PICAYUNE — By Jodi Marze Lifestyles Editor Melinda Vitale Shaw responded to a daily devotional by Lourie Formby after the Feb. 4 passing of his only child, Ella Marie Formby. The entrepreneur and owner of MeLinda’s Fine Gifts saw where Formby had written about the foundation set up in his daughter’s name along with the subject of counting your blessings. “I saw his post and it just struck a chord,” said Shaw. “The ministry is such a worthy cause and Ella was such a beautiful light to everyone who knew her. We decided to start a two new designs with 20 percent of revenue going to her foundation, ‘Ella’s Light.’ “We debuted at the Street Fair and are already in our second printing. We are proud to say that we have sent the foundation their first check and hope many more will follow.” The first design features the theme “Count your blessings.” It is a design that is produced through MeLinda’s “Lifting it up” designs. Orders for the shirts have come in from Texas, Georgia, Tennessee and other states. The second design will be ready in a week and will be called, “Let your light shine.” Shaw said, “This fundraiser is not just for Lourie or his family — it is all about what the ministry stands for.” Formby and his wife Julie lost little Ella due to an accident caused by an allegedly drunk driver. The little girl fought bravely but succumbed to her injuries on Feb. 4 of this year. Formby said, “Ella passed on Fourth of February after 10 days of fighting for her life. We donated her organs and 10 people were confirmed recipients within four hours. It is possible that not all 10 received them but a good majority did. “People did receive life after our loss. At Ella’s funeral, Mark Prine, a fellow (National) Guard member, asked if they could start a foundation to help pay medical expenses. I told him no, but we could do something in her honor that would pass on the thing that made her happiest, and that was church. “Ella loved and was active in everything she could be part of in church. Our mission statement reads: ‘Children from birth are exposed to both positive and negative teachings and behaviors that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.... “Ella’s Light Children’s Ministry was created to keep Ella Marie Formby’s memory alive by ensuring that as many children as possible hear God’s word, come to know Him, develop a love and personal relationship with Him, and learn to serve Him through Christian programs and events provided by this ministry. We accomplish this by providing resources to rural churches or individual children as needed to glorify God and provide an environment that guides these children to a lasting relationship with God the Father, his son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Our goal is to minister to the whole child according to that child’s needs. Each child needs to be fed physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. ...’” Formby acknowledged Shaw’s initiative and support for the newly formed 501C3 foundation with gratitude and said, “We are tickled pink to partner with her. We have received a check and I believe they are selling into their second production.” Ella’s Light Children’s Ministry also has a T-shirt and logo that it sells through its website www.ellaslight.org. Formby says the ministry is growing beyond his wildest dreams and the couple are being asked to speak at different functions and to various groups about their testimony, belief in God and the legacy left behind by a little girl whose name actually translates into “light” in several languages. For more information on Ella’s Light Children’s Ministry shirts at MeLinda’s Fine Gifts online at www.melindasfinegifts.com.
United Way, library offer free programs for children
The United Way of South Mississippi (UWSM) has issued a press release stating that it now has more than 500 children enrolled in Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, a program that provides free books to children.
Christmas on the Rails and Shop by Candlelight recap
Christmas on the Rails has come and gone for 2013, but what remains are lots of happy memories for all who attended the event, in spite of inclement weather earlier in the day. The event combined Picayune Main Street Shop by Candlelight and Greater Picayune Art Council’s Art Works.
Picayune Community Spotlight: Picayune Police Department
The Picayune Police Department has had a year of progress in the war on drugs, 911 capability and high visibility which in no small part has been due to focus on goals; cooperation of city officials and community support and departmental commitment— for example, everyone received the Chief’s Award from Police Chief Bryan Dawsey at the Chamber of Commerce Banquet.
Parker brings Christmas to 95 children
Cathryn Paker has spent all year diligently working on giftboxes for children she will never see. On Thursday, for the fifth consecutive year, she presented those 95 giftboxes for children in need to Christian Care Ministries on behalf of herself and her church, St. Barnabus Anglican Church.
Third annual Christmas on the Rails and Shopping by Candlelight
The Third Annual “Christmas on the Rails” is from 5 until 8 p.m. Friday in conjunction with Picayune Main Street’s Shop by Candlelight and Art Works sponsored by Greater Picayune Arts Council (GPAC). Art Works and Shop by Candlelight go on until 9 p.m. Sometime during the evening, the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce will announce the winner of the Best Decorated Store Front contest.
CWC Pilgrimage: A second time around
D.L. and Sandra Barker Bolton invite you to join them for the “second time around” as they open their home for the Civic Woman’s Club Christmas Pilgrimage to be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 2 until 7 p.m.
Both of them were on the first tour of homes when Civic Woman’s Club started the Pilgrimage in 1986. D.L. and his late wife, Wanda, had a Renaissance Christmas, and Sandra and her late husband, Larry, had a Victorian Christmas.
Business withstands test of time
McDonald Funeral Home, now owned and operated by Steve and Ann
McDonald, is a 96-year-old family run business with several long time
employees and was the recent recipient of the 2013 Excellence in
Business Award from the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce.
Vocability: Did Black Friday make you blue?
The holiday shopping season has begun and in its honor this week’s
column relates to retail terminology.
Anyone who has either had a part-time job or has been known as a
frequent shopper has most likely encountered several of these terms.
Match the ones you know and learn the others because it will give you
a whole perspective on your shopping experience.
As always, the answers are at the bottom of the column.
Partners delivers Presents for Pearl River County
“Our vision was to coordinate with all three county school districts and have students anonymously adopted like the programs used with ‘Angel Tree’ and such,” said Herndon, who is Children's Minister at First Baptist Church in Picayune. “We have two locations for trees that will have ornaments representing children in need. One is at Coast Electric in Picayune and the other is at the Poplarville Courthouse.”
Coast Electric is located at 6375 U.S. 11, in Picayune. The Poplarville Courthouse is located at 200 Highway 26 E, in Poplarville. The trees are conveniently located for access when the facilities are closed.
Toys for Tots registration and drive
Boxes are available in Picayune, Poplarville, Crossroads, Millard, McNeill and Carriere.
In Picayune, a few of the many locations to find them are: Crosby Library, Highland Community Hospital, Picayune Police Department and SPCA. In Poplarville, a few of the many locations to find them are: Jacob’s Well, Chamber of Commerce and Hancock Bank. In Crossroads, a box is located at Crossroad Seafood and Grill. In McNeill, a box is located at McNeill Travel Plaza. In Carriere, boxes can be found at Hide-A-Way Lake and PRC School ROTC.
To sign up, go to WORC from Monday, Dec. 2 through Friday, Dec 6, during the hours of 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. through noon. Those needing further information can call 769-926-1333.
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- United Way, library offer free programs for children