A real hometown hero
Newton High grad running with purpose “W
Heroes are all around us. Take a moment and get to know your neighbor if you don’t already, you might be surprised at what you find.
Take Melanie Jones for example. Belying her petite frame, this Newton High School Class of 1998 graduate has more nerve and vigor in her than a man twice her size.
At the age of 27 she has already completed three fullmarathons (26.2 miles) and five half- marathons ( 13.1) miles. She completed her fifth half-marathon yesterday, running in the Atlanta Half-
e’re changing lives all the time, our own and the people we’ll never meet. I think that’s the neatest part of the program.”
ed to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. Since it was founded in 1949, the society has raised more than $550.8 million for blood cancer research.
Team In Training is one of the world’s largest endurance sports training programs. Participants take part in halfmarathons, marathons, triathlons and century (100-mile) bike rides. Every year Team In Training trains 1,000 athletes throughout Georgia according to Jones. Marathon with her husband Jeremy.
Most of the marathons Jones — who now lives in Virginia Highlands — has completed have been for charity. A Team In Training Coordinator for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Jones works with novice and experienced marathon runners who are running to raise funding and awareness for blood cancer research.
According to the organization’s Web site, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicat-
She and her husband recently bought and installed a tank-less hot water heater, which conserves water by heating it on-demand — or whenever the faucet runs.
Like Veliotis, Waller saves water by placing buckets in her shower as well as placing a bowl in her sink to catch run-off from rinsing dishes or vegetables with which she waters her plants.
Even cooled water from steaming vegetable for dinner goes into the garden.
Waller and her husband have also begun taking “navy showers” — or wetting one’s hair and body, turning off the water to soap up and then rinsing.
“We’ve started timing ourselves,” Waller said, “and we have the water running in the shower for about two minutes.”
She said she finds it fun to try to beat her record.
Veliotis suggested only washing the really dirty parts in the shower.
Until a couple of weeks ago, Robert Floyd of Newborn did not know the definition of a “navy shower.”
After speaking with someone about how his well is currently drying up, he was asked if he knew what the term meant — to which he replied no.
When the person told him what the term meant, he just laughed and shook his head.
“We’ve been doing that for years,” Floyd said. “That’s our normal routine.”
As a father of five, Floyd has always known his well’s limitations.
His family takes short showers, no one washes a car at the home and they find the water pressure at hotels amazing and a luxury.
The Floyd family too has been conserving water long before Gov. Sonny Perdue declared the northern third of the state in a level 4 drought and mandating municipalities cut water usage by 10 percent from this time last year.
“The water table has really been going down,” Floyd said, “and that’s not something that’s happened in the last six months. It’s really been going on for about two years.”
Waller said her organization’s position has become integral in making people aware of what they can do to save water. She said small efforts in every home will make a big difference
“It has always been our effort to educate people,” Waller said, “but in this water situation it’s gone beyond personal choice because when one of us runs out of water, we’re all going to run out of water.
“So, I’m hoping people will take the tips to heart.”
Veliotis said citizens should practice water conservation even if the drought ends and it rains all winter because there could always be a next time.
She said it is important to remember both the Earth and the human body are approximately 70 percent water. She thinks there is something fascinating and beautiful in that parallel and everything should be done to maintain it.
The gold: Covington native Melanie Jones proudly shows off her medals from the 2007 New York Marathon, the 2007 ING Georgia Marathon and the 2006 Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska.