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Jackson praises hometown at Troy Women’s Club

When Shelia Jackson was growing up in the Segars Street projects in Troy, she never imagined that she would one day direct the tourism and public relations department of her hometown. Neither did she dream she would sing for a president of the United States, for governors of her home state or on the courts of the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament in New York.

Sheila Jackson had no thoughts of being on stage in a one-woman salute to Ma Rainey or being an extra in “The Long Walk Home” or Nell Carter’s double in “The Grass Harp.”

But Jackson has experienced all those things that she never imagined.

And, as gratifying as those experiences were, she was just as honored to be invited as the guest speaker for the Troy Women’s Club’s Thursday meeting.

“There is nothing as rewarding as being asked to speak to homefolks about your hometown,” Jackson said. “To be asked was an honor.”

Jackson opened with a song, with “My Home’s in Alabama” and with words of praise for her hometown.

“It’s easy to promote a city like Troy,” Jackson said. “We are blessed that our city has so many wonderful recreational and cultural opportunities for our citizens. Troy is home to Troy University with its many amenities, including Janice Hawkins Park and the International Art Center, and of course the Terracotta Warriors.

“The City of Troy has an outstanding public library, senior complex and recreation center. Troy has a vibrant downtown area that includes the Johnson Center for the Arts, which is a venue for the visual arts, music and theater and restaurants and shops.”

She also mentioned Butter and Egg Adventures, the Pioneer Museum of Alabama and Pike County Lake as features of the Troy area.

Jackson highlighted businesses and industries that provide jobs and spur the local economy including Troy University, KW Plastics, Wiley Sanders Truck Lines, Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky, Whaley Pecans and Golden Boy Foods.

Jackson said Troy is in the process of welcoming new businesses and industries and the future looks bright for the city and its residents. She gave credit to the city’s mayor and council for leading the way and to the many clubs, organizations and individual community servants who are willing to invest in the city’s future.

Jackson closed with “Amazing Grace” and to the applause of an appreciative audience.