Roses and thorns 12-20-09

December 19, 2009 10:04:00 PM



A rose to students at Immanuel Center for Christian Education who have become philanthropists at an early age. 


The school''s senior and junior classes each have adopted good causes. 


ICCE''s juniors are raising money to help build Abby Acres Horse Camp on Old Highway 25 in Amory. Abby --Abigail Lee -- Immanuel junior Wade Lee''s sister. An avid equestrian, Abby, died in July from meningitis. The Lees'' Amory home had burned down just months prior. 


Among the fundraisers for the project are selling shots for prizes in three-point shooting contests at basketball games and car washes. 


The school''s senior class is selling hot chocolate and Christmas ornaments with a goal of raising $3,000 for Global Connections, a charity established and managed by A. B. Puckett, Immanuel senior Bailey Cartwright''s brother. 


Global Connections helps place volunteers and missionaries in impoverished nations to help at orphanages, schools and other places. Cartwright has been to Kenya five times already. 


We commend the students and the school for working with these worthy causes. Selflessness is a lesson no one can learn soon enough. And while parents are expected to take the lead in building children''s character, schools can do much to help, as Immanuel is by encouraging projects such as these. 




A rose to Chelsea Phillips, 21, who is offering a 5-year-old boy the gift of life. 


Kolby Martin, 5, is the son Lisa and Andy Martin of New Hope. Kolby was born with Prune Belly Syndrome, which is marked by a lack of abdominal and urinary tract muscles, and has had damaged kidneys since birth. 


Over the past year, year, his condition has deteriorated; doctors said Kolby would have to start dialysis or receive a transplant. Phillips, Kolby''s cousin, is donating him a kidney. 


Chelsea Phillips, who will graduate from MUW in May, was a perfect match. 


Kolby''s transplant was scheduled for Thursday at the Children''s Hospital at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. 




Roses to 4-County employees and customers who have offered their time and money Christmas shopping for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots. About 200 toys were collected for distribution in the cooperative''s eight-county service territory.  


Over the 62 years of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, Marines have distributed more than 400 million toys to 188 million needy children. This charitable endeavor has made U.S. Marines the unchallenged leader in looking after less fortunate children at Christmas. 




Roses to the special young people who reached out through their schools and communities during this holiday season. Ethan Perrigin, a second-grader at Sale Elementary International Studies Magnet School, held a coat drive and netted 100 coats to be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis at the Columbus Police Department. 


Perrigin developed the idea for the coat drive while studying wants and needs in Mary Anna Nelson''s second-grade class. Perrigin also created hand-drawn posters to advertise the coat drive. 


Tyler Wheat and other organizers of Touchdown for Toys, a charity flag football tournament held in Caledonia last week, used the games to distribute toys to children. 


The entry fee was $50 or $50 worth of toys; the money raised was used to purchase toys for underprivileged children. 


Young people giving back to their schools and communities set an example we can all follow -- not just during the holidays, but all year long. 


Roses to the Columbus Municipal School District for raising $73,500 for the United Way of Lowndes County. 


Columbus schools presented a check to the United Way of Lowndes County Director Jan Ballard and the United Way''s local board president, Dennis Erby last week. The district went well beyond its goal of $62,000, fundraising from September to December. 


Thus far, the United Way has raised more than $500,000 towards its $600,000 2010 goal. To contribute to the campaign, visit 


You don''t have to reach far to find a United Way agency that''s touched you or someone close to you. United Way of Lowndes County funds local agencies such as Contact Helpline, the American Red Cross, the Community Volunteer Center, 4-H of Lowndes County, Helping Hands, the Salvation Army, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, the Boys and Girls Club and Recovery House. 




A rose to longtime Columbus Municipal School District board of trustees member Julie Jordan, who left the board for a position with the Mississippi School Board Association. 


Jordan, who owns the Sylvan Learning Center in Columbus and other cities, received a proclamation from the city and Mayor Robert Smith for her efforts in the education arena, locally and statewide. Julie Jordan is the wife of former Columbus City Councilman and mayoral candidate Jay Jordan. 


Largely due to Julie Jordan''s efforts the city of Columbus saw what was the most transparent and community-involved series of candidate interviews in the school board''s history, when the CMSD board hired Superintendent Del Phillips in 2007. 


Local governing bodies could take a page from the CMSD''s book when making key hirings. 


Julie Jordan''s insight will be a missed presence at CMSD board meetings every second Monday at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Complex.  




A rose to Andrew Gaston, a proponent of the arts, whose efforts earned him the Starkville Area Arts Council''s Award of Excellence in the Arts. 


Gaston has been integral in developing funding mechanisms for the arts council and its projects. While not an artist himself, Gaston has committed himself to the arts in Starkville and the surrounding area. 


While sometimes underplayed, the state of the arts, in many cases, can speak toward the state of a community. Thriving area often are marked by a thriving arts community.