Entertainer Harry Connick Jr. shines light on Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi

Photo courtesy of CBS

Representing the Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi, from left, Javonte Ragsdale, Rickey Hood and Jermaine Harris listen as Harry Connick Jr. talks with Oprah Winfrey via iPad during a segment of Connick's special "United We Sing," which aired Sunday night on CBS.

The Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi and the Oprah Winfrey Boys and Girls Club of Kosciusko/Attala County found itself in the national spotlight Sunday night.

As part of the CBS special “United We Sing: A GRAMMY Salute to Unsung Heroes” that aired Sunday evening, essential workers from New York City to New Orleans were celebrated for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jermaine Harris, director of operations at the Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi, who was featured Saturday in The Meridian Star for what he does with the club's food program, was interviewed alongside CEO Ricky Hood and Javonte Ragsdale by entertainer Harry Connick Jr. for the work they’ve done providing meals to children in need. 

They were featured for the more than 2,500 meals they’ve helped prepare and deliver to children in Meridian and Kosciusko. 

“In Kosciusko, this is the only place kids can get a meal," Hood said in the interview. "In Meridian, in the county, because somebody came up positive (for the coronavirus), they took those programs away. This is literally saving lives.”  

Connick Jr. also presented Harris, Hood and Ragsdale with a video conference call from Oprah Winfrey herself, thanking them and praising the work of the Boys and Girls Club. Winfrey, a Kosciusko native, helped fund the Kosciusko club and announced a donation of $115,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of  East Mississippi earlier this month.

“When we put the bag (meal) in their hand, they are so thankful and so blessed, because they can’t count on a lot of things in their life, but they can count on the Boys and Girls Club coming through, bringing that meal,” Harris said to Winfrey. “That’s something they can count on every day.”

The full show can now be seen on demand or at cbs.com. The Boys and Girls Club segment begins at 24:03 of the program and can be viewed at https://tinyurl.com/food-program.

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