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June 15, 2013

Ribbon cutting held for Joan Bailey Center

VALDOSTA — The Community Depot has opened the doors of its newest non-profit retail center, which was dedicated Friday to and named in honor of former Valdosta State University First Lady Joan Bailey.

A ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony were held Friday, with many community leaders, board members and honored guests present.

Mrs. Bailey is the wife of the late Dr. Hugh Bailey, beloved former president of Valdosta State University. She has served with nearly every non-profit organization in Valdosta and Lowndes County.

 “She has been the driving force behind the Community Depot,” Ralph Jackson, Community Depot executive director, said. “We went to her asking about doing this center and she was like, ‘Let’s go for it.’ So we have decided to name this building after her.”

During the ceremony, donor support awards were given to some of the supporters of the Community Depot.

Plaques were presented to the diamond-level donors, meaning those who donated $5,000 or more to the center. Those donors were Wayne Ellerbee, El Cazador and David Sandbach.

Valdosta Mayor John Gayle along with Mrs. Bailey unveiled the name plate for the building before the ribbon cutting. Bailey was then joined by agency members, board of director members and Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce ambassadors.

“This is a great opportunity to help these agencies,” the mayor said. “I encourage and challenge everyone to participate and support them all that you can.”

The Community Depot is a non-profit retail center that takes donated items and sells them in the store. All of the profits from the items sold go to one of the three area agencies: the Easter Seals, the Humane Society, and American Red Cross.

Lowndes County Commission Chairman Bill Slaughter also thanked the Baileys.

“Thank you and Dr. Bailey for what you have done for the community,” Slaughter said. “We appreciate everything you have done. In the economic situation that we are in now, this will be huge for these agencies.”

Following the ceremony, Jackson said of the center, "We are deeply excited about this concept. ... And we are extremely proud of our board of directors, and especially Mrs. Bailey, who is our honorary chair. We are really happy that we were able to dedicate and name the building after her. I think it’s going to be great.”

Mrs. Bailey, said of the dedication, “It was a surprise. It is a distinct honor to be chosen for the naming of the building. This service to the community is outstanding. It is a delight to be part of such an effort.”

The Community Depot invites the community to donate any items that they can to the center. Large donated items will be picked up for free. The profits from items that are sold are split between all three charities unless the donors specify they would like all of the profits be donated to one charity.

The Community Depot also seeks volunteers to help operate the store or find and load items.

Anyone interested in donating items or volunteering can call the Community Depot, (229) 671-1755. More information, visit

The Joan Bailey Center, 1602 N. Ashley St., will be open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

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