From food trucks to ‘good-doers’ to gifted teachers, here are Middle Georgia award winners

The pleasure of living in Middle Georgia comes largely from people in the community who commit their time and effort to make it such a great place.

Often, these community leaders, students and organizations receive awards for their efforts in being the best they can be and making Middle Georgia a better place.

Here is a list of people in Middle Georgia who have recently received awards.

Georgia Downtown Conference Annual Awards Ceremony

The city of Perry was honored at the Georgia Downtown Association’s annual awards ceremony for the city’s Food Truck Friday event.

Perry received the award for Promotion-Premier Special Event, and Haley Myers, Main Street coordinator for the City of Perry, said the city was really proud.

“It really wouldn’t be a thing if we hadn’t had strong leadership, and we definitely do,” she said. “We’re really proud to work for and work alongside really great leaders in our city that make events like these happen.”

Myers said the Food Truck Friday event started with only four food trucks in May 2018 because they only expected around 800 people to attend. About 4,000 people showed up for the first event. There are now 25-30 food trucks at the Friday event, and other food trucks are on a waiting list to get involved next year.

“It just means that Perry is really on the map, and we really are the place where Georgia comes together,” she said.

Perry’s Food Truck Fridays are on the second Friday of the month and now run from April to September. Myers said the event features live music and a free kid zone.

“We also know that we’re on the right track in enhancing and increasing our quality of life here in Perry,” she said. “Creating a place where families and friends can come together right here in our downtown streets is definitely a goal of ours, and we want to continue to do that.”

America’s Best Colleges

Mercer University was named as one of the top 40 best values among 381 institutions in the national universities category in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual America’s Best Colleges issue, according to a news release.

Mercer was ranked No. 34, and the School of Engineering tied for No. 52 as one of the nation’s top engineering program that offers bachelor’s or master’s as their terminal degrees, according to the release.

Peyton Anderson Foundation 30-Day Challenge

The Peyton Anderson Foundation on Sept. 3 issued $3,000 checks to winners of their 30-Day Challenge.

Each of the winners donated the money to a local non-profit, according to a news release.

“The Peyton Anderson Foundation was so inspired by the quality and enthusiasm invested into each 30-Day Challenge entry that we decided to do even more good and donate $25,000 to local non-profit organizations through the Challenge winners,” said Karen Lambert, the foundation’s president, in the release.

The 30-Day Challenge celebrates the foundation’s 30th anniversary. Participants were encouraged to be “good-doers” by competing in 30 days of service and community engagement. Those who completed the requirements for the challenge were entered to win $3,000 for a local nonprofit.

Houston County Education Assistance Fund

Thirty-one teachers of gifted and talented students received $500 and a certificate as a recipient of the Houston County Education Assistance Fund on behalf of the Manoj H. Shah family for their ability to encourage innovation and creativity, according to a news release.

The teachers are:

  • Houston County High School: Brian Feehan, Rebecca Staines and Tammy Strickland
  • Northside High School: David Flanders, Rusty Lane and Daniel Sayles
  • Perry High School: Susan Bray, Lindsey Gentry and Cathy Heller
  • Veterans High School: Kristina Cannon, Dana Morris and Kaci Whiddon
  • Warner Robins High School: Joanna Barfield, Ashley Dalton and Elizabeth Wright
  • Bonaire Middle School: Shannon Sanders and Karen Yeager
  • Feagin Mill Middle School: Maria Huckabee and Mandy Medalis
  • Huntington Middle School: Lacey King and Joann Watts
  • Mossy Creek Middle School: Jacob Harvey and Laura-Lee McCranie
  • Northside Middle School: Annie Renee Stephens and Matt Yawn
  • Perry Middle School: Liz Hodge and Tim Hutchens
  • Thomson Middle School: Susan Lee and Erin Peck
  • Warner Robins Middle School: Tony Floyd and Penney Sneed