Valdosta Civic Roundtable

Minutes from Jan. 8, 2009

Members present: Jane Osborn, Dennis Marks, Donald Davis, Jerome Tucker, Cheryl Oliver, Shannon Jenkins, Harriet Messcher, Julie Halter, & Leslie Jacobs. Visitors present: John Fretti, Valdosta Mayor, & Charles Beadle.

Treasurer’s Report: $129.59 in account. Bank has started charging a $5 monthly fee to the account, so Cheryl will be shopping for a new bank.

Secretary’s Report: An RSVP was received by email from Joyce Aigen. Due to other obligations, she will not be continuing her membership with the Roundtable group, but wishes everyone well. It was decided today that all people receiving the Meeting Reminder will be sent the minutes by email. For those who are unable to attend the monthly meeting, this is a good way for you to stay informed. If you don’t wish to continue being on this list, please email me at:

Member’s Reports:

Cheryl Oliver wanted everyone to know that the Turner Center still has some tickets available for the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. It will take place on Sunday, Jan. 11, at 3:00. Tickets are $45; $25 for students & teachers. On Jan. 29, at 7:30, you can hear the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Cheryl continues to keep up with Kid’s Chance & informed us that things are going well with the organization since the headquarters moved to Atlanta.

Harriett Messcher told us that LAMP is in the middle of its Changing Lives campaign, which will peak in April. A new event “Homeless for a night” will take place on Mar. 6-7. More details to follow.

Julie Halter passed out the new Learning in Retirement EdVantages. There are lots of interesting classes being offered! Check it out at:

Mayor John Fretti joined us today & spoke of the ongoing attempt to get public transit going in the area. Money has been set aside & hopes are that by March 2010 this will become a reality for Lowndes County. Mayor Fretti is also interested in seeing a public art initiative get off the ground, & mentioned the benefits of showing different types of art around the community.

Jane Osborn is the newly elected President of the Valdosta Civic Roundtable. Jane works at 211 & daily tries to meet the demands of the homeless in our area. Hard times are seeing many citizens dealing with homelessness & there is an ongoing need for housing. Also of concern is the cutback in the funds for mental health services & facilities. Contact your legislator. There is an online course with the Mental Health Advocacy Academy, on Jan. 9, from 1:00-4:00. Email or call (675)764-4502. Parent University will take place on Mar. 7, at VSU. You must register to attend. Call your local school to sign up. There will be a Wine Tasting for the Partnership Health Center on Jan. 13, 5:00-7:00 at 306 North.

Donald Davis passed out the new Yesterday & Today. There are many interesting items in this edition, as well as a wealth of history to be seen at the Lowndes County Historical Society & Museum. Pick up your copy soon! On Jan. 24 there will be a Family DNA Seminar. See:, for more information.

Shannon Jenkins told us about her work with the Girl Scouts. She mentioned that cookie orders are going on. They’re now $3.50 a box & should be available around Feb. 14th. There is a new project at the Girl Scouts, called STEM. It’s an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math. These are subjects typically not pursued by girls & the organization is seeking to change that by offering opportunities to learn about those topics. Mark your calendar: The Azalea Festival will take place on Mar. 14-15 this year.

Dennis Marks told us about the performances hosted through the Opera Board at VSU. Jan. 16th there will be a performance for students at 10:00. The performance on the 17th will take place at 7:30 & on the 18th at 3:00. Tickets are $15 each & $5 for students. On Tues., Jan. 20th, there will be an Inauguration Day celebration at Hildegard’s downtown starting at 11:30 AM.

Jerome Tucker told us that the Red Cross donations, both of money & blood are way off for this year. If you are able, go donate blood. The Communities in Schools program is going well in both City & County Schools. Mentoring is a useful tool in helping children.

Leslie Jacobs needs volunteers for 4 weekday mornings each month. If you like children &/or horses & being outside in the fresh air – this is the place for you! Call 794-1188 for dates & times.

The next meeting of the Valdosta Civic Roundtable will be on Thursday, Feb. 5th. Please plan to attend & bring a friend!

Leslie Jacobs,