As part of our September EB meeting in Jackson, MS we did a project to assist Stewpot Kitchen with unloading, organizing and placing straw bales as a planting medium.  Stewpot plans to place a winter selection of plants that can be used in their daily meals.  Stewpot is planning on using these straw bales to continue planting a spring assortment of plants.  Our Chapter purchased 100 bales of straw for this project.

Several of the EB members participated in this event.  Mike Walker, Cornell Smith, Michelle French, Barbara Gray, Betty Byrd and Mary Thomas


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On the first weekend in September Strawberry Fields Audubon Center holds a Hummingbird Migration Festival.  Vendors from many parts of the surrounding area have their wares for sale.  Educational programs run all day long in the surrounding tents.  You can view the banding of Humming Birds, learn many of the environmental needs and actually hold a Hummingbird as it is being released.  In the Bat demonstration you actually see many different type bats up close and personal.  The raptor demonstration shows many birds of prey up close that you may only get to see in flight in nature.  There is wagon rides to see what nature can do on its on with minimal human intervention.  Another part of this festival is the selling of native plants, plants native to the area prior to English population arrivals.  These plants are propagated on the grounds of this center.

I was the only volunteer from our State Chapter and really enjoyed the different educational events and plant sale.  I served as the cart driver to take the customers who purchased large amounts of plants to their vehicles.  The most interesting packing of plants and people was a young mother, her 3 children, 1 niece, large stroller and of course the plants.  Yes, I was on the cart also doing my best contortion trick of the day.

Happy customers HummerFest2014 plant Hummingbird nest

International Ballet Competition, Jackson, MS 2014

2014 USA/IBC Commemorative Merchandise

Pioneer Report

July 16, 2014

The USA/International Ballet Competition began on June 14, 2014 and lasted until June 29, 2014.  This is one of the greatest attraction for Jackson the capitol city of Mississippi.  The USA IBC competition in itself is a world-class competition that is a two-week festival of dance founded by Thalia Mara in1978.   The first competition was held in 1979.  The USA International Ballet Competition is the United States’ official international ballet competition as designated by a Joint Resolution of Congress and it has a lot of history along with the many successes over the years. Every four years it brings in millions of dollars and dancers from all over the world.  This year’s competition brought in 99 dancers from 20 nations and millions of dollars and for the pioneers to be a part of this attraction is fascinating.

The competition was intense but rewarding and lots of fun.  We started volunteering for IBC in February by going to joint meeting with the USA/International Ballet Competition Executive Board and other chairmen.   We met each month until June.   We started contacting volunteers for sale of the commemorative merchandise in April by email, telephone, and word-of-mouth.  On June 9, 2014 we had our first meeting with volunteers.  At that meeting, we had 31 volunteers to come. The majority of those volunteers were Pioneers.   We gave out instructions for parking, scheduling dates and hours, and dress codes for the upcoming event.   Also, Kathy Ferrell and I, Catherine Walker, provided lunch for the participating volunteers on that day.

All together for the ballet, we had 95 volunteers who participated in the sale of commemorative merchandise and a total of 1,585 hours to report.  As you will see by the report of hours, we had several who gave more days and hours than requested.  After the ballet was over we had to take inventory, make our final report and send out thank you notes.  Thank you notes have been sent by email and postal mail.

Thanks goes out to Kathy Ferrell (Co-chair) who did a great job.  There were others who gave up their valuable time to come and help us make the sale a success.  Elaine Gaddis along with Mrs. Margarie Harvey who is 86 years young helped to man Belhaven while Kathy and I handled Thalia Mara Hall.  Thalia Mara Hall requires more volunteers because this is where the competition is held and thereby need more volunteers than Belhaven University.  Also Kathy Cole, Linda James (a good friend of Kathy Cole), Brenda Langford, Celeste Burton and daughter Lila Burton gave many days and hours of participation.   With the help of the many volunteers from all over the Tri-County area according to Mandy from the IBC office, we help to sale over $46, 000.00 worth of merchandise.  Most of the volunteers have express their enjoyment and are looking forward to the next four years.

Please see the attached list of volunteers and hours of participation.  Also, please see the attached report sent to USA/IBC Executive Board.  If you have questions, please call me, Catherine Walker at 601-506-8571 or email me at

Catherine Walker Co-Chair

Kathy Ferrell – Co-Chair

Camp Bluebird 2014

Had many enjoyable times at this years events.

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Wonderful time was had by all campers at our 2014 Camp Bluebird in Tupelo at the end of April.

Boggie Night

Stop Hunger Now Meal Packing Event

The 5th of April we had in conjunction with our Chapter meeting a packing event for Stop Hunger Now.  We packaged 10,000 meals in about 3 hours.  We had several guest that attended this with us.

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Camp Bluebird Biloxi 2013

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