Friday, Dec. 6, 2019
Tifton, Georgia
Tifton's Hometown Holiday Christmas Celebration has a full day of holiday activities planned this Saturday, Dec. 7.

This is the 21st annual celebration that includes the Christmas Parade , the lighting of the city Christmas tree (which workers set up this week at City Hall, as seen in the photo) and a multitude of free entertainment activities throughout Downtown Tifton .

"We are very excited about this year’s Hometown Holiday Christmas Celebration , and this year’s weather will be perfect ," said Abbey McLaren , downtown development director.

"We’ve added a few new rides this year, and our big attractions such as the zip line, ice skating rink and ferris wheel will all be back . And, there’s no need to pick between the SEC championship game and the Hometown Holidays parade – you can do both by watching the game in a downtown restaurant ," McLaren said.

The Christmas Parade , with the theme “March of the Toys,” begins at 5 p.m. with Jack and Ann Stone as this year's grand marshals .

Following the parade, the city Christmas tree is is lighted and downtown activities begin, including free carnival rides, "ice skating," and live entertainment on three stages . UGA's "Candy Cane Express" will offer tram rides through Fulwood Park's "Festival of Lights."

The day begins with the Tifton Rotary Club's "Breakfast with Santa" at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Tift County Recreation Department on Victory Drive, and with the Tifton Kiwanis Run for the Kids at 8 a.m. beginning near the corner of Forrest Avenue and Fourth Street.
Tifton Grapevine
Actress Caitlin Carmichael , a Tifton native who has acted in numerous movies and TV shows, on Tuesday night received the "Best Newcomer 2019" award at the National Film and TV Awards at the Globe Theatre in Los Angeles .

The National Film Academy , which produces the  National Film Awards UK , presented the awards, whose recipients were chosen by the votes of more than 5.7 million film fans worldwide .

"I am so thankful for being nominated by the National Film Academy and to everyone who voted for me to win this incredible honor . I am definitely blessed and grateful to have shared the same space with the talent and genius that was in that room ," Carmichael told the Tifton Grapevine .

"My team at Paradigm Agency and my managers, Adam Griffin and Samir Karar , guide me in doing what I love, and my family keeps me grounded in my faith . I'm proud to say that I've acted since I was three years old . It's not what I do; it's who I am . And, I can't wait to see what God has in store for me," Carmichael said.

Carmichael currently is the female lead in the BYU TV series "Dwight in Shining Armor." She has also had roles in such films as "Epiphany," "Life Itself," "300: Rise of an Empire," and the Netflix film "Wheelman." She has also appeared in numerous TV shows , including "Young Sheldon," "The Good Doctor," "The Mick," "Criminal Minds," and "CSI: Miami."

Also at the National Film and TV Awards this week, actress Sharon Stone received the Outstanding Contribution to Motion Picture award for her film career, and Jennifer Lopez got the Best Actress award for the movie "Hustler."

Quentin Tarrantino's "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood" received Best Feature Film , and Tarrantino also picked up the Best Director award for the movie
Tifton's Town Terrace "pink" Motel has been transformed into the "Kentucky Star Motel" for the movie being filmed there this week with Queen Latifah and Dennis Quaid on site.
As the feature movie "The Tiger Rising" continues filming in Tifton and Thomasville , the public is invited this Sunday, Dec. 8 , to a special conversation with the movie's director and the author of the book upon which the movie is based.

Director Ray Giarratana and best-selling children's author Kate DiCamillo will be at the Thomasville Cultural Center at 4 p.m. to share their journeys with creating the inspirational story for the book and now the movie screen .

Giarratana has spent about a decade working to bring DiCamillo's 2001 National Book Award finalist to film . Giarratana has more than 30 years of supervising visual effects in such films as "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," "John Wick: Chapter 3" and several Marvel superhero films.
DiCamillo , 55, has written numerous children's books , including "Because of Winn-Dixie" and "The Tale of Desperaux." She has served as the national ambassador for Young People's Literature . DiCamillo grew up in Clermont, Fla.

"The Tiger Rising" is set in Florida , and the film stars Queen Latifah, Dennis Quaid, Katherine McPhee, Christian Convery, Madalen Mills and Sam Trammell .

Dennis Quaid was spotted in the snack bar Thursday at Tifton's Spring Hill Country Club and took this photo there with Marie McCant . Quaid is an avid golfer and often seeks out new golf courses .
ABAC Ambassadors include, first row from left: Kendall Prescott, Cydney Slapa, Emily Owenby, Jaylee Bass, and Raegan Clack; second row: Hannah King, Claire Ryland, Charley Lollis, Abby Green, Ava Jane Teasley, and Emily Ralston; third row: Ja’Mi Barnes, Jarrett Mobley, Will Bostelman, Johnathan Strickland, and Jake Harris.
Sixteen students at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College have been selected to participate in one of the most prestigious organizations on campus, the ABAC Ambassadors.

