3rd Annual "Serving Up Meals" Tennis Tournament a Success!


The 2016 Serving Up Meals tournament has over 80 players registered to play for the cause! Thank you to all who contributed to make this event a success.


Mayor honors SOWEGA Council on Aging, RSVP


SORRY, WE ARE FULL - NO APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE. Free tax counseling and preparation with E-Filing for taxpayers of middle and low income, with special attention to those 60 and older.


Empty Bowls 2016





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Date Posted: April 16, 2016

See the original article at albanyherald.com:  http://www.albanyherald.com/news/local/serving-up-meals/article_3d90d4f8-9035-5563-9467-5b3caab82574.html

ALBANY — Brad McEwen

Scores of amateur and professional tennis players flocked to Albany over the weekend for the SOWEGA Council on Aging’s annual Serving Up Meals tennis event at Doublegate Country Club.

The event, which is now in its third year, is a way to raise awareness about the many programs and services provided throughout South Georgia by the Council on Aging, especially the organization’s Meals on Wheels program that helps feed thousands of homebound residents each year.

According to SOWEGA Council on Aging Development Director Izzie Sadler, who spearheads the event, this year’s Serving Up Meals tennis tournament drew 80 participants from around Southwest Georgia and North Florida to compete in the club-level tournament.

Sadler said the event, which continues today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., also drew eight professionals who will showcase their talents while competing for a $1,000 purse.

“They are going to fight for the opportunity to play for $1,000,” said Sadler. “Having the pros play is a way for the club players to see some really good tennis, to be inspired by that. And it’s a way to get the pros involved in raising awareness for what we’re playing for. And that’s the main thing that we’re doing here, we’re Serving Up Meals.”

Indeed, Sadler said the tennis tournament is gaining popularity each year. And while it isn’t a huge fundraiser for the Council on Aging, it’s become an important way for the organization to gain exposure.

“It’s more of an awareness event,” said Sadler. “But we’ve increased (funds raised) each year. The first year we raised about $2,500, the second year we raised about $3,500 and this year we’re looking at getting about $7,000, so we’re starting to get up there.”

SOWEGA Council on Aging Executive Director Kay Hind said the recognition the event gets is good because it draws participants from outside the Albany area, which increases awareness.

“It’s an important event because it makes people recognize us as an agency,” she said. “We’re always glad for good publicity, and this brings out a different group of people than we normally see. They come from more than just Albany. We’re really proud of this.”

While Serving Up Meals is good for the Council on Aging and the Meals on Wheels program, it also helps raise awareness for tennis in the Albany area.

The Albany Tennis Association helps put on the event, and on Friday night several members of the organization hosted tennis clinics for children. Yvette Armstong, the president of the Albany Tennis Association, said the clinics drew close to 50 kids of all ages.

“Our goal is to promote tennis in the Albany area,” Armstrong said Saturday. “Last night, the Albany Tennis Association came out and put on a clinic, and it was a lot of fun.”

The fun continued on Saturday when several participants battled it out for small prizes and bragging rights during the club-level competitions.

“Right now, I play in leagues in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, and I do this kind of stuff for fun,” said Blue Whitaker, who travelled from Tallahassee to take part in the tourney. “It’s very tight, and they do a good job.”

David Buerkle, the director of tennis at Doublegate, agreed, saying that not only was the event a lot of fun, it helped local tennis gain exposure while allowing the club to help a worthy cause.

“It’s a great cause, so we want to do our part for the community and run a great event and welcome everybody so they can enjoy a great weekend of tennis,” said Buerkle.

Although Sadler and others from the organization and from the Albany Tennis Association gave a considerable amount of their time to the event, Sadler said the event’s many sponsors from the community were also very important.

Sponsors for this year’s Serving Up Meals include Longleaf Dental; U Save It; Stewbo’s Restaurant Group; ASP—America’s Swimming Pool Co.; Brooks Furniture; Dental Partners of Southwest Georgia; Flint Community Bank; FLINT Equipment; JLB Family Properties; Kelley, Lovett and Blakey; Merril Lynch/Michael Cohen; Porterfield United Methodist Church; Sadler Retirement; Albany Area Hand Therapy; Albany Landscape Co.; J.R. James Brokerage; Jon Moore; Margeson, Flynn & Associates; Dr. and Mrs. Frank Middleton; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Peeler; Pete Donaldson; Southwest Georgia Periodontics; Watson Spence; Wild Flour; Buffalo Rock, and Mars Chocolate North America.


