Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo by Kristin Finney, July 31, 2011 Seen showing off their skills are some of the dancers from Becky’s Dance Step Studios. From left to right they are Mauri Tourangeau, Cheltsie Kinsley, (background) Toni Blanton, Brigitte Blanton and April Bishop.
By Kristin Finney
Greene Publishing, Inc.
The sounds of cheering and the cracking of baseballs against bats could be heard throughout the Lowndes High School, in Valdosta, Ga., on Sunday, July 31. The game began at 7 p.m. but the events began at 6 p.m. The cost of admission was one canned food item or a $1 donation for the Second Harvest Food Bank. The teams played at the Lowndes High School baseball field.
Amber Abbott sang some of her favorite songs during the pre-game warm-up and gave the crowd a taste of her talents. She also sang the national anthem at the beginning of the game.
Two teams, the Young Bruisers and the Good Ol’ Boys, were competing during the game. The Young Bruisers consisted of baseball players who were 25 years old or younger. The Good Ol’ Boys consisted of played older than 25.
A group of 10 girls from Becky’s Dance Step Studios showed off their dancing skills during the seventh inning stretch. Prior to the seventh inning, the girls came onto the field dressed in their best country attire and danced to Luke Bryan’s “Country Girl (Shake it for Me).”
There were also raffle tickets being sold, thanks to American Aluminum. The winner of the raffle got a chrome toolbox or dog box for their truck. The toolbox or dog box can be customized any way they want. It was valued at $369.
Imagine yourself standing before a smoke-filled stage with multicolored lights sweeping the room, heart-pounding live music pumping, all amidst a crowd dancing and singing to the music. This is no rock concert—it’s a FutureNow school assembly. “FutureNow is an organization out of Valdosta, Ga. that goes into middle and high schools to talk to teenagers about their choices and their future,” says FutureNow Director Chris Musgrove. FutureNow draws young people into their message with live music, meaningful drama, video effects and real-life stories combined in a one-hour presentation. The topics include telling students that their current choices will affect their education, careers, dreams and future.
Madison County Health Department’s Tobacco Program, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Safe Schools/Healthy Students program, known locally as Project Safe Zone, have partnered with Madison County Schools to provide this powerful program of daytime assemblies to middle and high school students on March 23. Fellowship of Christian Athletes hosts FutureNow’s night event, open to the entire community at the Madison County High School Gym on Wednesday, March 23rd at 7 p.m. Students will have the chance to win an iPod or Wild Adventures tickets in a drawing that evening. Parents, church youth groups, and the community at large are invited to come and enjoy the evening event.
Always looking for new opportunities to deliver tobacco prevention and cessation activities that support the school district’s tobacco-free policies, Tobacco Prevention Specialist Dog Freer praised the FutureNow event as an exciting and timely venue that goes hand-in-hand with the health department’s tobacco-free lifestyle goals. The Students Working Against Tobacco members from Madison County Central School will be serving as volunteers for the event, continuing their active support of programs that promote healthy living throughout the district.
Similarly, Project Safe Zone Coordinator Octavious Tookes acknowledged the importance and power of promoting positive behavior, praising the FutureNow production for its focus and ability to connect to youth of all backgrounds. With his focus on enhancing school safety and providing a healthy learning environment that addresses issues such as bullying prevention and mentoring, Tookes further acknowledged his pleasure to support a program that complements the core themes of Project Safe Zone.
To find out how you can get involved with this event as a supporter or a volunteer, please contact Elton Dixon at 229.245.9499, or visit www.futurenow.us for more information.
About two weeks ago, Dr. Robert Stark joined the staff of Smith Northview Hospital as its newest OB/GYN in Valdosta, Ga..
He joins his wife, Dr. Maria Castellano, a gastroenterolgist who has been working at the Valdosta hospital since September of last year. In fact, Stark now shares an office with his wife. They have been married for sixteen years and have three school-age children, the main reason they relocated to Valdosta…more educational and other opportunities for their children. Stark has practiced in the South Georgia area for the last six years, coming to Valdosta from Waycross, and says he has found the people of Valdosta to be very friendly and welcoming to him and his family, and he looks forward to building up his practice.
Chuck Roberts, Assistant Administrator of Support Services, and Director of Business Development and Community Relations, is also in charge of recruiting doctors for the hospital. However, in Stark’s case, “We’re very fortunate that they found us,” since they were already interested in relocating to the area. They had been looking at schools for their children and took a tour of the hospital as well, and “we started talking.”
The hospital has a new $2.5 million, 6000-square-foot addition to its labor and delivery division, meaning they now have three more labor and delivery suites and two more post-partum rooms, bringing the total now to five labor and delivery rooms and fourteen post-partum rooms. With Stark now on staff, they also have a total of four full time OB/GYN’s. In 2010, the hospital delivered over 650 babies, and now with Starke on board, they hope to bump that total up to over 700 for 2011.
Stark will be building up his practice and accepting new patients in the next few months. For an appointment, contact: 229-588-4419. For a tour of the hospital or other information, contact Chuck Roberts at 229-671-2007.