JUST JUNIORS JOURNAL
Tent to sleep in: $59.95.
T-Shirts: $10 apiece.
Helping the American Cancer Society: Priceless.
LIFE AND DEATH
THE 2004 RELAY FOR LIFE
On May twenty-second and twenty-third, Debbie Benfield, Lou, Krystle Welch, Crissy Miller, Ginger White, and new member Allie Stewart went to help out with the annual Relay For Life at Jack Stadium, in Lock Haven.
"The Relay has become the biggest event of the year for us," said Lou. "It's a major thing these days, and we wouldn't miss it....We begin preparing maybe two months in advance, every year."
The Kids blew up balloons for the cancer survivors to carry in their Survivor Walk that night, and assembled and set out the luminary candles, which were on sale in the name of a cancer victim or survivor. Lou bought the first luminary candle this year, in his mother's name. By eight PM, the Kids had lit all the candles.
"We were the most familiar with them," said Krystle. "I also got to boss around a couple of preps....We had to light the luminaries, which was hard on the back. But it was well worth it, because it's for a really good cause."
There were also moments of down time, between the work.
"I really really enjoyed the games that they had there....Bingo, building a car, frisbee, volleyball," said Crissy Miller. Crissy and Debbie competed in the Build A Car competition that night, making a car out of cardboard and other items.
This year was the fifth year the LS Kids participated in the Relay, having begun in 2000.
"It was nice, after all the work we did to help the Relay," said Crissy Miller,"To just kick back and relax."
-Debbie Benfield, President
-Krystle Welch, VP
-Crissy Miller, Secretary
-Ginger White, Staff
GRAVEYARD CLEAN SWEEP
On Saturday, the seventh of May, the LS Kids helped Dave Wallace with the cleanup of the paupers' section of Highland Cemetery, behind Lock Haven University. Lou, Krystle Welch, Crissy Miller, Ginger White, and Biz Albright participated in the project. Dave Wallace is the head of the Highland Cemetery Restoration Committee.
As soon as the Kids got there, the job of raking leaves began. The Kids cleared a large area that was piled high with fallen leaves. During a short break from that, Dave showed them how a broken tombstone was fixed. It took almost the entire four hours the Kids were there to clear the leaves, but Dave said that was a big help to the cemetery.
STAMPING OUT HUNGER
The LS Kids participated when the United States Postal Service made an attempt to collect food for the hungry on May 8, 2004. A postcard had arrived in the mail, explaining that the letter carriers would be collecting non-perishable food items on their route that day. Lou called the Kids, and Crissy Miller, Biz Albright, Ida Yost, and Ginger White came over the night before.
They went through the cupboards at Lou's house, and came up with two bags of canned food to donate. At 11:30 the night before, Lou and Crissy placed the bags outside, by the mailbox, to be picked up by the letter carrier the next day.
On May 7, 2004, AGA Staci Wyland had a baby girl. The baby was born at 11:30 PM, after Staci had been in the hospital for over thirty-six hours.
The father of the baby is Stacey Henry on New Jersey. The baby's name is Kadeja Nichele Henry. She was seven pounds, and nine ounces.
FLORIDA- May seventh and eighth I competed in "Fine Arts" with my church in Alabaster, Alabama. There were many diffrent categories. There was Rap Groups and Solos, Percussion Groups, Sign Language Groups and Solos , Youth Choirs, Dramas, Human Videos, Photography, Poetry, and Graphic Designs.
I was in Traditional Photography, Poetry, Sign Language Solo, Short Story, and Youth Choir. If you made it the Nationals
you would go to Austin, Texas, in August. Our Youth Choir made it to Nationals, and myself and three other girls made it to Nationals with our Poetry. I was one point away from making it in my Sign Language.
I've been reading this book called Reviving Ophelia, written by Mary Pipher, PhD. I suggest it to any teenage girl who worries about looks or dieting, or even having a hard time with school and peers. The book really opens your eyes, and gives an understanding of why teenage girls are the way they are.
It's also good reading for parents who don't understand where they went wrong, and why their once tomboyish energetic best friend is now shutting them out completely.
Oh, and if you're one of those guys who just doesn't understand girls....This book's for you, too.
BLONDE AT HEART
Editor's Note: This month, in celebration of Sarah's daughter Nevaeh's third birthday, we're running a poem that Sarah wrote at the time. -L.
THE FIRST MINUTES
We rushed in to the hospital
I said she's coming
Soon, soon, soon
This magnificent, magical, marvelous day
Was Sunday - the 17th of June
They wrapped my legs around my head
I couldn't take anymore!
Finally you came to see me
At exactly 5:04 - My heart began to soar
I looked into your eyes
So big, beautiful, blue
It was the world's best feeling -
I fell right in love with you!
I just got a piece of heaven
My life will never be the same -
So I flipped heaven around
And I came up with your name
You are so precious - perfect to me
My little Nevaeh Dawn
But you wore me out - So I'm going to sleep
I said with a big yawn!
