Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019
Tifton, Georgia
Tifton Grapevine

With the death Tuesday of Harold G. Harper Sr. , Tifton lost a true visionary whose impact on Downtown Tifton will be felt for decades to come.

Harper , 89, died peacefully at his residence. He was working up to the end, developing into apartments the second of the old twin-brick warehouse buildings on Tift Avenue.

He had already developed the other twin-brick building into loft apartments and a restaurant .

I n the early 1980s when Downtown Tifton was declining as many businesses had fled to the mall, to shopping centers and to be near the Interstate, Harper began rehabilitating historic buildings in the downtown district. In 1982 , he restored the former Wilton Hotel into the Wilton Arms Apartments .

But his most ambitious project was restoring the once-grand, decaying Myon Hotel . Through a partnership  with the city in  1984-86 , the Myon was restored  into  Tifton City Hall , private apartments and retail space. The Myon is the  anchor of downtown Tifton and helped spur other restoration and development .

Harper continued redeveloping downtown historic properties, including the  old Union Depot  into unique and well-appointed loft apartments as well as  The Avenue  apartment building on Tift Avenue.
"I don't know how you capture the spirit of a man like Harold Harper in a sentence or two. He loved Tifton and was the catalyst for the success that changed Downton Tifton for the better, said Mayor Julie Smith .

"Even at 89 years old he continued to work every day , and you can't go anywhere in town that you don't see the results of his vision . I loved him with all my heart. He was a dear friend . I'd imagine that right now he's in Heaven planning to renovate something that will be spectacular when it's complete," the mayor said.

"He will be greatly missed . We keep his family in our prayers."

During his more than 35 years of tireless work rehabilitating downtown buildings, Harper received numerous awards and recognitions , among them the Georgia Downtown Association Award for Excellence in Design , the Governor's Community Development Award , the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce's John Hunt Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Chamber's "Wall of Fame" designation, the renaming of Tifton's First Street to Harold Harper Way and the Georgia Cities Foundation's Renaissance Award recognizing Harper for making a " significant contribution  to the  revitalization " of Downtown Tifton .

"Without a  viable downtown , you're not going to have that much of a  community ,"  Harper told city officials from across Georgia  when receiving the latter award in  Savannah .

The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday in the Chapel of Albritton Funeral Directors.
VIDEO: The Georgia Cities Foundation made this video about Harper when he received the organization's Renaissance Award in 2016.
Tifton Grapevine

The second annual South Georgia Home Showcase , with close to 1,000 attendees, was “wonderful,” said Jay Short , CEO of Short & Paul Supply Co. about the event Tuesday , Feb. 12, at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center .
Seventy-three booths, representing 120 manufacturing companies, showcased the products and services available throughout our region. The event was co-sponsored by Conger LP Gas and Short & Paulk .
“We go to shows all over the country, and we can’t show everything we are able to offer our clients through our stores,” Short said. Here at the home show, he said, “we are bringing the shows we go to back home to our community .” 

Vendors showcased gas logs, refrigerators, grills, washing machines, doors, windows, generators, the wide variety of roofing shingles available to the public, and more. Cooking, gardening and decorating demonstrations were ongoing.
“New products, new applications and new installation methods” were showcased, Short said. 

Also, the event provided continuing education classes to contractors , who are required to keep their certifications up to date. 

“We provided 16 continuing education classes that our contractors attended,” Short said. The two charities that benefited from the event where linked to the idea of building and education

The $10 admission charge at the door went to the capital campaign building fund of Ruth’s Cottage domestic violence shelter. Donations at the concessions table went to Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County , which provides tutoring for adults to take the GED exams.
“We’re tied in both with education and building. That’s where literacy comes in, to educate our workforce ,” Short said. “Everyone who comes here is investing in our community. We’re doing this to help meet some needs in the community.”
The Tift County Board of Education on Tuesday night approved the school calendars for both the 2019-2020 and the 2020-2021 school years. 

For next school year , classes begin this Aug. 5 , and that school year ends May 22, 2020.

