Local teachers and students are doing their part to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

NEIGHBORS: Fill the Mayflower Canned Food Drive breaks record

Submitted photos 

Brenda Washington's class at Parkview Elementary collected 8765 cans.

NEIGHBORS: Fill the Mayflower Canned Food Drive breaks record

Lashasta Taylor's class at West Hills Elementary collected 1803 cans. 

NEIGHBORS: Fill the Mayflower Canned Food Drive breaks record

Genie Autry's class at Lamar Middle School collected 2471 cans.

NEIGHBORS: Fill the Mayflower Canned Food Drive breaks record

Ken LaBruyere with Little Caesars congratulates Sommer Webb, fourth  place overall winner from Clarkdale High,  Veronica Culpepper, fifth place overall winner from Clarkdale Middle, and Clarkdale’s coordinator, Linda Felton.  Pictured are Webb, Felton, Culpepper and LaBruyere.

As part of the 17th Annual Fill the Mayflower Canned Food Drive, students collected a record-breaking 76,254 cans to help those less fortunate in our community.

The schools chose which charity they wanted to support and the cans were distributed to feed families in need during the upcoming holiday season through L.O.V.E’s Kitchen, Salvation Army, Wesley House Community Center and Lauderdale Baptist Association.

Little Caesars joined forces with Squealer’s BBQ and Weidmann’s Restaurant as sponsors for the event. Participating schools were Clarkdale Elementary School, Clarkdale Middle School, Clarkdale High School, Crestwood Elementary, Lamar Elementary, Lamar Middle School, Magnolia Middle School, Meridian High School, Northeast Elementary, Northeast Middle School, Northeast High School, Oakland Heights Elementary, Parkview Elementary, Poplar Springs Elementary, Southeast Elementary, Southeast Middle School, Southeast High School, St. Patrick School, T.J. Harris Lower Elementary, T.J. Harris Upper Elementary, West Hills Elementary, West Lauderdale Elementary, West Lauderdale Middle School and West Lauderdale High School.

The overall six homerooms from the participating schools collecting the most cans received a $200 Cash Award from Little Caesars, Squealer’s BBQ and Weidmann’s Restaurant to be used by each teacher for the needs of her classroom and students. Plus these homerooms received gift certificates from Little Caesars and Squealer’s BBQ. The six winning teachers also received a gift card from Weidmann’s Restaurant. Goodies for the students and a gift bag for the teacher were also included.

The top six homerooms were Brenda Washington at Parkview Elementary, where 18 students collected 8765 cans; Genie Autry at Lamar Middle School, where 14 students collected 2471 cans; LaShasta Taylor at West Hills Elementary, where 19 students collected 1803 cans; Sommer Webb at Clarkdale High School, where  28 students collected 1719 cans; Veronica Culpepper at Clarkdale Middle School, where 25 students collected 1688 cans and Sarah Mazzella at West Lauderdale Middle, where 24 students collected 1423 cans.

The pick up and delivery to the charities would not have been possible without the help of Coach Dillon Sudduth and his Meridian Community College Baseball team volunteers and volunteers from Poplar Springs Drive United Methodist Church.

Special thanks goes to Graham Moving & Storage for donating the use of the Mayflower truck, as well as their wonderful driver, Robin, and helper Jay.

Brookshire gives back

NEIGHBORS: Fill the Mayflower Canned Food Drive breaks record

Submitted photo 

Kathy Brookshire read her book "Muska and Friends, " to students at Northeast Elementary on Nov. 16. 

Kathy Brookshire, a retired educator turned children's book author read her book "Muska and Friends, " to students at Northeast Elementary on Nov. 16. Brookshire started her education career at Northeast Elementary 48 years ago.

Over the years, she also worked at Lamar School, in the Meridian Public School District, and at MCC. During the visit, Brookshire left 48 of her books for students at NEE. This was made possible by an anonymous donor. The books will be used to assist with intervention efforts at the school. 

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