FESTIVAL OF FLAVORS: Susan Jones, left, and Beth Jones of Columbus admire the Hawaiian-themed decor at Lion Hills Golf Club Saturday. Loaves and Fishes, Columbus’ ecumenical soup kitchen, hosted A Festival of Flavors Friday evening with live music, a silent auction and hors d'oeuvres. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
May 31, 2014 9:02:23 PM
Roses and thorns
A rose to Dr. Christopher LeBrun, a Columbus kidney specialist, who walked from Columbus to Macon Saturday to raise funds for kidney patients in Louisville. The April 28 tornadoes that ripped through Louisville took 10 lives in Winston County and left millions in damage, including the complete destruction of the facility used by kidney patients in the area for dialysis. More than 60 patients now much travel more than 30 miles to receive dialysis three times per week. It will take six months for the kidney unit to be repaired. LeBrun and the walk organizers hoped to raise $5,000 to help the patients with the added travel expenses during that time.
To make a donation through the Mississippi Kidney Foundation visit firstgiving.com/mississippikidneyfoundation.
A rose to Lowndes County conservation officers Travis McDonald and March McCleskey, whose quick actions prevented a tragedy on Memorial Day. The two officers were patrolling the Tenn-Tom Waterway near the Columbus Riverwalk that afternoon when McCleskey happened to notice several children waving their hands at them. He turned the boat around to evaluate the situation, according to a press release from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks. One of the children reportedly told McDonald and McCleskey his brother had gone under the water and not resurfaced. While McDonald operated the boat, McCleskey took off his duty gear and jumped into the water. On his third dive, he found the boy on the bottom of the river channel. The 11-year-old child was unresponsive and McCleskey pulled him onto the bank, officials say. McCleskey and McDonald then alternated giving the boy chest compressions and eventually he began breathing. The boy was transported first to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle then to a Jackson hospital where he is receiving care.
A thorn to city of Columbus officials who have continued to stonewall efforts to provide the public with the lists of projects that the city will address with a proposed $5 million bond to improve the city's infrastructure. At its last meeting, on May 20, the council tabled the proposal because the lists were not completed. Then, the council said, that delaying the vote on the bond proposal would allow time for the council -- and presumably the citizens whose taxes will pay off the bond -- to more carefully study the plans before Tuesday's meeting, when the council is expected to vote on the bond proposal. Yet repeated requests by The Dispatch for those lists have been denied. It seems clear that the city has no intention of sharing that information with the citizens until the last possible moment. The message is clear: Our city officials do not respect the citizens of Columbus.
A rose to all those who in the huge turn-out for "A Festival of Flavors" Friday at Lion Hills Center and Golf Course, a fund-raising event for Loaves and Fishes Community Soup Kitchen. It is the first major fund-raiser for the organization, which began in Columbus in 2008. Officials hope it will become an annual event. Currently, a caring network of church and community group volunteers bring and serve lunch every Monday and Friday, and the third Thursday of each month, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Loaves and Fishes dining room on 22nd Street North. In 2013, the ministry served about 25,000 meals. Volunteers provide the food, but there are still significant costs involved in keeping the doors open. That's where Friday's fundraiser comes in. Utilities, cleaning supplies and staples like plates, napkins, cups and utensils are recurring expenses.
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