Vashti turns 100 - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Vashti turns 100

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October 17, 2003

Thomasville - The Vashti center in Thomasville started out as a school for needy girls. Now the center is turning 100 and offers porgrams for troubled boys and girls, an emergency shelter for teens and a second chance program for teen mothers.

Gerry Brown Hill graduated from Vashti Industrial school for girls back in the 50's. She says she remembers when the school celebrated its 50th anniversary. She says, "We all loved the girls. We loved the communion that we had here. This was our family. Everything we did, these girls were our family."

And now, 50 years later, she's back again as Vashti turns 100. "When we get together," Hill says, "You feel like you know everybody."

Diane Griffith has worked at Vashti for almost 20 years and she says it is always a blessing to see her former students succeed. "I've been here long enough to have a lot of those kids who were here when I came, that are all grown up now and have children of their own," says Griffith. "That is really the reward when you see that improvement."

And a lot of work has been done to make sure the children who come to Vashti leave in a better situation than when they came in. President, Dr. James Harper, says, "We're glad we're able to celebrate this 100th birthday. The support we get from Thomasville: financial support, emotional support, we just could not operate without it."

But with that support, they hope to continue for 100 more years. More than 500 people are expected to attend the anniversary celebration tomorrow. Including alumni from all over the country.

posted at 4:28 PM by karen.collier@walb.com