THUMBS UP: To emergency workers who shared their skills, talents and professionalism to rescue and save several pets found in a burning residence this past week. The trailer’s owners were not at home, but emergency personnel did find several cats and a dog in the house. Some animals perished due to smoke inhalation, but many were saved by the caring and quick actions of firefighters and EMTs.

THUMBS UP: To organizers of this weekend’s Skillet Festival. Brooks County wanted a new way to celebrate and seems to have found a unique way to do so. Where else can you throw a skillet and possibly win a prize? Gov. Nathan Deal kicked off this first Skillet Festival Friday.

THUMBS UP: To South Georgia Pride organizers. This festival promotes awareness of the region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members. As one organizer said, most people in the region likely know, work with or are related to a member of this community. This festival seeks tolerance and acceptance for folks who are our coworkers, neighbors and relatives.

THUMBS UP: To the Imagination Library. This program sends a book a month to registered children between birth and 5 years old. The program has suffered a funding loss in recent weeks but has developed a strategy to recoup those losses over time. It’s a worthwhile effort, bringing books and reading to children throughout Valdosta-Lowndes County.

THUMBS UP: To the ladies of the Garden Center for hosting the 51st Antique Show. This has become a must-attend event for many antique lovers throughout the region. Proceeds also benefit the landmark Crescent.

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