Date Posted: April 15, 2016
Serving Up Meals Tournament 2016


Date Posted: April 05, 2016
Mayor honors SOWEGA Council on Aging, RSVP

Click here for the news story at albanyherald.com:  http://www.albanyherald.com/news/local/albany-mayor-dorothy-hubbard-honors-sowega-council-on-aging-volunteers/article_0e10932f-e23d-5ce3-a81d-ec873b210fc1.html

By:  Chauntel Powell

ALBANY — Volunteers serving with the Southwest Georgia (SOWEGA) Council on Aging and members of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) have been honored by Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard for their efforts in improving the quality of life for senior citizens in Southwest Georgia.

Hubbard said the efforts of the volunteers motivates her in her role as mayor of Albany and making an impact on Albany.

“I think they mean everything to the community,” Hubbard said. “The government can’t do everything so these are the people who give up their time, talent and resources to make our community better. Volunteers help to make our community better and stronger. They do the things that we as a government could not afford to do and they do it because they care, out of the goodness of their hearts. A lot of these people get personal satisfaction out of this.”

One such person is Don Gray, who started by helping with Meals on Wheels and various projects before joining the ramp building crew in 1999. He said being able to see first hand how his actions impact those that need has kept him going throughout the years.

“We do what we do for people who can’t help themselves, especially with the wheel chair ramps,” Gray said. “These people are very much in need,” he said. “It’s very rewarding to see them come out, with a smile on their face and say thank you to us for us doing the things we’re doing.”

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) was organized in Albany in 1972 and is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), United Way of Southwest Georgia, and local contributions. the local RSVP unit was the first RSVP program in Georgia to be funded.


Date Posted: January 29, 2016
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Date Posted: December 09, 2015
Empty Bowls 2016

ALBANY HERALD — Jennifer Parks

Tickets are on sale for the Empty Bowls event that will take place at the Albany Civic Center on Jan. 20.

The upcoming Empty Bowls will mark the fifth year of the annual event. It is a joint outreach effort between the Albany Area Arts Council and the SOWEGA Council on Aging designed to fight hunger with the help with community artists.

“It is a participation between two organizations that are trying to bring awareness to (hunger),” said Izzie Sadler, development director for the Council on Aging. “We are trying to do that through the arts.”

For a $20 ticket, individuals will take home a handcrafted bowl — which is wrapped up promptly after selection — meant to serve as a reminder of empty bowls throughout the community. They will then will be able to partake in a soup lunch from one of many Albany area vendors.

The event is set for 11 a.m.- 1 p.m., and will be on the center’s arena floor — giving all the participants more room to mingle as the growth of Empty Bowls has begun to cramp everyone tighter together.

“There will be a lot more room for food vendors, and tables to display bowls,” said Sadler.

The bowls are made by potters in the region. Nicole Williams, executive director of the arts council, said most of the artists volunteering their efforts include those in the region between Columbus and Valdosta. They often include Albany State University students and board members from the arts council.

“At the Clay Spot, they have this challenge where you make two bowls for $20, and one of them gets donated to Empty Bowls,” Williams said.

Some of the vendors have typically included the culinary program from Albany Technical College, as well as a group from Westover High School, Sadler said.

Williams and Sadler said proceeds will be split evenly between the Council on Aging and the arts council. Council on Aging will earmark its half for the Meals on Wheels program, and the arts council is planning to use its portion of the proceeds for artist receptions.

“One of the most important things to remember is that Empty Bowls is an international (grassroots movement),” Williams said. “It is nice to have the local community working together, and the money stays here. I think that is why we have the community engaging like we do.”

The Empty Bowls Project was originally created by Imagine/RENDER as a grassroots movement to end hunger. Since then, each participating community has held its own Empty Bowls event to further the cause in its own way.

“It’s (about) awareness, a good time for those who give to it,” Williams said.

To start, there were 400 tickets for the Albany event — more than half of which are accounted for.

For more information call the arts council at (229) 439-2787 or the Council on Aging (229) 432-1124. Tickets should be purchased at the Council on Aging, which is located at 335 W. Society Ave., by calling the organization or by visiting sowegacoa.org.

The Civic Center is located at 100 W. Oglethorpe Blvd.






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