Copies of the calendar are available Here!

The school system said the dates are being added to the Google calendar that is located on this same page. Parents and students may subscribe to the Google calendar to automatically get the dates added to their calendar.
Relay For Life of Tift County is seeking female contestants to participate in the Relay For Life of Tift County Pageant to be held March 9 at Southern Regional Technical College in Tifton.

Age groups fall into two-year categories ranging from 0-23 years of age. The entry fee is $50 with additional categories for $10 . All proceeds will be donated to the America Cancer Society. 

Registration forms and applications must be received by March 2 . All participants will receive a certificate . Optional winners will receive a medal . All runners up will receive an engraved tray.

The queens in each age group will be expected to appear at the Tift Relay for Life at the E.B. Hamilton Complex on April 26 . They will all be recognized on stage. Queens are also expected to be in the Tifton Christmas parade , which is the first Saturday in December

“It’s such a phenomenal experience to be able to compete and to represent such a wonderful organization,” said Isabella Connor , reigning Ms. Relay For Life of Tift County.

“Being able to be a part of the Relay For Life community is an experience that I would recommend to anyone.”

For information, email cbcdixie@yahoo.com or call 229-392-1001 .
The cast has been set, and rehearsals are underway for the Baldwin Players ’ spring production of “The Tempest” on March 7-9 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College .

Dr. Brian Ray , director of the Baldwin Players, said “ The Tempest ” is sure to bring Howard Auditorium to life during this performance. 

“Filled with magic , hidden powers and supernatural beings, this Shakespearean performance will send the audience’s imagination on a spiraling journey through the sands of a remote island,” Ray said. “The plot features Prospero , a sorcerer, and Antonio , his evil brother, in a conniving performance.” 

Prospero will be played by Peter Pinnow from Tifton . Caroline Kirkland , a biology major from Tifton , will star as Miranda.  Alan Milton from Tifton will be featured as Alonso; and Luke Hillman , a history and government major from Sparks , will star as Caliban. 

Corey Douglas , a student from Sylvester aiming for his associate of fine arts degree in instrumental music, will play the role of Antonio. Sebastian will be played by Jeffrey Murray , a theater major from Camilla; and Hannah Moseley , an agricultural communication major from Cochran , will star as Ariel. A recent graduate of ABAC, Ty Gore from Tifton , will play Ferdinand. 

Craig Wells from Tifton will play Gonzalo, and Angel Rewis , a history and modern culture major from Homerville , will play the role of Stephano.  Hayli Ary , a nursing major from Valdosta , will be featured as Trinculo; and Boatswain will be played by Joshua Rogers from Tifton

Tickets are available at $10 per person at the door. Admission for students, faculty and staff is free with a valid ABAC ID . For information, contact Ray at  bray@abac.edu or at 229-391-4969 .


The Keep Tift Beautiful organization is recognizing Jane Campbell at 820 Baldwin Drive , Tifton, as the residential  Beauty Spot of the Month.

Synovus Bank at 218 Love Ave. is this month's commercial Beauty Spot .

The Tifton 20th Century Library Club (Tifton Woman’s Club) January meeting included a program on Israel and the creation of a special scholarship .

Debbie Thompson recently returned from a 10-day trip to the Holy Land and shared her experiences. Thompson showed pictures of her and her husband being baptized in the Jordan River and a map of the region.

During the business session, the club established an ABAC scholarship to honor two long-serving members – Irene Blalock and Harriet Herring . They have served the woman’s club for 50 years, and the club wanted to show their appreciation for their service.

The Blalock/Herring Scholarship will be given annually to a high school senior planning to attend ABAC . The scholarship will be in addition to the Whiddon/Bargeron Scholarship already in place by the club for a high school senior .

Club members also worked on No-Sew blankets as a service project.

Tifton 20th Century Library Club meets at 3 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Leroy Rogers Senior Center . For information, contact Membership Chairman Genie McCook, geniemccook68@yahoo.com ; or President Shirene Daniell , shirenedaniell@gmail.com
Tifton Grapevine
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