Headlines Cont. – 2/21/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – February 21, 2006


Friends in Curtis Community rally to help leukemia patient
By Rita Howell

Family and friends of leukemia patient Lewis Stephens, 15, are raising funds to help provide a safer, germ-reduced environment for him when he comes home from the hospital.

The South Panola High School sophomore, son of Wayne and Mary Stephens, was diagnosed with stage 4 AML  –  Acute Myeloid Leukemia in November. He has been a patient since that time at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and is currently staying at the adjacent Target House where he is awaiting a bone marrow transplant to fight the cancer.

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The donor for his bone marrow transplant is his brother Randy, 17. The procedure is to take place March 3.

Following the transplant, Lewis will stay in the hospital for at least a month, Mrs. Stephens said.

Because Lewis’s immune system has been damaged by his illness and treatment, the family must be careful that Lewis is not exposed to harmful bacteria or mildew – even the kind that wouldn’t pose a threat for a healthy person – once he can come home.

Friends at Immanuel Baptist Church and others in the Curtis Community, where the family lives, have devised a plan to remove potential hazards from the family’s home and provide a safer environment once he is able to come home.

Family friend Teresa Towles listed the following improvements that need to be made:

– Water system to be replaced
– Carpet to be removed and replaced with
   a floating wood floor
– Plumbing replaced in the house
– Remodeling of bathroom
– Remodeling of kitchen
– New furniture for their living room
– New furniture for Lewis’s bedroom.

"What we are asking is that we as a community do what we can to make a dream come true for a young man and his family," Towles said. "All of the funds raised will go directly to doing the above listed things and to help Lewis in any other future need that may arise."

If you can help with one of these needs or if you would like to know some other way that you can help, you may contact Cindy Teague, daytime,
563-7439, evening 578-7772; Teresa Towles,
563-8574, or Michael Morrow, 326-8764.

Or if you would like to make a monetary donation, you can send it to First Security Bank in care of Immanuel Baptist Church, designated for the Lewis Stephens fund.

SP’s new ’21 Club’ celebrates students’ achievement on test
By Billy Davis

School administrators at South Panola High School are honoring and encouraging achievement on the ACT though a new academic club.

The 21 Club welcomed its first group of inductees Tuesday, February 14, at the school library, where students enjoyed refreshments and heard a pep talk from South Panola School District Superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer.

The club is open to SPHS students who score a 21 or higher on the ACT (American College Test). The ACT is used for college and university admissions, and scholarship monies.

The average ACT score for SPHS students was 20 during the 2004-2005 school year, state Department of Education figures show.

Neighboring high school scores include a 21 average at Oxford High, a 19.8 average at Senatobia High and an average of 16.4 at Clarksdale High.

South Panola High principal Dr. Gearl Loden said 39 students, mostly juniors and seniors, scored well on the ACT in recent months and are "charter members" of the 21 Club.

"This is just another way to show students that we’re cheering them on and are proud of their work," Loden told The Panolian after the ceremony.

Shaffer read the Dr. Seuss classic "Oh, the Places You’ll Go," using a PowerPoint screen to read the rhymes.

The students’ faces had been Photoshopped into the book’s characters, creating chuckles from the audience as Shaffer read the book.

The 21 Club inductees are: Mary Arnold, Ashleigh Austin, Bud Barthold, Josh Boren, Addison Brewer, Charity Burgos, Molly Cox, Bethany Ellis, Miles Fowler, Summer Gee, Joby Griffin, Brittany Helmes, Lance Hendrix, Andrew Henning, Holly Henning, Savannah Hood, Vanesha Jaiswal, Lacy Jaudon, Tyler Jordan; Brittany Love, Wiley Macknally, Ashley Manning, Cedric McKinney, Sarah Kate McMillan, Anna Newcomb, South Oakes, Randy Presley, Hether Ragon, Ann Rhodes, Allie Sanders, Aleia Segars, Garret Stone, Kellie Sturdivant, Lauren Suratt, LaRico Treadwell, Daniel Waller, Thomas Wilkie, Drew Wilkinson and Cynthia Woolfolk.

Team captains to meet for March of Dimes planning
By Jason C. Mattox

Preparation is under way for this year’s March of Dimes Walk America event in Batesville on Saturday, April 22. Teams are already beginning their fund-raising efforts to reach this year’s $26,000 goal. Money goes to fund research on birth defects and treatment for premature babies.

"The people who participated in last year’s Walk America did a wonderful job for us," Community Director Connie Snell of Tupelo said. "We are very excited about this year’s event."

The 2006 Walk America will take place at the walking track at Tiger Stadium on Highway 51. Sign-up will begin at 9 a.m. and the walk will begin at 10 a.m.

In an effort to help teams gain fund-raising ideas, Snell will be on hand at Parker-Hannafin Wednesday at noon for a captain’s training meeting.

Snell said approximately 20 teams of businesses, local civic groups, churches and families have signed up for this year’s event.

"These captains’ training events give team captains insight on new fund-raising activities and give them a chance to pick up the supplies they need," she said.

Another big fund-raiser several business teams participate in each year is the "Blue Jeans for Babies" t-shirt sale.

The idea is that teams purchase the shirts to wear to work with jeans on a designated day.

Anyone interested in attending the captain’s training should be at Parker-Hannafin by noon. Lunch will be provided.

The March of Dimes welcomes all companies and family teams to participate. Contact Connie Snell at 844-6901 to find out more about the Batesville Walk America.



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