DAY program barbecue fundraiser a success

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Shelby County’s nationally recognized DAY Program held an evening event on Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Helena Amphitheater.

The annual barbecue benefit produced some $20,000, and more than 100 people dropped by to enjoy barbecue, door prizes and musical entertainment by a renowned Elvis impersonator.

The event was orchestrated by Neil Bailey with help from Pat Kolvalchick, Karen Ream and numerous others.

Hosting the event were Helena Mayor Sonny Penhale and First Lady, Sarah, at the Helena Amphitheater &045; one of the loveliest, most quaint and unique spots in Shelby County.

The Developing Alabama Youth (DAY) Program is an academic program, which allows troubled youth who have repeated grades in school an opportunity to bring themselves up to the level they should be performing academically.

In many cases, the program offers an alternative to suspension.

What many of these young people need in addition to academic help is hope, encouragement and support, DAY officials say.

And that’s what the program offers on a personal and individual basis.

Shelby County’s DAY program has been nationally recognized as an outstanding and successful program and one of the first of its kind in the nation.

Started 20 years ago by Judge Patti Smith, it offers hope to children who may have experienced behavioral problems and fallen behind.

Without this program, some of Shelby County’s children would not receive a high school degree, officials say.

Graduates of the program are productive citizens, contributing in a positive way to the community.

According to director Mike Blackwell, last year the program produced 12 students who graduated and two who completed their GED.

President of the DAY program board of directors is Greg Lancaster.

Other board members include Sandra Kelley, Janice Gill, Bill Best, Sheriff Chris Curry, Marco Gonzales, Larry Headrick, Ken Mobley and Rep. Cam Ward.

DAY Program employees who attended the event included Charlene Lloyd, Sharon Mince, Lorraine Cramer, Lillie Pierson and Nancy Owen.

For information on the DAY Program, call 664-1600