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WestStar class donates 5,000 pounds of food

WestStar class donates 5,000 pounds of food
The WestStar class of 2010 wanted to make a difference and help those affected by the recent floods and those already facing hard times due to the recent economic conditions.
They focused on helping out local food banks. This year’s class collected more than 5,000 pounds of food, in just ten days, to donate to local food banks throughout the 21 counties in West Tennessee.
“The mission of WestStar includes identifying and encouraging community-minded people who want to become more involved,” stated Charley Deal, Executive Director of WestStar.
“This year’s participants needed no encouraging.  They saw a need, and acted on it.  I am sure this won’t be the last time this group has a positive impact on West Tennessee.”
Each of the 30 participants were encouraged to collect at least 100 cans of food, from May 16th to May 26th, for food banks that were identified in each county within West Tennessee.
During their food drive, many collect more than 100 cans, as of May 26 more than 5,000 pounds of food has been collected and distributed, and more is expected to follow.
The WestStar class collected the food at their place of work, schools and churches.  Some of the top participants collected between 250 and 300 pounds of food. 
Joey Hassell, Superintendent of Lauderdale County Schools collected over 450 pounds and some money for the First United Methodist Church of Ripley’s food bank. 
“Unfortunately, our local food banks are being used by more and more by families, here in West Tennessee. Hopefully the efforts of this class will be able to help assist in their time of need,” stated Charlie Deal. 
“I am very proud of this class and to be associated with such a great group of leaders.” 
In a 21-year history, the University of Tennessee at Martin has had a special role in developing leaders in West Tennessee’s 21 counties through the WestStar Leadership Program.
Participants learn new leadership skills and develop strategies to assist communities in solving problems and maximizing potential.
Numerous class members have utilized their WestStar skills to work in the region becoming elected officials and spearheading important projects and filling other leadership roles.
WestStar is the state’s oldest and largest regional leadership program and has more than 550 graduates.
WCP 6.03.10