Scruggs to speak at B&G Club banquet
By John Howell
Dickie Scruggs, the wealthy Oxford lawyer infamously disbarred following his 2008 conviction in Federal Court for bribery, will be the speaker at the 2017 Steak and Steak Banquet for the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Mississippi in Batesville.
Scruggs’s work to help fellow inmates prepare for the GED exam led to his post-release founding of SecondChanceMs, an organization affiliated with the state’s 15 community college presidents and adult-education experts to help dropouts earn their General Education Diploma. Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Latasha Rice announced, during last week’s meeting of the Batesville Exchange Club, that Scruggs would be speaker at the March 23 banquet at the Batesville Civic Center.
Rice, who spoke to the Wednesday meeting of the Batesville Exchange Club, also spoke to Batesville city officials during their Tuesday meeting.
“First we want to thank you for the year’s contribution that you give of $25,000, helping us with the youth in our community,” Rice said, speaking to city officials and citing the numbers of youth served by after-school and other programs at the center.
The Boys and Girls Club director also asked city officials for help in negotiating with the Batesville Civic Center and its contracted caterer. The contractor caterer receives a percentage of proceeds if an outside caterer is hired to provide food and drink at Civic Center events, according to Mayor Jerry Autrey who was contacted after the meeting.
“Right now, we’re still going back and forth with Roy (Civic Center Director Roy Hyde) about the percentage being charged in regard to the caterer. This is a fund-raiser for us, … our biggest fundraiser. I know it was submitted for approval to ask Roy to remove that percentage for us to bring that caterer in, but as of right now we haven’t received a response,” Rice said, speaking to the mayor and aldermen.
The Boys and Girls Club is presently serving 85 to 100 children per day in its after-school program, one of five core programs at the center. In addition, the center:
• “We’ve also started a USE food program where we provide snack and dinner to our youth four nights a week for our youth,” Rice said;
• Sponsors teen nights twice monthly, “where we invited the community teenagers to come in. We talk to them about religion. We will be starting to give them dinner,” she said;
• Will partner with the school districts in a Workforce Development grant with will allow youth age 12 to 17 to “shadow” jobs at local business and industry;
• Runs a successful basketball league for youth;
• Provided Jamiah McKinney as page for Senator Robert Jackson whose tenure was so successful that she has been invited back to work as a page for the lieutenant governor and for Representative Lataisha Jackson;
• Has selected Katavia McKinney as “Youth of the Year” to compete for state Youth of the Year in Jackson this week;
• Accepted donation of $3,000 worth of sports equipment from McDonalds.