Community showed true colors to help children with autism
What a most unforgettable night! Never in my wildness dreams did I think that the Bid for Bachelors at the State Theatre alone would allow us to open the doors for the Bridgewood Academy. The Academy is a vision of the director of the Albany Autism Center, Diane Blocker. Diane will open the private school for children of all abilities with a special emphasis on children with autism. No child will be turned away based on their disabilities. This school will provide services for families throughout south Georgia.
I first have to thank the community for their tremendous involvement. We could not have exceeded our goal without everyone coming out and supporting this event. It was a fun-filled night for everyone. We raised a total of $20,000. God definitely had his hand in this because this amount is exactly what was needed as a down payment to purchase the land and the building for the school.
Hugs and kisses to Kurt Baker and Dawn Hobby for emceeing the event and to T. Gamble, our auctioneer. You all made a fabulous team. You kept the crowds entertained and wanting more. You made the night a night filled with fun and laughter and I thank you for it.
I also have to thank our sponsors and the businesses that went above and beyond the call of duty. Kudos to Envy Boutique. They raised $500 by raffling off an outfit and the models were exquisite. The Wingate Inn and Premier Hotel Corp. for their generosity of accommodations for the packages. Phillips Men’s Wear for the donations of the tuxes for the bachelors, it definitely added the flair we needed. All of the bachelors were so handsome. I would also like to thank Veronica Luttrell, The Crowbar, and One Trick Pony for generously providing the hors d’oeuvres for everyone’s enjoyment. It was a magnificent spread. To Traci Henry an enormous thanks for the striking photographs of the Hunks of the Hour!
Also, a special thank you goes out to the Lane Rosen, Kevin Hogencamp and the rest of the staff @ the State Theatre! You guys were great. You were right there ready to handle our every need. Thank you to Dawson Country Club and River Pointe for the phenomenal donations. Also I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the press. WFXL, WALB, the Albany Herald, the Albany Journal, Clear Channel, and OnMedia. You raised the awareness and everyone’s CURIOUSITY!
I also have to recognize the girls that really made this event the success it was. “My Committee”. Jen Clark, Heather Brand, Debra Hall, Traci Henry, Jill Yost, Diane Blocker, Tonya Griffin, Carrie Owens, and Holly Pait. And my “rock” and right-hand man, Gina Bailey. I certainly could not have done it without you. I also would like to thank those of you that were an important part of the event. The pieces of the puzzle that we could not have done without … J.J Joiner, Brian Jones, Kathy Collins, Charlene Stokes, Brian Ward, Bo Clark, Dodie Law, Ashley Everrette and last but not least “Our Dirt Road Riding Bachelor” Watley Walsh.
And let’s not forget the SUPERSTARS of the NIGHT … Albany’s Finest Most Eligible Bachelors! Wes Duke, Christopher Carver, Jeff Ablen, Jason Wilson, Craig Dodge, Uel Kemp, Michael Rogers, Jim Fulford, Trey Underwood, Mark Massey, Kip Dupree, Daniel Potter, Cole Taylor, Rece Ellis, Jeff Fulford, Dr. Ramano Rao, Lee Trice, Mike Shivok, Ben Mosely Elliott McCrary, Jon Luttrell, and Bert James. And Our Silent Auction Bachelors: Kevin Jones, Sydney Thompson, Taylor Hartley, and Jon Mink Croshier.
The parents of these children are the real heroes. They fight a different battle everyday. They can’t dream of proms, weddings, or grandchildren … they simply just try to get through another day. Thanks to everyone involved you have given them a little glimmer of hope.
(Halstead was the coordinator of the Albany Autism Center’s Bid for Bachelors fund-raiser.)
Cancer donations through tax forms
If you or a loved one had cancer, would you want to leave your home state in order to get the best possible cancer care? The Georgia Cancer Coalition, an independent, not-for-profit organization, is working to reduce cancer-related deaths and make Georgia a premier state for cancer care.
To achieve that mission, a key Coalition focus is on research. Cancer research accelerates improvements in prevention, early detection, and treatment.
How can you help? Look for Line 29 on your State Income Tax Form 500, and “pick an amount and make it count” as a voluntary donation to the Georgia Cancer Research Fund.
Since 2003, Georgians have donated $2.75 million. Each dollar is matched by philanthropic and community resources, resulting in $5.5 million to fund research into the causes, treatments, and cures for cancer. Cancer Research Awards provide seed money for pilot studies which have the potential of attracting larger, more prestigious national grant awards.
Ever dollar donated goes directly to cancer clinicians and scientists doing research in Georgia. For more information and a form to give your tax preparer, visit www.georgiacancer.org. Your support is appreciated.
William J. Todd
(Todd is president and chief executive officer of the Georgia Cancer Coalition.)