McLamb receives Quilt of Valor from Thomson quilt guild
Sue Chagnon and Marcia Nichols wrap a Quilt of Valor around Leon McLamb.
A local quilting guild honored Leon McLamb with a Quilt of Valor on Nov. 29 to thank him for his service to the United States.
The quilt is the highest honor a civilian can bestow upon a veteran.

THS NJROTC receives first-ever ‘Bravo Zulu’ award
The Thomson High School NJROTC program underwent its annual military inspection Wednesday, Nov. 29.  According to NJROTC instructors First Sergeant James Jennings and Commander Brian Swanson, the unit earned the "Bravo Zulu" award.   The award, a first in Thomson's history, signifies a job well done in every phase of the inspection.

Four Way Farm provides solace for horses
Debbie Wright and Margaret Hill are shown with Roland, the latest acquisition who was rescued from Columbia County.
A 14-acre farm in Mitchell is providing a safe haven for retired or neglected and abused horses.
Four Way Farm, which sits at the four-way stop sign in Glascock County, was established in 2008 after Margaret Hill’s late husband, Albert, purchased the property for Hill to begin her equine rescue facility.

Thomson Fire Rescue raises money for area hospital
Lt. Pam Nickles and Firefighter Randy Rossi are shown with Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry.
Although the boot drives Thomson Fire Rescue conducts to raise money for the East Central Regional Hospital in Augusta have ended, people still have the opportunity to help the firefighters bring holiday cheer to the patients.
Thomson-McDuffie citizens may still participate in the Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade and drop off cash and coins at the fire department headquarters on McCommons Street and also pick up a list items needed by the patients with developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges.
The motorcade is a statewide campaign of the Georgia Municipal Association, in cooperation with fire departments, to help the clients of Georgia’s five regional behavioral health hospitals celebrate Christmas by providing each of the 3200 patients with a present. The motorcade raises money to purchase the bare essentials needed by the patients, such as underwear, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shoes and socks, other personal items and etc. Any items not handed out at Christmas are used throughout the year to celebrate birthdays and other special days.
Thomson’s firefighters started the boot drives in September and ended Nov. 6. They are still collecting at the headquarters until the money and gifts are presented to the East Central Regional Hospital on Dec. 7.

Local nonprofits help those in need, especially during the holiday season
Maxine Story, Tamesha Bradshaw and Pauline Dixon pack Thanksgiving boxes for Agape clients.
With the holiday season fast approaching, Agape Outreach Ministries and MANNA are working hard to provide individuals and families in the community with what they need to enjoy the season.
The ministry is currently taking donations of Thanksgiving foods such as turkey, ham, dressing, cranberry sauce and other side items.
During the holiday season, ongoing MANNA clients will receive an extra bag of food for Thanksgiving, and for families with children under the age of 12, applications are available every other year for Christmas gifts.

Bulldog head cook Brenda Key retiring after 21 years
Brenda Key was presented a signed football and a caramel cake by the team.
Brenda Key is retiring as the Thomson Bulldog cook.
Key, school nutrition manager for Thomson High School, has been in her post for 21 years and will retire Jan. 1.
“I’ve enjoyed cooking for the students and football team, but it was time,” she said Friday after being honored with her favorite cake -- caramel -- from head coach Rob Ridings. She was presented a football autographed by the team earlier.

Morris recounts more than 50 years in horse business
Driven by John Conaster, Leon Morris acknowledges the great response from the crowd.
Leon Morris, a Thomson native born on Jan. 14, 1948, has been a part of the equestrian industry since he was 15 years old.
“I was piddling around at Pete Reed’s farm in Thomson and fell in love with horses,” Morris said. “My first job was with Pete Reed, grooming horses.”
While in Vietnam, Morris acquired Agent Orange which later caused Morris to become a double amputee.
After leaving the military, Morris worked for Kingsley Mill a couple of years before the horse industry drew him back in at Pete Reed’s farm.
During his career, Morris worked at Uniroyal and for McDuffie County.
“Somehow I always ended up back in the horse business,” Morris said.
As a result of his long career in the caretaking industry and his dedication, Morris was inducted into the UPHA Caretaking Hall of Fame earlier this year.

United Way kicks off fundraising campaign in McDuffie
Riley Stamey is the local executive director for United Way of McDuffie County Inc.
United Way of McDuffie County Inc. has begun its annual campaign with a goal of raising $125,000.
The campaign, which runs from October through December, raises money for local nonprofit organizations that provide services and programs that help those in need in our community. The United Way in McDuffie County is independently organized and is one of 37 in the state of Georgia, according to Riley Stamey, executive director of the local United Way.

Thomas working to relieve stress from cancer patients and families
Juanita Thomas recently established a nonprofit, People Empowering People, to help provide cancer patients with transportation to and from treatments.
A local woman and cancer survivor is looking to help cancer patients have transportation to their treatment centers when needed.
“I help cancer patients with transportation to their treatment centers for those who need a ride,” said Juanita Thomas. “I’m hoping to expand soon to provide programs for caregivers and special events for them because I know they get stressed out taking care of people.”
Thomas said she also offers free wigs to those patients who want them.

Graham inducted into Augusta racing hall of fame
Archie Graham was inducted into the Augusta International Raceway Hall of Fame in September for his career in drag and micro-midget racing.
A local man, Archie Graham, was recently inducted into the Augusta International Raceway Preservation Society (AIRPS) Hall of Fame.
An avid racer named Henry Jones, along with other road racing enthusiasts, established the AIRPS in 2003. The group began to grow and raised funds to place a monument at the Diamond Lakes Community Center in Augusta. According to AIRPS, Diamond Lakes sits on the former site of the Augusta International Speedway’s (AIS) 3.2 mile road course. When AIS opened in 1960, it had a drag strip, micro-midget track, a go-cart track and a motorcycle scramble track. In 1961, a half-mile dirt track was added, and in 1963, a 3.2 mile road course was added.
The speedway folded in 1966 and was bought by the Warr brothers and headed up by State Sen. Mike Padgett who changed the name to Augusta Raceways. The track remained open until 1970.
In 2004, AIRPS inducted its first class into the hall of fame. The class was composed of 1960 NASCAR Champion Rex White, Augusta road racer Ted Tidwell, an Augusta Grand National driver. Graham’s class will round out 65 total hall of famers for AIRPS. Graham was inducted for his career in drag racing and racing micro-midget cars.

McDuffie Progress

McDuffie Progress

McDuffie Progress

McDuffie Progress