Erwin, council boost Jemison Panther pride

Published 9:32 pm Friday, April 3, 2009

State Sen. Hank Erwin visited Jemison High School Friday to present a $5,000 check for improvements to Panther Stadium.

The City of Jemison pledged to match Erwin’s Community Service Grant to bring the total donations for the project to $11,750.

The city has also committed to donate $5,000 per year to the school over the next two years. Legally the city cannot earmark the money for a certain project, but it will be used at the principal’s discretion.

“We’ve got high school, middle school and youth league playing here,” Jemison High School principal Alan Thompson said. “Everyone’s going to benefit.”

Erwin is the scheduled keynote speaker for this year’s graduation ceremonies at Jemison High School on May 28 at 7 p.m. It will be the first event held in the newly renovated stadium.

“I was delighted to make the contribution,” Erwin said. “The stadium was in longtime need of repair. We want to ensure the safety of the parents and everyone coming out to watch these youngsters.”

A crew provided by the city has demolished damaged blocks and slabs, and is preparing to landscape the area and pour cement slab walkways, Thompson said. Other remaining steps include coating the stadium with a protective sealant and installing new fencing on both the home and visitor sides.

Initially, the school raised $3,000 from a coupon book sale. An upcoming fundraiser will involve the sale of Jemison Panther car tags. These will go for $5 apiece and will be sold by members of the band and athletics department.