Miss Dillard brings light to a tragic day

With the dawning of the tragedies on Sept. 11, President Bushdeclared the month of September as the national month of service.With this in mind, Miss Dillard, Morjoriee White, along with herroyal court, set out to plan an activity with the hopes of givingback to the community. This project allowed White to involvestudents in community outreach.

White’s plan came to life on Sat., Sept. 11with the sponsoringof “A Walk to Remember,” this year’s first service project, whichheld a dual purpose. First, it offered students an opportunity togain community service hours, and it also allowed two needyfamilies to gain financial assistance. The focal point was service,White said.

In the spirit of patriotism, Miss Dillard and the royal courtdecorated every other light post on the Avenue of the Oaks withred, white and blue ribbons the week of Sept. 11. White alsorequested that all students participating in the walk wear red,white and blue clothing.

“They looked so sharp,” White said.

Brandon Bowers, SGA president, said there was a “big swarm ofred, white and blue,” and that the turnout of over 200 students wasexceptional.

“I think it went well, and had a large number of students thatshowed up,” versus the students that paid for the hours, but didnot show up to walk, Bowers said.

Students who showed up in their required attire received 10hours of volunteer credit?, while those who simply came to walkreceived eight hours. Although no faculty members or administratorswere able to attend the walk-a-thon, several faculty members madedonations.

The walk-a-thon raised over $710 and doubled the SGA’s financialgoal for this event.

“We were blessed to serve two families,” White said. One ofWhite’s goals during her reign is to touch more people on a locallevel rather than a national one. “We decided to serve two familiesin our community,” she said.

These two families, chosen by Rolanda Clements-Martin, Dillard’scommunity service coordinator, will receive the checks personallyfrom Miss Dillard. The familiews were selected based on specialneeds criteria.

The first recipient, Delores Shedrick is currently hospitalizedin the Kenner Regional Hospital. Shedrick will use the money toprovide food for her family while she is in the hospital. AliciaArmstead, another recipient from the walk-a-thon, is currently theprimary caregiver of a 7-year-old and a 16-year-old, along with herown grandchildren. Armstead plans to use the money to purchaseschool uniforms and supplies.

The walk began with a prayer by SGA chaplain Rance Johnson atthe flagpole. Bowers led the walk holding a blue and white postwhat type of post?? for the entire walk from Dillard University tothe University of New Orleans. The ribbons that were used todecorate the light post that week were also laid out along thewalking path to guide students.

Some students even regretted not attending the walk. SophomoreLillian Gabriel did not attend the walk but said that she wishedshe had, having missed out on some perks.

“They gave out free tickets to the FAMU- Tulane Universityfootball game,” Gabriel said.