JA Charity Ball royalty honored for service to others

April 4, 2009



Junior Auxiliary of Columbus honored its 2009 Charity Ball king and queen Saturday at Trotter Convention Center during the 59th annual Charity Ball and Pageant. 


James C. Galloway is the 2009 king and Elizabeth Harper Ferguson is queen. The two were presented at the traditional event, along with a court of 24 high school seniors who have performed more than 2,000 hours of service in their community, churches and schools.  


Following the presentation, patrons enjoyed a play, titled “Having a Ball at the Y,” written by Laurie Hatcher and directed by Heather Ford and Molly Stafford. 


Junior Auxiliary’s year-round service projects reach children throughout Columbus and Lowndes County.  


This year, the local chapter has clothed more than 700 school-age children in need and provided in-depth clothing for families who have met with tragedies such as fire or flood.  


Monies raised through Report to the Community and the Charity Ball also fund scholarships, character-building service projects and speakers, a disability awareness and education program, a child abuse education and prevention program, a reality fair for rising high school seniors and ongoing mentoring programs such as Junior Auxiliary Mentors and Girls Empowered to Model Success.  




The king 


A lifelong resident of Lowndes County, James “Jimmy” Galloway Jr. was educated in Columbus schools. The graduate of New Hope High School also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Mississippi State University. 


Galloway is generous in volunteering his time and talents to work with children of every age. He has served on the board of directors for the Frank P. Phillips YMCA and has been actively involved with the JH Ranch, a Christian-based camping program for young adults and children. He was also active for many years at Camp Rising Sun, a resident camp for children who have been diagnosed with cancer. 


He and his wife, Pam, a life member of Junior Auxiliary, have taken an active interest in Palmer Home for Children. For many years, they hosted a child from Palmer in their home, establishing endearing relationships that continue today. 


As president of the Columbus Emmaus Community, Galloway is very involved in his church, Beersheba Cumberland Presbyterian, where he has served as elder and taught Sunday School for many years.  


A strong supporter of the Limuru Orphanage in Kenya, an ongoing African mission, he is presently helping secure matching funds for a water project that will deliver fresh water to hundreds of area families. 




Career service 


The president of Galloway-Chandler-McKinney Insurance Inc. is a past president of the Northeast Independent Agents Association and has served on the Agent Advisory Council for United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co., Fireman’s Fund, Ohio Casualty and CNA Insurance.  


He is also on the board of directors and the executive committee of Cadence Financial Corp. and is chairman of the Agents’ Advisory Council for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi.  


Galloway is an advisory board member of the Chair of Insurance at Mississippi State University, where he recently established the Richard Wiggers Scholarship program for young people entering the insurance program. 


The 2009 Charity Ball king also serves on the executive committee of Independent Insurance Agents of Mississippi as well as the board of directors of Bierfield Insurance Co.  




Civic organizations 


Community service is an integral part of Galloway’s leadership. He is a past president of the Columbus-Lowndes Economic Development Association, the Columbus-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce and the Exchange Club. He served as vice president of the board of trustees of the Golden Triangle Regional Medical Center and is the current vice chairman for Mississippi’s Business and Industry Political Education Committee. 


He has also served as a board member of the Lowndes County United Way, the Mississippi State Alumni Association and the Columbus Country Club.  


Galloway and his wife, Pam, a life member of Junior Auxiliary, are proud parents three children, Brandt, Sally and Betsy, and one grandchild, Sam.  




The queen 


Elizabeth Harper Ferguson is a native of Columbus and the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Verell Pennington Ferguson IV. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Dickinson Laws Jr., and Mrs. Katherine Searcy Horton, of Columbus, and Mr. V.P. Ferguson of Paris, France.  


Ferguson is an honor graduate of Heritage Academy and is attending the University of Mississippi as a marketing major and art minor, with an emphasis in graphic and Web design. 


While in high school, the Columbus woman was selected as a delegate to the Global Youth Leadership Council, the Congressional Youth Leadership Council and the National Young Leaders Conference held in Washington, D.C.  


A recipient of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Award, Ferguson represented her school at the Leadership Conference at Millsaps College. She also held membership in the National Junior Beta Club and the National Beta Club and was class president her freshman and senior years.  


As president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, she was one of three keynote speakers at the Regional FCA Teammates event, along with Mississippi State University football coach Sylvester Croom and athlete Jerious Norwood.  


The Main Street Presbyterian Church youth leader co-organized Praise Fest 2005 at the beginning of the school term, encouraging classmates to begin the year with a spiritual emphasis.  


At Heritage, Ferguson, who was elected Friendliest Girl by her peers three separate years, was selected to be the new student orientation leader and parent orientation host, was on the annual staff and served as director of student activities for the Student Government Association. 


As a senior, she was chosen Miss Heritage Academy 2006 and served as homecoming queen. The Hall of Fame honoree was also the recipient of the Patriot Award, selected by faculty for qualities of leadership, dedication and hard work. 


Ferguson was a member of the Junior Auxiliary Court in 2006, a cast member of the Pilgrimage Ball Pageant for two years and served as a Columbus Pilgrimage hostess for several years. 




Emphasis on children 


The 2009 queen participated in numerous community causes, many of them focused on children. Volunteer activities included the March of Dimes, Camp Rising Sun, Kids with Character Camp, the Mark Mitchell Center and Salvation Army Angel Tree. She also volunteered with the American Heart Association and held memberships in Students Against Drunk Driving and Teenage Republicans. 


Even at a young age, her desire to help others was evident. As a fifth-grader, Ferguson created and co-chaired a “Care for Kosovo” campaign at Heritage Academy, raising $500 which was sent via the American Red Cross to aid children in Kosovo. 






Displaying leadership on the field as well as in classroom and civic arenas, Ferguson is listed in Who’s Who Among American High School Athletes and was selected “Best Female Runner” of the Heritage Cross Country Team two consecutive years and “Best All Around Girl” for the varsity tennis team.  


She was also a member of the varsity basketball and swim teams and served as captain of both varsity and junior high cheerleading squads, earning “All Star Cheerleader” and serving as cheer representative of the Universal Cheerleading Association. 




At college 


At the University of Mississippi, Ferguson has been an active member of the Chancellor’s Leadership Class, the Student Programming Board, the Student Spirit Committee, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, the Student Art Association and the Reformed University Fellowship. 


Continuing her interest in service, she volunteered with the Girl Scouts of America in Oxford, the Humane Society of Oxford, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the CARE Walk for Breast Cancer and GO GREEN, an organization for environmental conservation on campus. As a