Thank you for being you!

Published 12:08 pm Thursday, December 31, 2020

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By Staff Reports:

We opened our presses to you for your words of thanks as we say goodbye to 2020 and welcome 2021.  The Americus Times-Recorder would like to thank all of you, our local readers, for allowing us tell the story of Sumter County since 1879.  We would like to thank all of our elected officials for their work to make this community a great place to live.  Thank you to our teachers for rising above the chaos and confusion of a global pandemic to teach our children.  Thank you to the Americus Police Department, Sheriff’s Department and State Patrol for all you do to keep us safe from harm. Sumter County Fire Department and Americus Fire Department, we thank you for your commitment to the safety of our community.  We offer thanks to the staff and administration of Phoebe Sumter Medical Center for continuing to be our healthcare heroes.  Thank you to Mr. Jim and Christina for working in the dark of night to get our newspaper into stores and boxes for our readers. Thank you to the Americus Post Office for making sure our newspaper is delivered to our subscribers each week. Thank you to Cheryl Fletcher from Sumter County Board of Education and Judy Wills from Southland Academy for facilitating our Schools Page entries, there is no greater joy for us than to share the success of our local students.  We appreciate you all.

The following entries were submitted to the Americus Times-Recorder and we thank you!


Hooks Simmons Insurance would like to thank all of our law enforcement officers, first responders, healthcare workers and all essential employees for their dedication to our health and safety in 2020.  We would also like to express our sincere appreciation to the late Sheriff Pete Smith for his years of service to Sumter County and his immense love for all of its citizens.  He was a wonderful man and is missed dearly by our family!  RIP Sumter 001.  EOW 10-14-2020


I am grateful for all the friends Americus let me have.  Also for all those that give of themself to make this world a better place.

Len Hicks


I, Dr. Torrance Choates, would like to take this opportunity to show my gratitude and to say, “Thank You!” to the Sumter County parents, community, teachers, and students. The year 2020 has seen many lives lost; a loss of family members and friends alike. These are the times that give us candid reminders that it is not about race, it is about standing together and showing solidarity and love for one another! That is the only way we can help make this community thrive. We have to weed out all divisiveness and come together as a community.  I would also like to state to the parents of our prestigious school district to please unite, stand behind, and support Sumter County Schools! By working together, we can make the Sumter County School District the BEST System in the Region! I would like to thank our outgoing board members Alice Green, Edith Green, Meda Krenson, and Dr. Michael Busman for a job well done as serving on the Sumter County Board of Education. Lastly, I would like to welcome our new board members Abbis Bivins, Patricia Harris, Carolyn Hamilton, and Vincent Kearse. I have been very impressed with their eagerness of becoming Sumter County School Board members and their willingness to make a difference. The “DESIRE” they have is definitely there!


With sincere gratitude, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the fine residents of Sumter County for electing me to serve as your Probate Court Judge for a second term I, along with my staff Amethyst Hodges and Coretta Mathis, look forward to serving you in the coming years. Take care as we transition to 2021—a year I pray is much more tolerable for all of us!

Stephanie Bennett


The Social Exchange opens its arms wide giving a warm, heartfelt embrace to all in the family of humanity while wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday! We raise our glasses to our community: Our families, neighbors, friends, city, and county in a toast to unity, growth, and prosperity…but most of all, we send you love!

The Social Exchange sends prayers of hope, strength, safety, and recovery to those still sick and suffering with the disease of addiction; prayers of peace to those who struggle daily and many times silently, with mental illnesses; prayers of healing for those grappling with personal trauma; and prayers for unity, peace, empathy, understanding and oneness within our communities and around the world

To all of you who have shown support for our mission of service and our vision for community through participation and assistance we hand you the proverbial holiday gift of upmost gratitude and love, and a card that speaks our sincerest gratefulness and blessings! We can’t list you all, but, Nicole Thurston Kirksey; SAM Shortline; Robin Humphreys; Juanita Wilson; Marc Arnett; Tracy K. Hall; Charles Christmas; Barry Blount; Kim Singletary Christmas; Laura J Bauer; Jeni Smith Stepanek; Sabrina Maddox; Mary Medlock Moncus; and Jennifer Bailey, will find a special thank you gift in their stocking!  Blessings to all!




The Smarr Smith Foundation is overwhelmed by our community’s generosity and their fond memories of Nick Smarr and Jody Smith. We will never realize the work our law enforcement families offer to our little village and we consider it joy to join with you in celebrating those sacrifices to serve and protect. We are amazed how you will not let the worst thing be the last thing. Your consistent celebration of our officers is a gift and we are pleased to have a front row seat to view it. Thank you for partnering with us, for being our voice as we go forward in honoring law enforcement as they in turn dedicate themselves to us day in and out.

