| By Jason C. Mattox
A local man wants parents and teenagers to pack the Batesville Junior High Auditorium Friday morning.
Robert Govan has organized an event featuring motivational speakers and musical acts that he hopes will show kids the impact their decisions can have in life.
The event – "Giving Thanks for a New Run on Life" – will begin at 10 a.m. November 24. Admission for the event is free.
"By 10 a.m., everyone will have spent all their money Christmas shopping," Govan said. "I want the parents to bring their teenagers."
"New Run on Life" will feature several speakers who have made bad choices in life who will tell how they changed their life.
Three trusties of the Panola County Jail will address the crowd Friday morning to tell teenagers about decisions they made in life that led to their incarceration.
Govan said that the trusties will be accompanied by a deputy of the Panola County Sheriff’s Department.
A trusty is an inmate housed at the jail who works around the justice complex or around the county on garbage trucks or road clean-up crews.
Other speakers scheduled for the event include Govan and Eric Tucker.
Tucker is a 1997 graduate of South Panola High School who received a master’s of social work from LSU, and now serves as director of clinical services for the Boston Health Commission.
"If nothing else I want to show them that you can get out of a situation and make something of yourself," Tucker said. "A lot of the kids today have given up, and I want to show them that I am one of their own that has gone out there and made it."
Musical acts scheduled for "New Run on Life" include Seven Days Waiting, The Jones Sisters and West Camp Male Chorus.
Seven Days Waiting is a Christian rock band comprised of Michael Reynolds, Stephen Reynolds, Tim Christ, Brian Flint and Mark Davis.
The group will perform two songs during the event.
The Jones Sisters are an a cappela gospel group from Oxford who recently performed on the Thacker Mountain Radio Show.
Debra Butler of Batesville will round out the list of performances with a solo Friday morning.