does not have a Facebook page nor any other online presence, you should seriously consider taking Small Business Saturday to go ahead and do that. So support your local economy, and go out and buy things from a small business today. There are several small businesses in Sylvester that you can shop at on Small Business Saturday. Many of them have Facebook pages for you to follow to see if they are having any sales or specials. Be sure to check them out. Make your plans now to Shop Sylvester on Small Business Saturday.

Farmer’s Dinner was a Success

On November 16, 2017, the Sylvester-Worth County Chamber and Farmer Appreciation Committee hosted its Annual Farmers Appreciation Dinner. The dinner was held at the Ag Pavilion in Worth County. The doors opened at 6:00 PM and the Farmers and their families were treated to a meal catered by Fat Boys BBQ & More. Kaley Ford Bowen, of Farm Commodities and Chair of the Farmers Appreciation Committee, welcomed the farmers and thanked our sponsors. Mr. Jason Willis gave thanks and blessed the meal. The Worth County High School JROTC presented the colors, Ms. Jean Brooks lead the pledge and Ms. Mona Powell sang the National Anthem. Mr. Keith Willis recently retired FSA Director of Worth County, introduced our new FSA Director in Worth County, Mr. Taylor Arnold and wished him the best of luck. Then to Mr. Willis’s surprise, Mr. Kyle Tomlinson, the owner of Snipes Piggly Wiggly, presented Mr. Keith Willis with a plaque thanking him for over 30 years of service to the Worth County Ag Community and commitment to the Farmers Appreciation Committee. Mr. Willis gave a few words of thanks and said he couldn’t have had a better group of farmers to work for and is now proud to consider them his “friends”. Mr. Blake Crabtree, Worth County Extension Coordinator then presented our Farmer Awards for 2017: Farmer of the Year – Bowen Wright – Mr. Billy Wright accepted the award for his father. The Young Farmer of the Year is Morgan Young. The Conservationists of the Year is Keith and Floyd Brooks. In the next part of the program Mr. Kyle Tomlinson and Ms. Kaley Ford Bowen, with the help of two of our Georgia Peanut Queens, Little Miss Abigail Brook Goss, and Young Miss McKenzie Belle Ford, proceeded to give out over $1800 dollars in cash door prizes and gifts. Ms. Melissa Edwards wrapped it up with a heartfelt thank you to all our Worth County Farmers for all they do for our community. It was a great evening for all!

Source: Sylvester – Worth County Chamber of Commerce

From The Martin News….

The Martin News wants to wish each and everyone of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. We each have so much to be thankful for. Here at The Martin News we are very thankful for each one of our supporters. Whether you purchase advertisement, read and view our weekly news publication, like and share on our Facebook page, say kind words and your prayers, we are very appreciative. We could not be what we are today without you and for that we will be forever grateful. Thank you all and Happy Thanksgiving from The Martin News.

Golden Radish Award: Tift Schools Named Outstanding for Farm to School

The Tift County School System has been given the “Outstanding District” Golden Radish Award, the highest level of recognition in the state for farm-to-school programs. Tift County’s School Nutrition Department’s mission is to expose, educate and elevate the quality of meals served to 7,600 students in the district’s 12 schools.  Its initiative is recognized as one of the state’s most innovative programs focused on agricultural and nutrition education, supporting local farmers and getting students excited to eat healthy and fresh local foods.  Tift County Schools was also recognized at the Platinum level for its accomplishments during the last school year, which include: (1) The School Nutrition Department purchased a cow from a student and had it processed by a local community partner. The meat provided meals for four days to more than 300 students at Omega Elementary, (2) The district supports a 15-acre farm where students learn how to plant, maintain and glean crops on a larger scale. Students also learn how to extend the life of their harvest at the county’s state of the art canning facility maintained by an FFA instructor ns (3) Local farmer Len Lastinger taught students how to harvest eggs from the schools’ laying hens. The corresponding omelet taste test was a big hit. Georgia’s agriculture, education and public health departments, along with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and Georgia Organics representatives joined at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot in Atlanta to celebrate more than 40 percent of Georgia school districts with farm to school programs. Pictured is Ga. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, from left, Georgia Organics Director Alice Rolls, Tift Superintendent Patrick Atwater, Tift School Nutrition Director Vanessa Hayes, Ga. Health Commissioner J. Patrick O’Neal, UGA Extension Dean Laura Perry Johnson and state School Superintendent Richard Woods at the Atlanta ceremony.
Source: Tifton Grapevine

