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Leadership program to hold fundraisers

Class participants in the 2013 Lonoke County Leadership Training program will hold a number of upcoming fundraisers to raise money for high school student scholarships.

This year the leadership program class includes seven juniors from Cabot, Carlisle, England and Lonoke high schools. In previous years, the program has only been offered to adults. According to steering committee secretary Jennifer Manis, each student was nominated by their building principal or counselor.

“We are just trying to extend to the youth,” Manis said.

Manis said the idea behind opening the program up to high school students was to offer more of an opportunity for underprivileged students who have shown leadership traits but need more encouragement. Shannon Hollis, steering committee chairman, said some of the students chosen were also nominated by steering committee members.

Current juniors participating in the class are Samantha Gates and Jordan Chris Moore of England; Makenzie Bennett and Jacob Jones of Carlisle; Mason Moody and Abigial Hickam of Lonoke; and Madison Probe of Cabot.

These students are being mentored by the adults in the class and are required to write an essay at the end of the session on how this class has helped them, what they learned about the county and themselves. They are required to attend each class from Jan.12 through May 2. Students have already learned about entrepreneurship , community service and volunteerism, economic development, educational work force, state and local leadership and networking.

Each of the high school students participating in the class will receive a $100 scholarship to be used for senior year expenses such as club fees, camps, senior rings, invitations, pictures or for college. The leadership program board will be responsible for reading and voting on the essay contest. The student who has the best essay will receive a $500 scholarship.

“It is good that we are benefiting the youth involved in the program,” steering committee member Brandy Sullivan said.

Hollis also said if any funds remain after the fundraiser, the steering committee will decided how the funds are used, which will be either divided amongst the students or offer a second place winner.

“It is our goal to raise as much money as possible,” Hollis said.

Adults participating in the class are required to raise money for the scholarships as their class project. The class has been divided into teams to create and execute their own method of fund-raising. Hollis said the groups must raise a minimum of $1,200, which has been promised to the students. All scholarship funds are due by April 11.

One team will be hosting Crawfish To-Go from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on March 30 in the ReMax parking lot in Cabot. Tickets are $25 and should be purchased prior to pick up day. To-go boxes include crawfish, potatoes, corn and onions. Each order can feed 2 people. To purchase tickets, please contact Shelia De Armond at sdearmond@fabandt.com or 870-219-6068, Shirley Miller at Shirley.miller@centurytel.net or 501-941-8688, or Jason Reynolds at Jason.reynolds@trinovainc.com or 901-794-6060.

Bobbie Cotner said her team will be giving away a basket full of goodies from local vendors. Tickets are $1 and can be purchase from 10 a.m. to noon this Saturday at Walmart in Lonoke or anytime from the Bank of England in Carlisle. Cotner also said she will host a class on March 26 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Carlisle on how to build a wreath. Cotner said participants must bring supplies. There will be two wreaths available for participants to make during the class. Cost is $30 per person. Forms are available at Carlisle Banking Center or contact Leslie Parker or Cotner 870-552-7521 at the bank, during business hours.

Stacy Crain said her group is working to finalize their fundraiser plans. She said at this time they will be giving away gift cards from Walmart for $50, Nick’s Bar-B-Q in Carlisle for $25 and a $25 gift card from Shell. Crain said she is still working to get a few more gift cards for the drawing. Cost of the drawing has not been set by the group. Crain said when tickets are sold, cost will go toward the chance to win any one or all of the gift cards, but not individually.

Tena Hauk said her group has already raised over $500. She said they recently held a chicken spaghetti luncheon for donations. Hauk said her group also sent sponsorship letters to local business for donation. She said the group still has some business to collect from.

Hollis said at this time the high school student scholarship project may or may not be done in the future. Anyone interested in making a tax deductible donation to the Lonoke County Leadership Scholarship fund may contact Shannon Hollis at shannon@englandfitnesscenter.com or 501-680-4796. A tax id number will be provided.

The Lonoke County Coalition for Progress held its first class in 2006. It was formed is to develop leaders for the Lonoke County area. According to the website, its objectives are to promote and encourage leadership skills by conducting formal training programs for various target groups of potential future leaders and current leaders, both elected and volunteer; to build a network of informed leaders and individuals who will recognize the needs of all citizens of the area and work together to establish and accomplish goals to meet those needs; to disseminate knowledge, promote interest, encourage study and research in the leadership field and to act in an advisory capacity to any interested groups of persons or organizations.

Tuition for the leadership program is $150 per participant. Tuition includes all course materials, meals, field trip, and graduation ceremony. The 2013 class graduation will be held at 6 p.m. on May 2 at the England Fitness Center.

For more information on the program or how to become a participant, visit their website at www.lonokeleadership.com or email info@lonokeleadership.com.

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