Thumbs Up…

To the Mount Airy City Schools and some local youth who put on the two-week Lemonade Smiles program. During the course of the entrepreneurship camp, students learned some of the basics of planning and running a business — a skill that will be increasingly in demand.

The camp culminated with the students planning, setting up and running two lemonade stands in the city, giving away free lemonade while accepting donations for The Shepherd’s House, the city’s homeless shelter.

Practical learning in a way that benefits not only the students, but helps a local non-profit — that’s a hard combination to beat.


To Tanya Jones, the Surry Arts Council, and all the volunteers and workers who put on the annual Mayberry Days festival each September. Earlier this week, the Southeast Tourism Society announced it had selected the Mount Airy event as one of the Top 20 Festivals and Events in the Southeast.

That not only is a testament to the hard, and creative, work done by the folks putting on the gathering each year, but it’s another shot in the arm for local tourism efforts, surely drawing even more people to the festival. And, as we’ve often seen, once people visit Mount Airy for a single event, they often return many times over.


To the U.S. senators — regardless of their party affiliation — who are standing up and opposing the Republican For The Rich Only Health Care Act. This legislation targets stripping away access to affordable — and sometimes life-saving — health care from the poor, those who have significant health care issues, the mentally ill, and women of all socio-economic classes.

Too bad neither of North Carolina’s senators are among the more enlightened, progressive minds that oppose this awful legislation.

Thumbs Up is a periodic column spreading praise — and the occasional jeer via a Thumbs Down – to local individuals and organizations, or people who act on issues of local interest. Do you know of someone who might be deserving of a public pat on the back? Send you nomination, as well as reasons why, to John Peters at