- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
The class officially started with the Leadership full-day retreat in August. They then followed that with a September class meeting at the YWCA, focusing on a few of the different non-profit agencies in the community and listening to presentations from some of their directors.
Kenny Daus, former United Way of Lamar County president, and Stephen Gerald, current United Way president, also spoke with the class about their programs and contributions to the county.
Remarkably, United Way of Lamar County set a steep goal for last year’s fundraising campaign at $500,000 and passed it by raising over $530,000 for human service needs in Lamar County. This year their goal is $535,000, and after just starting, they are already over 10% to that goal.
Tanteta Hilliard, director of Lamar County Human Resources, spoke with the class about Meals on Wheels, their Christmas gift program, and the many other benefits they work tirelessly to fulfill each year. In a past year, the Leadership Lamar County class chose the Meals on Wheels program as their fundraising project and provided them with a new kitchen for their meal service.
Angela Ward, director of the YWCA, then gave the class a full tour of the YWCA’s new facility and discussed future plans for their organization. With their new building, as large as it is, on the corner of Church St. and Lamar St. in Downtown Paris, they have a lot of work going into these new updates and preparation for upcoming plans.
During their September meeting, the Leadership Lamar County Class of 2012-2013 also chose this year’s class president. Lisa Walker of Harrison, Walker & Harper was nominated and elected by the class.
With the October meeting coming soon, the class is now in the stage of deciding which project to focus on. The group’s year ends in May 2013.
In the past week, the class visited with two of the five organizations requesting help from Leadership Lamar County. Meetings with the three other groups are scheduled before the October meeting, when the class will choose its project.
On Tuesday, September 25, the Leadership Class met at the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial — a potential project for discussion. Doug Weiberg spoke to the classmates and explained how the organization obtains funds for its massive construction.
The Memorial is currently in its fourth year and plans look like it may have another three years before completion. The project is currently in Phase II of its construction.
Weiberg suggested the Leadership Lamar County class consider funding a statue in memory of Sgt. Jay Hoskins, featuring his wife and children. If the funding for the statue is obtained, and the order placed, it should take four to six months to put in place.
The memorial will serve to teach children flag etiquette, as well as be a place for events and special occasions such as Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Veterans Day, etc.
On Wednesday, September 26, the Leadership Class met with a second possible project — Lamar County Coalition for Education, Business & Industry.
This is an organization based on programs, and although their name may not be recognized, many of their countywide projects are. Project Save, Fit 4 Life, Texas Scholars, Kids Marathon, Reading to the Future, and Texas Public Schools Week are several of their programs that you may recognize.
According to Stephanie Connot, director of Lamar County Coalition for Education, Business & Industry, the age to start reading to children is birth and the age to stop has yet to be decided. Studies show that nothing teaches children more about reading than actually reading aloud to them.
The Coalition started in 1991 and has been acknowledged by the Texas Business Education Coalition as one of the outstanding programs in the State. ”USA Today” also named it one of the seven national winners of the “Community Solutions for Education” award.
Their vision is to insure that our students are successful graduates, fully prepared to enter the workforce and/or higher education.
The Leadership class has three other potential projects to visit before deciding on one at their October meeting.
The Paris Pregnancy Center, the Red River Valley Fair Association, and the Red River Valley Down Syndrome Society are the other three potential organizations that the Leadership class may choose to take on for this class.
In the upcoming week, Leadership Lamar County will meet with directors of the three remaining organizations.
The Extra! will update you on future progress of the Leadership Lamar County Class of 2012-2013.
Origin of Leadership Lamar County Class: The leadership of Lamar County (LLC) got it’s form from a simple idea coming from a person who thought with an open heart and a productive mind. Mary Clark attorney, in 1985 presented the idea of LLC. Today we celebrate the 23rd anniversary of this class. Over 500 area citizens have graduated from this class and have since left their positive mark on the community. Volunteer applicants from several businesses are accepted by the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce to comprise the Leadership Lamar County Class each year.
This year’s Leadership class members are, Matthew Allen from Ballard Insurance, Josh Allen from eParisExtra.com, Sarah Bennet from Cambell Soup Co., Davis Aarion Benson from Harrison, Walker & Harper, Barbara Bonner from Lone Star Ag Credit, John Brooks from Bryte Constructs, Haley Bulls from Paris Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, Shari Coker from TxDot, Kristina House Courson from Jazzercize, Michelle Cowling from Harrison, Walker & Harper, Kristina Crites from Red River Valley Down Syndrome Society, Frances Goodson from Peoples Bank, Jennifer Gunn from Guaranty Bond Bank, Jimmie Hopson from NextEra Energy, Hunter Humphrey from Paul T. Wells, CPA, Tonya Iglehart from North Lamar ISD, Stephanie Kirk from Merck & Co., Chad and Sarah Lumbert from Kimberly Clark Corp., Chip McEwin from Richard Drake Construction, Stacy Miller from Cooper Propane, Lauren Pearson from Servpro of Paris, Michael Plata from First Federal Community Bank, Laurie Pollard from Lamar County Attorney’s Office, Holly Scott from First Federal Community Bank, Laura Turner from Rue 21, Lisa Walker from Harrison, Walker & Harper, Martha Westfall from Keller Williams, Johnny Wooten, Jr. from Campbell Soup, and Robyn Wyhte from Bryte Constructs.