Letters to the Editor
50th class reunion:
The Holly Hi Class of ’58 recently had its 50th reunion. The thing that made in an extra special event was that it was our first class reunion ever!
Many of us had not laid eyes on each other in 50 long years. We had a great time trying to “catch up” in one short evening. I want to publicly thank Danny Colston and Connie Boatwright Johnson for all their hard work in making the reunion possible.
Danny spent months finding everyone. Juanita Young Thomas helped also, as did others, I’m sure. Please forgive my omissions.
Many of our classmates are no longer with us, 11 that we know of, and we missed them immensely. We also missed the ones who wanted to be there but couldn’t.
Those who weren’t present missed a wonderful evening and I hope you will be there next time. We can’t wait another 50!
NYSP funding response:
In your article “Youth Program Celebrates First-Year Success,” I want to correct the statement made by the writer that Rust College lost its funding for the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP).
Rust College did not lose its funding for NYSP. The National Youth Sports Program operated on more than 175 college campuses and served more than 75,000 disadvantaged youth throughout the United States. There were nine NYSP projects operated in the state of Mississippi serving approximately 5,000 children.
As a result of the Bush Administration’s decision to not fund the National Youth Sports Program three years ago, more than 75,000 young people were left with no constructive organized summer educational and sports activities.
Rust College operated an exemplary NYSP Project for more than 30 years. The institution won numerous meritorious awards for its outstanding program. The staff served as consultants in the establishment of new programs throughout the country.
The program provided participants between the ages of 10 and 16 with sports instruction and competition as a vehicle to enhance self-esteem, to promote respect for oneself and others, to reinforce the importance of education to one’s future, and to promote active, healthy lifestyles.
Since 1968, NYSP has provided participants with instruction in career and educational opportunities and exposure to the college environment. The aim of the NYSP was to teach lifelong academic and recreation skills that will help under served youth to “walk tall – talk tall – stand tall.”
In 2006, Michael Jenkins II, of Byhalia, competed against more than 20,000 youth nationwide to win the NYSP T-Shirt competition. Jenkins’ design became the official NYSP logo, and appeared on participant T-Shirts, various NYSP printed material, and on the cover of the NYSP 2007 calendar.
With assistance provided by the mayor and board of aldermen of the city of Holly Springs, community businesses, Hawkins Medical Clinic, volunteers, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Rust College, the program continued to operate even though the Bush administration had discontinued funding. Unfortunately, the college was unable to host the program this summer. We are hopeful that the new presidential administration, whoever that is, will see the benefits of funding such valuable program as NYSP.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association, along with colleges and universities across the country, will continue to lobby Congress and the new President for funding. We solicit your support in this effort.
Ishmell H. Edwards
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