The Tifton Gazette offers a round of applause for individuals and organizations doing good things in our community.

Tiftarea Panthers Coach Erik Soliday

Tiftarea Academy Panthers football coach Erik Soliday recently hit a milestone, celebrating his 200th win as a head coach as the Panthers won against the Terrell Academy Eagles by 33-7.

Fans cheered for Soliday as the press box announced this special accomplishment.

“I didn’t play a single down in any of those 200 wins so I don’t get credit for that,” said a humble Soliday in an interview.

The team is closing in on another milestone, 250 victories.

The next home game for the Panthers will be Sept. 27, against Loganville Christian Academy.

Stay in School Rally

Mims Kids hosted its eighth annual Stay in School Rally at the Tift County Recreation Department Saturday Aug. 3.

Executive Director of Mims Kids Inc. M. Jay Hall organized the rally.

“I think this has a really big positive impact on the community,” said Hall, in an interview. “You might have some people that would have never crossed paths or worked together before but they come together for one common cause, and that’s for the kids and that’s for the future.”

The event brought out over 200 local Tift County students.

The rally had 36 sponsors that consisted of businesses and people from around the Tift County community. They donated supplies, door prizes and money to make sure the Stay in School Rally was a success.

Golden Exchange Project

The Golden Hardware Building, located at the corner of Second Street and Love Avenue, is getting a new lease on life.

Jenna Turner has purchased the building, facilitated by the Downtown Development Authority,

Built in 1919, Turner sees a lot of potential in her Golden Exchange Project.

Three stories tall with an underground basement, Turner is planning for the building to be a multi-use facility, possibly including a cafe, office space and retail space.

Turner, who works with her husband at Harp and Turner Construction Company, has never flipped any houses or buildings, but isn’t letting that slow her down.

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College food pantry and clothing closet

For the last two years, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College has maintained a food pantry and clothing closet for students who financially need help.

The Residence Housing Association teams up with Embark Georgia to make sure students that come from foster care services or have experienced homelessness have the necessary items in life to function successfully.  

Embark Georgia works with different agencies and organizations to improve the educational options for people who have experienced foster care or homelessness. Embark Georgia has designated points of contact on college campuses to identify students who fall into this category.

The ABAC point of contact for Embark Georgia is Maggie Martin. She relies on teachers and professors at ABAC to help her identify students who could use extra assistance. According to Martin, it can be difficult for students to come forward about needing help after being homeless.

The clothing closet provides students with professional clothing that can be used for job interviews, class presentations, conferences or whatever else the students need it for.

Food and clothing donations come from faculty, staff and students at ABAC. When students move out of their dorms each semester, some of them donate their leftover food items to the pantry.

The closet and pantry is located at the heart of campus inside the residence hall, ABAC Place. The closet/pantry remains discrete so that students feel comfortable when accessing it.

Herring is the faculty member that students can go through to access the pantry and closet. For more information about how to donate, contact Sarah Herring by calling 229-391-5231 or emailing

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