Editorial: Happy Retirement, Judy Bowles

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Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 11:45 AM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Volunteerism. Improving your community through service to others. Showing love for your hometown by making it cleaner and safer.

Those were the ideals that Judy Bowles has shown for the last three decades as the executive director of Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful.

This week, she will retire to spend more time with her family. But the leadership lessons she has demonstrated will leave a proud legacy.

Bowles has been a tireless advocate, fighting against illegal dumping, littering and graffiti. But she says what she is most proud of during her career are the volunteer efforts that make a real statement about Albany.

No. 2 on her list: the Trees of Courage on Westover Road.

Some 660 trees planted in the road islands stretching for miles. Trees to honor every military person killed in battle in Iran and Iraq. More than 300 volunteers took part in planting those trees that remember brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation’s freedom.

Bowles says by far the proudest moment for her were the 33,000 volunteers her office coordinated during the disaster relief and clean up after the 1994 flood.

If you were in Albany at the time, you know how this community came together and worked with volunteers that lent a much-needed helping hand.

Bowles said that was an accomplishment to be proud of for her 31-year career, which she called “an awesome journey.”

We say thanks Judy, thank you for the example you set, now to be carried on.

Let’s continue to report illegal dumping, pick up litter and volunteer to make Albany a great place to work and live.

Mrs. Bowles, job well done.

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