More than 70 bicycles for people of all sizes and ages, along with a plethora of various toys â€” $25,000 worth â€” filled a portion of the Benton Middle School cafeteria on Wednesday.
All those bikes and toys, thanks to the student-operated Elf Club, will spread Christmas cheer to hundreds of less fortunate families in Saline County.
"This day is all they (students) talked about," said Cindy Haltom, Benton Middle School teacher and Elf Club co-sponsor.
Christmas came early this week for a local nonprofit agency that for many years has fought an uphill battle to provide a refuge for creatures that have no other place to call home.
The Humane Society of Saline County on Wednesday became the grateful recipient of a $41,734 gift from the Ken Young Co.
This gift represented the profits from a house Young's company recently completed in this county.
"This is the largest single cash donation the Humane Society has ever received," said Ann Sanders, president of the organization.
Jeanne Claire McLeroy Kelley, 80, passed away Monday, Dec.19. She was born July 11, 1931 in Yonkers, New York. Jeanne was a retired Certified Nurses Assistant, Member and Past Secretary of Woodman Of The World Lodge #168 of Benton and a member of Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Traskwood. She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Fern Besacon McLeroy. Â
Daisy Pierce Ward, 67, of Benton died Tuesday, Dec. 20. She was born July 13, 1944 in Benton.
Daisy was a retired nurses assistant and of the Baptist Faith.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Garland and Georgie Owen Pierce; her husband, George Earl Ward; and a daughter-in-law, Charlotte Neal.
Jamie Lynn Looney, 27, of Haskell, passed away Dec. 18. She was born April 9, 1984 in Little Rock to John Toler and Cheryl Duff. She was preceded in death by her grandfather, William Toler.
She is survived by her son, Blake Looney of Haskell; her father, John Toler of Haskell; her mother, Cheryl Lynn Duff of Gravel Ridge; a sister, Hollie Moore and husband Chris of Benton; her grandmother, Carra Jo Toler of Bryant; her grandparents, Lee Roy and Georgia Duff of Gravel Ridge; many cousins, uncles, aunts, and a special aunt, Debby Felton.
The Bryant Hornets used a 27-0 run to rout the North Pulaski Falcons 67-24 on Tuesday in the opening game of the Red Devil Classic at Jacksonville High School. The Hornets also hit 61 percent of their shots and held the Falcons to just 31 percent shooting.
Jean Bittman Hersh, 91, of Howell, Mich., passed away at her home on Saturday, Dec. 17. Â Born Dec. 7, 1920, in Chicago, she was the daughter of Abraham and Ethel (Schultz) Bittman. Jean was retired, having owned and operated her own travel agency.
She was the beloved wife of Harold Hersh, whom she married in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb, 14, 1946.Â She was the loving mother of Sydney Moody and husband Bobby of Howell and Ann Hudson and husband Thomas of Benton.
Marvell Mashburn, 81, of Alexander, passed away Friday, December 16, 2011 at Saline Memorial Hospital in Benton.Â
She was born on December 17, 1929 in Enola, Arkansas to the late Charles Ellis Woodward and Amber Woodward.Â
She attended Humphrey High School. She was a charter member of Highway Church of Christ in Benton. She enjoyed taking trips with her late husband of over forty years, Bezell Mashburn and reading.Â She also enjoyed spending time with her dogs, Layla Mae, October, and Skylar.
Melba Aliene Moore Jones, 93, of Bryant, departed this life on December 16, 2011.Â
She was born on November 16, 1918 in Des Arc, Arkansas to the late John and Addie Moore.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold Jones; sisters, Carrie McDonald, Flossie Sanders, Eleanor Harvey, Wilma Moore, Sally McClellan Williams and Esther Moore; brothers, Harry Moore and John Moore, Jr.; and father in law, Reese Jones.
Royce Johnson, 49, of Perryville, passed away Friday, December 16, 2011.Â
He was born October 31, 1962 in Little Rock, Arkansas.Â
Mr. Johnson was preceded in death by his parents, Roy Henry and Johnnie Lee Johnson.
He is survived by his wife, Judith Johnson; son, Joseph Freirmuth; brother, Harry Johnson and two sisters, Darline Jones and Patricia Martin.
Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, December 19 at Ashby Funeral Home.
Graveside services will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, December 20 at Ida Mission Cemetery.
Online guestbook: www.ashbyfuneralhome.com.