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Sun City sets ‘shining’ example

Elementary, Technical School take part in ‘Caring Hearts’ service initiative

Sun City Elementary was shining bright last week as they helped “Light Up the Darkness” for Louisiana residents affected by hurricanes.

The south Bossier school partnered with the Northwestern State University Student Nursing Association (SNA) and Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) at LSU-Shreveport for a week-long effort to collect flashlights to essentially “Light Up the Darkness” in the event of a hurricane.

As part of the grand finale, the entire student body along with representatives from TKE and the SNA gathered in Sun City’s gymnasium, turned out the lights and turned on hundreds of bright flashlights.

The flashlight collection event just so happen to coincide with the peak of hurricane season. With powerful winds and torrential rain, power outages are inevitable during these storms.

Fortunately, there’s a glimmer of hope headed to south Louisiana in the form of 650 flashlights.

Members of TKE brought in 90 flashlights to Sun City Elementary through their collective effort. Tanner DeLoach said community service is a vital part of their fraternity and the group was more than willing to participate with Sun City.

“We jump on any opportunity to help our community and state, especially after seeing the devastating results of Hurricane Katrina,” DeLoach said. “It may not be much. It’s just a flashlight, but it could make a big difference when people are looking for loved ones in complete darkness.”

For TKE members Kole Grain and Matt Vetkoetter, the donation meant giving back to the school they attended as children.

“We were in the same position as they are now,” Grain said. “We want to continue the cycle of giving back through community service projects like this for years to come. This is the first step to impacting generations to come.”

Representing TKE were members Tanner DeLoach, Kole Grain, Rhany Shihadeh, Matt Vetkoetter and Michael Wheeler. Representing the NSU SNA was Erikah Etier.

The NSU Student Nursing Association will continue accepting donations through Oct. 1. Public donations of flashlights and/or batteries can be dropped off at the Student Services office, located at 1800 Line Avenue in Shreveport, until October 1. The NSU SNA will deliver the flashlights to the organization’s state conference, who will distribute the flashlights from there.

In a friendly competition among classes, the students who brought the most flashlights were rewarded with a class party. With 176 flashlights, Jay Kirkland’s third grade class earned the coveted “Golden Flashlight Award” and a class party. Amy Sanders’ second grade class was recognized as the class who brought in the second highest total, 119 flashlights. They, too, will receive a class party.


Technical School holds rescue drive in memory of teacher

Carol Heard was Special Education Lead Teacher at Bossier Parish Technical School for 14 years before she passed away unexpectedly over the summer. Heard will be remembered by those who knew her as an animal lover who devoted her life to education and rescuing animals when she could in order to give them a second chance at life.

The Carol Heard Memorial Puppy Drive was held in her memory earlier this month.

Volunteers from Texas Star Rescue (TSR) Louisiana Baby Mommas brought several puppies to the school Friday and visited with students about the organization’s mission. The non-profit animal rescue group places pregnant dogs or puppies from shelters in foster homes to nurse them back to health until ready for adoption.

Boxes are set up at BPTS and anyone wanting to help is encouraged to drop off items such as puppy toys, leashes, collars, blankets, towels, Clorox wipes, unscented baby wipes, kennels and gift cards to Wal-Mart or PetSmart.

The Bossier Parish Technical School is located at 2010 North Market Street in Shreveport.

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