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The music man

For 27 years, Paschal Ward has gathered up his Bainbridge High School Marching Bearcats Band members and trekked off to destinations far from the comforts of Bainbridge, Ga.

His first trip with the Bearcat Band was in 1981 to London, England. From there, they have strutted their stuff in New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Pa., and Orlando, Fla.

They have shown us—in their performances and individual actions—that they are indeed the “Pride of Decatur County.”

On Sunday, 326 band members and their chaperons will travel in six chartered buses, heading north to Philadelphia. On Thanksgiving Day, they will again show us that the “Pride of Decatur County” has been truly earned and rightfully bestowed.

Ward said he likes to have one big trip at least once every four years so each member of the band may have at least one opportunity to travel.

And these trips aren’t just for gratification—they are a learning experience that will last a lifetime.

“It helps them grow up,” Ward said.

This trip was funded with the hard work of car washes and the like, but also parents manning the concession stands at Centennial Field and the Wild Game Supper.

They have worked hard to take this trip, and the students can look back on it and say their hard work brought them this accomplishment, which can translate to other areas of their studies and life, Ward said.

So when the buses pull away from Bainbridge on Sunday, remember: God speed, have a great time and learn from the experience. You have earned it.

Doing it right

If there’s one assurance on the proposed new student life center-gymnasium at Bainbridge College in Bainbridge and the BC student life-classroom wing in Blakely it’s that it will be done right.

Bainbridge College President Dr. Tom Wilkerson has had his share of “fixing” things that have been left in his lap since taking the college’s helm in 2005. An example of taking a botch-up project and making it right is the Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center—it was botch-up before he got here and now it’s a beautiful building the community can take pride in.

Another some could say is the college’s Blakely branch, which had 211 students enrolled there in July 2006 when it was part of Albany Technical College to a current enrollment of 763. It’s administration is doing it right.

The added space of these two buildings and the other plans Wilkerson outlined are needed for both campuses, and the life of a Bainbridge College student will be enriched by having these facilities.

And one more key factor in this equation—it will be done right.