Students serving as Ambassadors include  Hannah King , a senior biology major from Tifton ; Abby Green , a junior agricultural education major from Montrose ; Ava Jane Teasley , a freshman agricultural communication major from Covington ; Emily Owenby , a freshman agricultural education major from Blairsville ; Cydney Slapa , a freshman agriculture major from Deltona, Fla. ; Charley Lollis , a sophomore agricultural communication major from Perry ; Jake Harris , a sophomore agricultural communication major from Hamilton ; and Jaylee Bass , a senior writing and communication major from Adel

Other Ambassadors include  Claire Ryland , a junior business major from Tifton ; Ja’Mi Barnes , a sophomore social and community development major from Tifton ; Jarrett Mobley , a senior agricultural communication major from Covington ; Emily Ralston , a senior agribusiness major from Bradenton, Fla. ; Will Bostelman , a sophomore business major from West Point ; Raegan Clack , a sophomore nursing major from Leesburg ; Kendall Prescott , a freshman agricultural education major from Lake Placid, Fla.; and Johnathan Strickland , a junior environmental horticulture major from LaGrange .

King serves as president ; Bostelman is vice president ; Owenby is secretary ; and  Teasley  is the historian for the Ambassadors , who assist the offices of the president, marketing and communications, and admissions by representing and promoting the college at community and college events. They work to maintain positive relationships among students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community.
The 34th  annual lighting of the  Tree of Life , which serves as a symbolic tribute to friends, family and lost loved ones during the holiday season, will be at 6 p.m.  Thursday, Dec. 12 at the  Tift Regional Medical Center (TRMC) Anita Stewart Oncology Center at  1623 Madison Ave.  in Tifton. 
Lights on the tree may be purchased in honor or memory of a special person with all proceeds benefiting the patients of Hospice of Tift Area and the Anita Stewart Oncology Center . The event will include a candle-lighting ceremony, live holiday music , a visit from Santa and complimentary refreshments
"It wouldn’t be the holiday season without the Tree of Life ," said  Kristy Daniels , Hospice of Tift Area director. "This is the 34th  year of this annual event, and it’s really become a great tradition . We want everyone in the community to bring their families and friends out to this event and support this great cause."
Daniels said that purchasing a light for the Tree of Life in honor or memory of a person is a  tax-deductible gift which will help Tift Regional’s hospice and cancer patients with special needs . She said the Tree of Life fund assists the hospital’s cancer and hospice patients who have difficulty paying utility bills or need special comforts while undergoing treatment
Tifton Rotary President-Elect Rick Register stands with Glenda Kesser, who spoke on Alzheimer's Research.
Glenda Kessler , chairman of the "CART" program for Rotary District 6920 and former president of the Camden County Rotary Club , told the Rotary Club of Tifton on Wednesday that the program, "Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust," has awarded $8.2 million in 50 grants to research institutions investigating cures and treatments for Alzheimer’s disease .
“This year we gave our first $1 million that was divided among five researchers ," Kessler said.

“I do have experience with family members with this disease . My maternal grandmother had Alzheimer’s before people knew the word. Then about 12 or 13 years ago, my mother began showing signs , and she died about two and a half years later. Her symptoms were very scary, very bizarre , and my dad handled it very well with humor.”

Others have had to deal with it for 17-20 years, she said. 

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. It kills more than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined,” she said. About 140,000 Georgians are suffering from this disease, and tens of thousands more are affected by other forms of dementia .

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease of the brain that leads to memory loss and affects ability to learn, to make sound judgments and to carry out daily activities. It may be present up to 20 years before symptoms appear, which is why early detection is important

CART funds are collected at all Rotary Club meetings, and the goal is that 100 percent of donated funds go to cutting-edge Alzheimer’s disease research . All administrative expenses of the fund are paid from interest earned from invested contributions.

The fund is chartered as a nonprofit organization in South Carolina , where CART began at the Sumter Rotary Club in 1995 The first grant was for $100,000 in 1999 ; the program is observing its 10th  anniversary of supporting Alzheimer’s research . More information may be found on the website
Photo by Peter Frey/UGA
Michael Toews, entomology professor and co-director of UGA's Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, and his graduate student team of Apurba Barman (foreground), Lauren Perez (background, left) and Sarah Hobby inspect sorghum plants near Tifton for signs of invasive sugarcane aphids.
The Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health on the UGA Tifton campus is working to track —and eliminate 4,300 non-native insects, plants and animals that are wreaking havoc on the environment and the economy .

