Weekend warm-up: Generosity, fun mixed

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Presley Haley, 9, of Chapel Hill climbs the rock wall in Rock Creek Park as Lewisburg Police conduct another Cops For Kids program.

Last weekend would appear to be Marshall County's warm-up for the up-coming Labor Day weekend as fundraising was mixed with fun for good causes at a pancake breakfast and a lunch in Rock Creek Park with Cops For Kids.

Approximately $7,600 was raised by the two events: $6,500 for the Cops For Kids shopping trip a few weeks before Christmas; and $1,100 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis where doctors and nurses worked tirelessly to save the life of a Lewisburg couple's nephew.

Much of the money raised for the Christmas present shopping trip for underprivileged children came from the sale at auction of donated objects including a metal wine rack shaped like a bass fiddle and autographed by Charlie Daniels. It brought more than $245.

Lewisburg Police rely on elementary school counselors who provide lists of deserving children, according to Captain Rebekah Mitchell.

"I just give them a number and they fill the slots for me," Mitchell said.

Last year 135 youngsters went shopping with police officers at a Lewisburg store.

"This year I don't yet know how many can go shopping," she said.

The number of children depends on how much money is raised. Each is allotted $100.

So far, donations will pay for almost half the number of kids shopping with cops last year.

"We'll assess the situation at the end of October or early November," she said. "We will do as many as we can."

People interested in making a donation may write checks payable to Cops For Kids Program, 101 Water St., Lewisburg, TN 37091. The shopping date will be Dec. 10.

Saturday's afternoon in the park was funded with a $5 donation for entry that included unlimited rock wall climbing, use of the inflatable playground and rides on a bungee cord. Nearly 250 people attended.

"The bungee jump station was a big hit," Mitchell said. "All the kids loved that. We'll definitely have to bring that back next year."

A few hours before the luncheon in the park, pancakes, sausage and drinks were served to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in memory of two-year-old Alex Denton of Muscle Shoals, Ala., who was diagnosed with leukemia and, despite aggressive treatment, passed 14 months later.

Now, Alex's Warriors, led Saturday morning by John and Heather Denton, served pancake breakfasts.

Glen Brannon of Lewisburg was the cook for the breakfast and he reported that $1,100 was collected to help pay for research to find a cure for leukemia and other catastrophic diseases.

"It was an excellent day," Brannon said. "It was busy, not that we couldn't keep up with it."

Alex's grandmother, Teresa Denton, said, "No matter how much money we raise, we could never repay St. Jude's for what they did for our family."