Chilton well-represented recently

Published 9:08 pm Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Few of us open up the Hollywood industry trade publication “Variety” or any of its competitors, but its top story early this week spoke to Chilton County directly.

Clanton Middle School student Grayson Russell co-starred in a film adaptation of author Jeff Kinney’s bestselling children’s novel “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” which grossed an impressive $22.8 million at the domestic box office. That it managed to clear its modest production budget and edge out the Jennifer Aniston vehicle “The Bounty Hunter” is a mighty impressive feat, and we’re proud our own Mr. Russell was a significant part of it. It marks the young thespian’s second involvement with a major Hollywood studio success in the feature film arena, following “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” which grossed over $140 million domestically.

Russell is an engaging, well-mannered kid who loves his hometown, and we’re glad to see him represent our county so well on the silver screen. Based on the success of his latest film, 20th Century Fox is already developing a sequel, so hopefully we’ll see the young man back on top in no time.

Also reinforcing Chilton County’s good name is Lime Springs United Methodist Church pastor Jim Shannon of Clanton and his quest to walk 25 miles to benefit the American Cancer society. Shannon, also an assistant principal at Chilton County High School, acknowledged the hardships those who battle cancer endure and stressed a message of never giving up.

Volunteers from his church will assist him on the estimated 10-hour walk on March 27 at the Clanton City Park track to benefit Relay for Life. If you feel compelled or are in the area, make the trip and join Shannon in his support of those who need and deserve our time, prayers and money.

While you’re walking, don’t forget the “Step Forward to Cure Tuberous Sclerosis Walk” on April 10 at starting at 9 a.m. in Mountain Brook. It will begin at the field directly across from Emmet O’Neal Library in Crestline Village. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Chlton County resident Shirley McAfee works every day to help research the rare genetic disorder, which her daughter Alicia has. McAfee has dedicated most of her life to her daughter’s daily struggle, and her continuing pursuit to learn more about the disorder and spread awareness to those who don’t know it even exists strengthens our belief in the good in human beings.

Any amount of research or money helps this cause, and McAfee says doctors insist they are turning a corner.