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Three local groups of people deserve praise for jobs well done.

Those of us who have attended banquets that have included large groups of people know what a hassle and how noisy it can be when it is time for dinners to be served, especially when it is served buffet styled. It can also be a slow process at banquets that include being served while seated. Well, I want you to know that getting older doesn’t mean slowing down, because I was impressed on last Wednesday at the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office Senior Community Forum held at the Suffolk National Guard Armory on Godwin Blvd., when the Suffolk Pilot Club served more than 350 people in record time.

This was the first time that I had attended the entire event that was held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. When I found my seat I began to glance at the agenda that was given me when I entered. Each program also had a raffle ticket attached to it and I found out that a prize give-away was going to take place after lunch was served. I then wondered how all of the things listed could be done in four hours. Why? Because also included were four speakers, a welcome address by Mayor Bobby Ralph and a recognition of dignitaries.

Things were running a little behind schedule and finally Sheriff Raleigh Isaacs stepped up to the podium about 10:10 and made an announcement that the program was about to begin. He told the audience that a fried chicken dinner catered by Ricky and Roy’s Catering Service was going to be served at noon by the Suffolk Pilot Club and that a majority of them are senior citizens. And I spotted a number of prizes near the podium that I learned later totaled over 100.

Gale Clements served as mistress of ceremonies and introduced the mayor. Following were keynote speaker Earl Johnson, a public affairs Specialist from the Social Security Administration;

Commonwealth Attorney Phil Ferguson; Susan Story from the Alzheimer’s Association; Treasurer of Suffolk Ron Williams; and Marketing Representative Vicky Ferzan from Heartland Homecare and Hospice.

Following the program agenda that ended promptly at noon the Suffolk Pilot Club whipped out serving tables from the serving area with the main course, doubled back serving dessert and served each person in time enough for the prize give-away to take place promptly at 1 p.m. Club members who served were Sarah Walden, Margaret Smith, Jackie Edwards, Angie Ford, Peggy Scott, Corneilia Spivey, Lisa Tsetsilas, and Fan Panton.

Restaurants and businesses that hold banquets for large groups can take notes from this group of women who do the same at the Queen’s Luncheon during the Suffolk Peanut Festival.

After lunch, deputies from the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office walked the entire floor of the armory to hand out prizes after winning numbers were called by Isaacs from door-prize tickets. Prizes included two hams, gift certificates from Wal-Mart, Movie Time, and other stores and many potted plants and flowers.

Other sponsors of the senior forum were Suffolk Parks & Recreation, the Suffolk Task Force on Aging, Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia and Suffolk’s constitutional Officers.

Food for the luncheon was provided by the Suffolk Sheriff’s fundraising account. Today is the day after election and I only hope that Sheriff Isaacs is enjoying a victory because he has proven over and over that he cares for the Suffolk community and its citizens.

In my opinion students, including academic ones, deserve the same recognition that students in sports activities get when they participate in an event.

Parents, instructors and students connected with Nansemond River High School received a double dose of the school’s victory when four students were aired on a program called Battle of the Brains recently. This program airs on WAVY TV-10 at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and is hosted by David Nelson. It includes four students from each competing school answering questions in Jeopardy Game style. Categories include current events, students’ choice and other subjects.

The first show aired on Saturday, Oct. 22 with Nansemond River competing against Southwestern Academy.

Team members from NRHS were Michael McManus, Ryan Foster, Titi Audifferen, and James Hill, captain.

When the game was over, the score was Nansemond River, 160 and Southwestern 90.

Competing on Oct. 29 was Princess Ann against Cox, but for some reason the program with Nansemond River aired once more, giving team members double exposure of their brain power.

My hat is off to the Suffolk Pilot Club, the Suffolk Deputy Sheriffs and four students from Nansemond River High School for jobs well done.

Walls is a former News-Herald reporter and writes a regular column.