I’ve been to a lot of cookouts but never quite like the one I attended about a week ago.  In the east part of the city I attended a cookout with a friend. Prior to the event I was told that the cookout was a fund­raiser. I didn’t give the purpose of the cookout much thought until I arrived on that Saturday at the home of Doreen and David Moore.

In the center of the lawn was a table where guests could make a contribution for the scholarship recipient. The Moore’s and their committee had selected Brittany R. Fitch to receive the proceeds of this annual event. Fitch is a graduate of Perry High School and will attend Temple University in the fall. She plans to be a pediatrician and graduated with a 4.0 QPA. When Fitch accepted her check for $1,500 she explained that she was a member of the marching band, had served as yearbook editor, volunteered feeding the homeless and so much more.

This young lady truly has an impressive resume to be so young. She hopes to study abroad in Tokyo or China and she wants to be a pediatrician because she saw the need for children to be taken care of. This presentation took place after we dined on a wonderful meal. A meal that was well worth whatever donation was made. The ribs fell off the bone, the macaroni and cheese was great, and so were the sweet potato pie and the pound cake. There was plenty of everything. I even saw people leaving with “take out” plates.

When the Moore’s presented the check they both shed a tear. It was so moving. The name of the fund is the Education The Key to Success, D&D Paying it Forward Education Fund. They have been doing this for many years and now they use the alphabet to select the school. They go to the principal of the high school and request that eligible students write an essay. The essays are then read and a student is selected.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were more cookouts like this one? What if neighborhoods did this for kids in every neighborhood? Maybe this could encourage some children to turn their life around. If they knew that there is going to be some money to assist with books or transportation they might have some hope and stop the shooting.

During the cookout, Fitch came up and introduced herself to me and it looked like she went to each table to introduce herself so people would know where there donation was going and to who. There was a huge card to sign for her and each person wrote a personal note of encouragement. Not only did the donors get a great meal, each person that donated received an ink pin that was also a flash light and hardbound note pad with colorful page markers. In past years t-shirts have been the favor. I like this idea and I just might steal it and pay it forward.

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