Changing the face of Killona

Residents give out free supplies to school kids

July 25, 2007 at 2:24 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Changing the face of Killona
Photo by Shonna Riggs
The hot weather and muggy temperatures didn’t stop Killona residents from hosting a community back to school drive Sunday, July 22.

With school just a few weeks away, two organizations in the community, The Queens and The Killona Boys, raised $2900 to sponsor an event to purchase school supplies for the kids.

Organizers Kenny Downing and Irene Dinvaunt said this is not the first event for the children of Killona and it won’t be the last.

“We started by doing Easter egg hunts for the children six years ago,” Dinvaunt told the Herald-Guide.

“We decided to take things to the next level and make sure the children had school supplies they needed,” she continued.

“We don’t get any kind of help or special funding. All of our proceeds come from donations from people in the community,” she continued.

Downing said that he and others are trying to change Killona’s reputation for the better.

“After the deaths of two of our residents, Vernell Stipe, who died of heart attack at 35, and Nicholas Baudoin, who was killed in a motorcycle accident, at 38, the men of Killona began to take life more seriously. We decided that life is short and it was time we got it together and make some changes for the better,” Downing said.

Downing believes one of those changes is taking care of the children in the community.

“We need our children. They are our future. And if we can help them stay in school by providing the supplies or whatever they need, that’s what we will do.”

The Killona Boys raised enough money to rent inflatable equipment and purchase food and games to make the event exciting for the children.

“Our plan is to change the reputation that this community has by letting everyone know that we care about our children and that there are hard working people willing to take the steps to make changes in a positive direction,” Downing said.

“Once the word gets around how much Killona cares about their children and what the community is doing to support the kids, we hope other organizations will get on board with us and help to do their part by providing donations,” Marty Muller, district 1 councilman candidate told the Herald-Guide.

The communities’ next project is to start a free tutoring program and parents organization for the children.

“When we get the tutoring-program started, even if I have to provide transportation to kids who don’t have a ride, I will do my part to ensure that the children have what they need to be successful in the school system,” Muller said.

“I tutor kids and we have other tutors lined up who are willing to work with the children.”

Muller plans to continue to work closely with Downing and Dinvaunt to make improvements in the Killona community.

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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Parish distributes over 250 Thanksgiving baskets to needy
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