The University of Georgia center's origins stem from a partnership in the mid-1990s between two UGA Tifton professors – Keith Douce in entomology and Dave Moorhead in forestry. They were looking for ways to enhance their work using information technology . The result was the  Bugwood Image Database , a collection of high-resolution photos focused on forestry, integrated pest management, weeds and other invasives .

To read UGA's article about the center's work , Click Here!
Elizanilda do Rego , left, and Guilherme Bueno from Brazil , two English language learners , hold student dictionaries donated by the Tifton Elks Lodge to Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County . Do Rego, Bueno and Joara Candian (not pictured) are research scientists working at the University of Georgia's Tifton Campus . English language classes are offered free of charge through Southern Regional Technical College Adult Education to anyone with proper documentation who wants to improve their language skills .
Called to Care , a local orphan-care ministry serving 20 counties including Tift and Turner , has kicked off its End of the Year Campaign to raise $60,000 for the upcoming year.

The mission of Called to Care is to equip the Body of Christ to support children, families and workers by ministering through adoption, foster care and missions . The vision is for every child to be in a Christ-centered loving home .

In 2019 , Called to Care Tift/Turner County served 375 children. The organization gave nearly $2,000 in international adoption grants and $3,500 in international mission grants. Currently, there are 13 church partners helping serve 27 foster families and 110 children in foster care

The Ga. Division of Family and Children Services calls upon Called to Care when a new child-care case arises. Called to Care provides items the children will need, such as toiletries, clothing, school supplies, beds, bedding and a Bible

Financial contributions allows the organization to minister to families who have needs that may not be met otherwise. Donations are tax deductible and stay in the local chapter .

To donate, Click Here or mail checks to P.O. Box 2396, Tifton, GA 31793 . For information , call 229-392-5293 or email


  • North Pole Express, 5 p.m., Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Glow in the Snow, 6 p.m., Nashville Community Center, Nashville
  • Home Free in Concert: "Dive Bar Christmas Tour," 8 p.m., UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton


  • Rotary's Breakfast with Santa, 8-11 a.m., Tift County Recreation Department, Victory Drive., Tifton
  • Kiwanis Run for the Kids, 8 a.m., corner of Forrest Avenue and Fourth Street, Tifton
  • Wiregrass Kids: Storm Chasers, 1:30 p.m., Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • North Pole Express, 5 p.m., Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Tifton Christmas Parade, 5 p.m., Downtown Tifton
  • Hometown Holiday Christmas Celebration, immediately following parade, Downtown Tifton


  • Merry Christmas for Tifton & Taste of Tifton, 6 p.m., First Baptist Church, Tifton
NOV. 27
Martha L. “Marty” Snowden, 68, Fitzgerald
Pearly L. “Buddy” Raffield, 91, Ocilla
Elder Jimmy Bedingfield, 79, Ocilla
Benjamin Floyd Weaver, 76, Sylvester

NOV. 28
Michael Shane Gray, 31, Brookfield
David L. Hall, 71, Nashville
Jo Ann Coker Rutland, 79, Tifton
Catherine Luckett Albright, 82, Jacksonville, Fla.

NOV. 29
William Leroy Bass, 94, Tifton
Kathy Bryant Argabright, 65, Fitzgerald
Frances Williamson Rodgers Herndon, 83, Cedar Crossing  
Ronnie Culpepper, 54, Quitman

NOV. 30
Jamie J. Law, 31, Fitzgerald

DEC. 1
William J. “Bill” Reese, 76, Worth County
Kathleen Hendley, 88, Nashville

DEC. 2
Ruth Barnes Grist, 86, Chula
Samuel Blakey "Blake" Brown, 84, Tifton
Julian "J.B." Tyson Sr., 87, Adel
Jo Beth Little, 89, Enigma
Audrey Wright Shealey Cyr, 90, Fitzgerald

DEC. 3
Cecil Eugene “Gene” Stinson Jr., 72, Tifton
Ralph Smith, 64, Fitzgerald
T. Terrell Cato Sr., 77, Adel
Marcus Timothy “Tim” Parker, 62, Fitzgerald
Charles William “Bill” Bryant Jr, 57, Lenox
Ann Cring, 86, Irwin County
DEC. 4
Hildred Coker Goff, 79, Tifton
William Monty “Billy” Creech Jr., 90, Ray City
Bonnie Jane Vickers Gaskins, 82, Lake Park
Robert “Bob” Zakrzewski, 77, Nashville

DEC. 5
Geneva Grace Tompkins, 86, Tifton
Erzsebet Godor, 85, Fitzgerald


Tifton Grapevine
e-published every Tuesday and Friday

Frank Sayles Jr.
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Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
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