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Bob Norris memorial

Press box Memorial Fund opens to honor Bob Norris

By Myra Bean
Since her husband’s death to cancer in November, Gale Norris has been inundated with requests by loving friends and fans to donate something in his memory.

Bob Norris was like an icon to the South Panola school system and the football team. His distinctive “Voice of the Tigers” went out over the airways every Friday night for almost 25 years. When his presence started to fade as the cancer took precedence, his loyal listeners felt the void. When his famous “hellos” were silenced forever on November 17, 2007, those who knew his dreams and desires determined what he worked for would not be in vain.

“I first met Bob in June 2003,” said superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer. “By July 15, 2003, I knew exactly how much Bob wanted a new press box.”

Shaffer said Bob Norris termed the press box an “embarrassment” when there would not be room for visiting media or the roof would leak.

Some business donors have come forward to donate the necessary funds for material to build a new state-of-the-art press box. This effort was spearheaded by Kenny Hopper, radio statistician for the Friday night games. In this press box will be a room designed by Gale Norris in Bob’s memory. For those who want to be a part of decorating that room, donations are being accepted through the end of May, as construction of the press box is expected to be started in June or July, according to Shaffer.

Gale Norris made an initial donation of $1,000 on behalf of her family including sons Stephen and Niles, to open the Memorial Fund.

Donations may be mailed to the South Panola School District, 209 Boothe Street, Batesville, MS 38606, c/o Bob Norris Memorial Fund.

Shaffer said each donation will be acknowledged to Gale Norris and the giver by him personally.