Boy with Tumor Asks for Ornaments to Bring Joy to his Family

Brantley is sick and he wants to celebrate Christmas again. Do you want to help? Bows, wreaths and garland glimmering with lights welcome visitors as they arrive at the Dobbs home in Hiram, Georgia. “Christmas literally blew up in our house the day after Halloween,” Brandon Dobbs laughs. For the Dobbs family, Christmas is a feeling, not a day on the calendar. “It just makes everybody happy,” Jamie Dobbs said. They are learning that joy is a choice and a mindset. It is medicine. You can hear giggling coming from the living room. Six-year-old Brantley has moved his bed downstairs these days. The stairs are too much work. His entire body is swollen from the treatments, medication and another round of steroids. Brantley points to a superhero Christmas tree on the wall above his bed. “There is Superman, Flash and Captain America,” he explains. “They all have cool superpowers.” He loves to show off the army of super heroes that surround him and tease his 5-year-old little sister Lucy. “You act Crazy,” Brantley said to her. Lucy’s favorite spot is at the foot of her brother’s bed. “I’m kidding,” He smiles. They are typical brother and sister, Dad says. “But they are best friends.” There is a picture of Brantley and Lucy together that hangs over the fireplace. It shows them soon after doctors found the bump in Brantley’s head as he calls it. He has an inoperable brain tumor, called DIPG. “Most kids live 5 to 9 months, sometimes they live a year,” Mom said. “Brantley is on month 20 now.” So every day of each month is an opportunity to share love and focus on happiness. That is why you’ll find Christmas in every nook and cranny of the house. A friend of the family shared Brantley’s story on Facebook asking people to send ornaments to brighten his days. And the flood gates of encouragement opened. “We started getting them in and it was amazing,” Jamie Dobbs said. “He has been smiling and laughing and we haven’t seen that a lot.” “He loves opening all the ornaments and it makes us happy to watch him with his gifts,” Brandon Dobbs said. Each gift is love packaged. Love universal. The boxes are arriving from all over the country and many parts of the world. Brandon said, “They’ve come from Canada, Ireland, England, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine…” Just that morning Jamie opened a box from Mexico and the United Arab Emirates. “We can’t keep up,” She laughs. “We get packages every day.” Lucy has learned what time love arrives each day. She stands out on the front porch and waits for the mail truck to pull into the driveway. She carries a stack of smiles up the stairs. It always comes right on time. Brantley smiles and laughs as he opens the gifts. As he does, dad is at a big map on the wall. They put a flag in place people have sent an ornament. There are more than a hundred markers already. “It means so much because he has touched so many lives and continues to show us that he is still touching lives,” Jamie said. There is one place not on any map that Brantley talks about, in his dreams, to God. “He talks to me,” Brantley said in a matter-of-fact way. “He is a big white cloud.” He’s talked to his mom about it. “He usually shares his conversations with God on the really hard days,” she said. “He said it’s just clouds and a little bit of light.” Brantley says God talks to him about the bump on his head. He says God reassures him that everything will be alright. “It is just complete calmness that comes over him,” Jamie said. “He’ll tell you that he knows he is going to heaven and he is ok with that because of the conversation.” She says as a mom, that is the hardest and the best thing a child could every say. Brantley is only 6, but the wisdom of his soul is much greater. His eyes are starting to get heavy. He’s tired from opening all those presents. Lanise Shortell sits on the edge of his bed. She keeps a close eye on him. Shortell is his Pediatric Hospice Nurse, with Visiting Nurse, VNHS.org and Hospice Atlanta. The Dobbs’s consider her family. “We could not go through this without her support,” Brandon said. She helps with medication, communication with doctors, and helps prepare everyone in the family, emotionally, for the difficult days ahead. “She is an angel,” Jamie adds. Shortell says it is the other way around. “Brantley has brought joy to our life. He’s allowed us to really see things from the point of view of a child. His faith is profound,” she said. Brantley’s dad notices he’s drifted off, “I think he is asleep now.” In his hand, an ornament of Big Ben in London. His mom snuggles him and kisses his cheek. She whispers in his ear, “do you know I love you.” Without opening his eyes, Brantley nods. She whispers again, “Do you love me bunches?” Brantley smiles and nods again. Brantley has taught them that joy is a mindset and medicine for the soul, in any season. His dad gently touches his knee. “He’s inspired us to live every day to the best. No regrets, just be happy.” What a beautiful story from 11alive. My family and I are going to get our package together. If you’d like to send an ornament or card to Brantley, send them to: Hospice Atlanta 1244 Park Vista Dr. Atlanta GA 30319 Attention: Brantley’s Christmas Cheer c/o Lanise.