The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

May 18, 2014

Letters to the Editor for 5/18/14

The News Courier

— Letter policy:

The News Courier encourages letters to the editor. Submissions should be no more than 250 words and should include a name, address and telephone number for verification. Submissions that do not meet requirements are subject to editing. Writers are limited to one published letter every 30 days. Send letters to P.O. Box 670, Athens, AL, 35613, or email to

Clements High extends gratitude

Dear Editor:

We, the faculty and staff at Clements High School, would like to thank everyone for the support and contributions made to the families and community of Clements.  The love and compassion shown to our school has been incredible and is appreciated very much. 

There is no possible way to acknowledge every individual, business, company and organization that has provided assistance to us.  Please know that every act of kindness and generosity has been greatly appreciated. 

We would like to give special thanks to the following companies and business:  Pizza Hut- Rogersville and Athens, Bill Davis- Hickory Barn, TVA, Friends of Limestone County, Enon Baptist Church, Haney Farms, Clements Baptist Church, Mt. Carmel Church of Christ, EMA/First Responders, Hometown Grocery, Publix in Florence, Seven Mile Post Road Church, Round Island Baptist Church, Samaritan’s Purse, McDonald’s- Rogersville, Pam Clark, Tootlebugs, Athens Utilities, Athens Rotary Club, and the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department.   

We are Limestone and Clements Strong!


Clements High School


Communities pulled together

Dear Editor:

On behalf of all the Walmart stores in Alabama, I want to express gratitude to the Red Cross, emergency personnel and the numerous volunteers in communities across the state who pulled together to help their neighbors following the April 28 terrible storms. When they were needed, they stepped forward to provide shelter, supplies and other assistance.

I'd also like to thank our Walmart associates, many of whom were directly affected by the storms. Some of our associates suffered heavy damage to their homes; some lost their homes altogether. Yet, like other volunteers, they answered the need for help, particularly in hard-hit communities like Bessemer and Athens.

In difficult times, strong communities pull together, and that just makes us stronger for whatever the future may bring.


John Tow, regional general manager

Walmart Stores Inc.


(Editor's note: The following letter was sent to “the wonderful community of Athens, Alabama.” It was edited to comply with The News Courier letter policy.)

We are all one community

Dear Editor:

Because of the adverse situations you all have faced from the tornado, one can feel like that of losing a loved one unexpectedly. I understand that feeling.

To move forward, you must use three attributes — heart, will and skill.

Heart connects the energy from each of your own hearts to your will. The will uses the heart's enormous amounts of energy and transforms it into a calling for each of you to work together to transform your community as you face your own uncertainty.  

Skill comes in ways of extending a hand to a neighbor who needs help rebuilding, while you yourself do not know what to expect in future weeks or months to come. Your skill is also the willingness to break down barriers through getting to know one another in the community.

It is important to come together during natural disasters and tragedies. Maintaining this togetherness after the moments of adversity reassures each other that future success of the community will continue. A community cannot become better if its foundation is not on solid ground.

Never giving up despite the recent tornado is critical because you all represent a bright future for your country. A future that will show others, one community rising up hand-by-hand, brick-by-brick and a community that is becoming more successful than ever before.

Each and every one of you will move forward from this moment. I do not doubt that. We are all one community. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.


Andrew Webb

St. Louis

Empty Bowls success appreciated

Dear Editor:

On April 30, the fourth annual Empty Bowls Project was held at Friendship United Methodist Church.  This community event is held to raise the awareness of hunger as it impacts local families. Proceeds from the event this year benefitted Limestone County Churches Involved.

The success of this year’s event was made possible by our many generous contributors.  Participating restaurants were Applebee’s, Logan’s, LuVici’s, 306 Barbecue, Samurai, Picasso’s, Quizno’s, Chick-fil-A, Clark’s, Wildwood Deli, Papa John’s, Atlanta Bread, Panera Bread, Papa John’s, Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Village Pizza. Shelley Underhill contributed her famous “Firecrackers.” Paper products were furnished by Jack’s, KFC, Krystal, Arby’s, Sonic, Hardee’s, Zaxby’s and Wendy’s. 

Local artists donating their works for the silent auction were Diane Lehr, Lisa Milby, Anna Braden, Karen Middleton, Pat Weatherford, Melanie Hazen, Kathy Jacobs, Randy Harold, Mike Underhill, Sonya Gordon, Penny Wise, Tracy Leopard, Lori Baker, Pamela Keller, Emily Clem, Emily Cole, Jaina Anderson, DeAnna McNeill, and Alissa Clark.

Attendees received hand-crafted bowls created and donated by Emily Cole, Alissa Clark, The Potter’s Hand, Athens Middle School Tag Art and SOAR, Athens State University art students, and Jaina Anderson. Others supporting Empty Bowls were Steelcase, Osborne’s Jewelers, Athens Eye Clinic, Athens Sign Company, Hobb’s Jewelers, Pimento’s, Railroad Bazaar, Sub Deb, and Boy Scout Troop 24. 

We are grateful to have such generous community support for this tremendous annual event.   Thank you to all who donated, worked, attended, or supported Empty Bowls in any way.


The Empty Bowls Team

Friendship Church