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The Covington News - - Opinion -

Cham­ber hon­ors

There are good peo­ple do­ing great things in Newton County, even in these tough eco­nomic times.

On Thurs­day, the Cov­ing­ton/Newton Cham­ber of Com­merce handed out three hon­ors in recog­ni­tion of ex­cel­lence at its an­nual meet­ing.

Its most pres­ti­gious honor, the R.O. Arnold Award went to Cov­ing­ton den­tist Melvin O’Neal Baker.

Dr. Baker has been a guid­ing light for our county, the con­sum­mate re­nais­sance man who gives of him­self to his busi­ness, church and the com­mu­nity at large.

The Ox­ford res­i­dent has earned ac­co­lades all around, and has also been rec­og­nized with the 2010 Martin Luther King I Have A Dream Award and a 2010 Leg­ends award from Al­pha Kappa Al­pha Soror­ity.

Mer­ry­vale As­sisted Liv­ing was awarded the Dick James Small Busi­ness Award. Gena McClen­don, Mer­ry­vale’s di­rec­tor, ac­cepted the honor.

The cham­ber also hon­ored Ric Bur­nette of Wheeler Fu­neral Home with its Spirit of Ex­cel­lence Award for ex­tra­or­di­nary vol­un­teer ser­vice.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to each of the hon­orees. They are ex­am­ples of the en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit and com­mu­nity boos­t­er­ism that will pull Newton County through the eco­nomic dol­drums.

Shared val­ues

Proms are sup­posed to be spe­cial nights, but it’s hard to feel the magic when you can’t dress the part.

For many teen girls, prom night is just an­other night at home, be­cause they can’t af­ford a for­mal gown and are too em­bar­rassed to go.

Four lo­cal women are try­ing to make prom af­ford­able for ev­ery­one by of­fer­ing pretty prom gowns at no cost for the girls who need one.

The project is called Share the Dress, and it’s the work of Jamie Far­ley, Melissa Kitchens, Mi­randa Ta­maska and Kris­tine Gosse.

They want to make sure ev­ery ju­nior and se­nior girl in Newton and Rock­dale coun­ties who can’t af­ford a for­mal can get one.

To that end, they held a dress col­lec­tion drive on Satur­day. They’re also in need of fi­nan­cial do­na­tions.

They will have dresses avail­able to give away on Feb. 26 and on April 2.

We ap­plaud this quar­tet for tak­ing on a project that will mean so much to these girls. It’s a great idea and a fan­tas­tic way to re­cy­cle an ex­pen­sive gown that would likely oth­er­wise hang for­got­ten in the back of the closet. You can read about the project at cov­news.com. You can also learn more about the project and how you can help at the Share the Dress Face­book page at face­book.com/share.dress, or send an e-mail to sharethe­dress@groups.face­book.com.

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