The Smarr Smith Foundation Board



I am grateful my accent always gives away the fact I call Sumter County mine. I love D. Mark Minick for literally making me a home. Bill McGowan, who simply oozes all things Americus, makes me smile. I am grateful for Jenny Vanzant and Joey Dunn who make me pretty. I am overwhelmed Salem United Methodist Church saves me a seat in the pew. There is not a prayer that doesn’t include our law enforcement heroes. I am grateful for our city and county workers, our merchants, our eateries, our dreamers, our farmers, our healthcare workers, our teachers, our artists and our essential workers who put their offerings out to insure we have more than we need. How wonderful it is to hear Thurston Clary get excited about every single birthday and anniversary. For the laughter and jolly spirit of the Sumter Historic Trust members, I am appreciative. I am wowed by the Junior Service League’s dedication to us. To those who invest in our historic homes, buildings and downtown as they restore them to the glory they deserve, I say thank you. For Kyler Crawford and all those who love Fat Frank the Cat, you are better than me. To Southland Academy who gave me a foundation to grow upon, I am honored. In every single cotillion student and assistant, your kindness is magical. Mike Blantz, who come what may, visits my porch everyday with mail to keep me connected, is simply amazing. For everyone who has encouraged me in my writing and in my day-to-day journey to carve myself a place in Sumter County, I count you a blessing. For my elected, thank you for knowing my name and being my voice. For my neighbors, my fellow villagers, I am grateful to share this little corner of the world with you.

Tracy K. Hall




Thankful and blessed to have had a wonderful Christmas with my family. Kept a chair open to the members who where there in spirit and those who couldn’t be there in body. I have high hopes and prayers for a Happy New Year to all. Left, right, and the middle. Count your blessings, love your neighbors, for we know not the hour that will be our last GOD BLESS YOU &


Amanda Grace


I am grateful for the men and women of the Americus Police Department, who selflessly serve this community.  2020 was a rough year for all of us.  We had severe weather events, nationwide protests, civil unrest, and a global pandemic.  Through it all our police officers, deputy sheriffs, firefighters and EMT’s continued to answer calls and place themselves in harm’s way to serve and protect the citizens of Americus and Sumter County.  Thank you APD.  You are greatly appreciated by this community and I personally have never been prouder to be one of you.

Mark Scott


A thank you to our daughter, Tiffany Laster-Lusane, RN for her dedication and commitment to her chosen profession. She takes pride in taking care of her patients and attending to their needs even during this pandemic. Tiffany always puts others before herself; while attending college she continued her obligations as wife, a very hands on mother and working as an LPN.  She was burning the midnight oil studying for exam after exam while also preparing for her state boards after graduating in May. Even though it was very hard juggling everything to maintain as much of a normal life as possible, she never gave up, because she knew what she needed to do to accomplish her goal of becoming an RN after many years of working in healthcare. We know this would not have been possible without God! We are very proud of you Tiffany and support you in your endeavors.

Love Dad & Mom,

Clarence & Edna Laster


My BFF who takes me and my husband to the doctor out of town anytime we ask. God Bless Her!

Sandra Coley Wooden


I am grateful for my neighbor who returns my hobo to my carport on trash pick-up day.

Julie Perry Fairbrother


I’m grateful that my neighbors are just like family!! And they keep a watchful eye.

Jayne Yarbrou


My next door neighbor who is watchful and thoughtful.

Sheila Akandu



A special thank you to our clients and their best friends for letting us serve them!

Americus Veterinary Hospital



Thankful for the one who showed they love me!

Lena Smith


I am grateful for my family and friends.

Cheryl Fletcher


I am grateful that I live in Plains.

Martha Ann Fennessy


I am grateful for my clients that have continued to trust coming in to see me for massage therapy in spite of the pandemic. I’m grateful for my husband and children that continue to amaze me with their wit, intelligence, skill, comedy, candidness, gentleness, and companionship. I’m grateful for my extended family and that we can mostly all communicate with everyone having a portal. I’m grateful for my health and that my parents taught me to seek knowledge that would ultimately help me and my family stay healthy.

I’m sorry to ramble, I try to stay positive, but I’m honestly so grateful just to be alive, because every day is a gift, and that’s why right now is called the “present”!

Miriam Fenley


I am grateful for freedom of worship.

Brenda Jennings


I am grateful to this great country we live in and those that have given their lives to protect us, and the men and women now serve our country.

Bonnie and Gene Davis


Thankful for all my wonderful Sweet Magnolia Photography clients!

Misty Lou


I would like to express my love and gratitude to ALL ESSENTIAL WORKERS during this difficult time in our lives. May God Bless ALL of YOU and your Families.

Sandra Walker


As we all know 2020 has been a year that most of us want to forget. However we have a lot to be thankful for this year. First, thank you to those who have been on the front lines, our police officers, firefighters, and health care workers working around the clock to keep our community safe and healthy during these challenging times. Thank you to our city employees who kept our city up and running providing the services we all needed throughout this pandemic. Last but not least, thanks to the residents of Americus who all came together to meet the needs of their neighbor.
Charles Christmas
City Council
District 4