The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


March 20, 2014

'Give back when I go back': Friends of Eli and AHS Beta Club collecting DVDs

When Emily Leopard heard about Eli Williams, 9, collecting DVDs for his friends at St. Jude Children’s Hospital, she wanted to help.

Emily, an Athens High School senior, had read Eli’s story of courage in The News Courier and heard about him from people in the community. She knew the Athens Bible Student is currently fighting cancer and that he is undergoing treatment at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Although she doesn’t know him personally, Emily keeps up with Eli on Facebook. She recently noticed Eli’s mom, Kristie, had posted that the family was collecting DVDs to take to his next appointment in April.

 “The post said Eli was wanting to encourage others while he was going through the same thing and that he thought this was a way he could do it,” said Emily, who happens to be president of the AHS Beta Club. “Of course, we thought that was so awesome so we definitely — as the Beta Club — wanted to pitch in and help.”

Eli is calling the collection his “Give Back When I Go Back” campaign. DVDs for patients are part of the St. Jude wish list.

Eli and the Beta Club are collecting recent —popular full-length — new and gently used DVDs and the community can help. The movies should be rated G or PG.

Kristie wants donors to keep in mind that there are older teens at St. Jude as well. Her advice if for those that have a “teen connection” to have the teens pick out one of their favorites to donate, such as superhero movies like “Thor.”

“Guess what came out March 18 on DVD?” Kristie said in a post. “It’s wildly popular — ‘Frozen.’ “ Other popular movies and some of Eli’s favorites are “Kung Fu Panda,” “Madagascar,” “Ice Age,” “Monsters University,” “Wall-E,” “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Despicable Me.”

Duplicate DVDs are fine to donate, according to Kristie. The DVDs will be distributed throughout the campus.

The Grasshopper Children’s Boutique, at 107 South Marion Street in Athens, and Midway Cycle on U.S. 72 in Madison, are serving as drop-off points. DVDs can be dropped off at the front office of Athens High School as well or given to Beta Club members or officers including Laken Berry, Reggie Battles and Rachel Bobo.

Eli’s DVD drive at Athens High will start after spring break, which is March 24-28.

The collection will end April 20.

The Beta Club is glad to help, according to Emily. She believes Eli has displayed perseverance throughout his entire fight. “Especially, I admire his family because through it all they have been very selfless and seek to give back to others even though they are going through a hard time,” Emily said. “That just really said, ‘WOW’ to me.”

Emily said the Beta Club, sponsored by Alycia Townsend, was founded on four principles — achievement, leadership, character and service.

“We strive to exemplify that in all we do,” she said, adding they push to take part in activities not only at school, but also in the community. The Beta Club motto is “Let us lead by serving others.”

Emily believes Eli’s drive is important. “It is helping us give back to someone who is also giving back to others, so it is a constant chain of spreading good,” she said.

To follow Eli’s story, visit or find “Praying for Eli Williams!” on Facebook.


Text Only
Top Local News

Today's Local Feature

State and Nation
Local Sports

Calendar of Events
  • Limestone Ledger 7/27/14

    Blood drive
    The Kelsey Maclin “Student Leaders Save Lives” Scholarship Blood Drive is 1-6 p.m. Tuesday at Round Island Creek Missionary Baptist Center, 13829 Lucas Ferry Road.

    July 27, 2014

  • Church Bulletin 7/27/14
Business Marquee
Weather Radar

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

None of the above
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.