June 17th 5:04
I will remember that day forevermore
RHYME AND REASON
A blood red rose
Lay upon a grave
A blood-dripped rose.
From you my heart you gave.
A blood red rose,
Lay in my mind.
A blood-dripped thorn.
Lay on a grave to find.
This blood-dripped rose
with a long story to tell.
Was given by an angel.
But came from the depths of hell.
ADORE IT/DEPLORE IT
Adore It: Adoration, this month, to all of the individuals and organizations that the LS Kids help out all year long. The Cancer Society, the AAUW, The Highland Cemetery Association, Children International, the Salvation Army, the Ross Library....All of them are getting involved, trying to do good things. Without them all, the world would be a much worse place....And the LS Kids would be out of work.
Deplore It: An organization called the JBC Legal Group has been calling people and claiming that checks they wrote up to five years ago did not clear, and they are collecting the money. This is a scam; many of the checks either cleared or were not written, and the JBC Legal Group has no right to the money. Don't be caught by this. For more information, check out http://www.classactionamerica.com/public/caseIndex.aspx?lngCaseID=3351.
The Just Juniors Journal Is:
Assistant: Staci Wyland
National Advisor: Vesta Jones
President: Debbie Benfield
Vice-President: Krystle Welch
Secretary: Cris Miller
Quartermaster: Meghan Rockey
Staff: Hilaire Reese, Destini Geraty, Marjorie Shelley, Mia Shelley, Ginger White, Sarah Wilson, Ida Yost
Distant Correspondents: Kazlynn Otto, Meghan Wilson, Amber Fleming, Rachel Wykry, Regina Spence
Foreign Bureau: Janice Marco
Life goes on. And that's the wonderful thing....Things continue. And there are still happy times; people heal, they laugh and hug and enjoy again. That's the happy ending, not Happily ever after but Life goes on.
I stood at the top of the stadium, watching my Kids play. Usually, I cope with things....This time, too. I was alive inside.
The Kids and I, doing what we do, achieving something good....That's the happy ending. And I believe in happy endings.
I always will.
I wrote those words in an issue one year ago, two weeks after my mother died of cancer. It was a hard time for me and the Kids....My mother suffered through her cancer and died, and exactly two weeks later we had to help with the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. There was no talk of backing out; we had always done it and they needed our help, it was our biggest project all year, it was a good cause....And somehow, we all knew that we didn't need to back out. We were stronger than that.
So, this year. The 2004 Relay. I went up with Debbie, Krystle, Crissy, Mia, and Ginger, and we helped out. We bumped into little Allie Stewart up there---I've known Allie since she was three. She's now nine, and expressing an interest in joining the group. She spent most of the day following me around, helping out with stuff.
One of the reasons this has become the biggest event of the year for us is that it takes so long---Twenty-four hours from start to finish. Another reason is that the Cancer Society is easy to work with---They're appreciative and polite to the Kids, and they'll take whatever help we offer.
One of the biggest things we do for them, every year, is to assemble the Luminary Candles, set them out, and light them. There are often over a thousand of them, all done by my Kids. Debbie took charge in the shed, directing the assembly of the candles; and Crissy, Allie, and I all set them up around the stadium, with me pulling the wagon. Then we all took part in lighting them---I let Allie light my mother's candle. My mother had been a guidance counselor---She would have liked that.
I pulled the wagon, with a load of candles on the way out, and Kids riding on the way back in. And in spite of how it hurts, how this event is basically about the death of our loved ones, we had fun. We laughed and hugged and enjoyed.
Most of the people up there had either lost someone to cancer, or almost died themselves. And yet, it's still a good event. You have to keep enjoying life---Every one of our lost loved ones would want that. My mother would.
At one point, I ended up kneeling by my mother's candle, soon after Allie had lit it. I cried a little, looking at her name on the exterior bag. Allie hugged me.
"My sister says if a man cries, he must be a great man," Allie said.
Not sure where she got that idea. I said,"Anybody can cry, if it hurts bad enough."
I started pulling the wagon again, with Crissy riding it. She was telling Allie about the kinds of things the Kids do---The kinds of things Allie will get to do, too. "And there's this place called Centralia, where it burns and smoke comes out of the ground....And Lou's dad's farm, where you get tractor rides and the dog dances....And then there's the Kinzua Bridge...."
Allie listened, fascinated. And it occurred to me that I'd shown these guys that---Not just cool places to go, but how to experience life, how to live it to the fullest.
Crissy called up to me. "Hey, Lou! When we get back to your place, can we watch some superhero movies?"
I laughed. "Yes, we can," I called back. "We are gonna have fun tonight! We are gonna WATCH THE HULK ON DVD, AND EAT ALL SORTS OF JUNK FOOD AND DRINK A-TREAT CREAM SODAS, AND WE ARE GONNA READ COMIC BOOKS AND TALK AND STAY UP ALL NIGHT LONG!" I smiled. "Kid, we're gonna live."
As I pulled the wagon back to the shed, little Allie took my hand.
"It's gona be okay, Lou," she said.
She's right. It will be.
-Seems to me you live your life like a candle in the wind