Hope filled balloons honor teacher

Published 10:01 am Monday, February 13, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Clanton — Purple balloons drifted higher into the sky as third-grade students from Lori Peoples’ third-grade class watched them go.

The balloon release was a symbolic gesture to honor her and offer encouragement during her fight with cancer.

Mary Mac Hughes, a former student who has since graduated from high school, organized the Feb. 10 event.

Peoples was unable to attend the release because she had started chemotherapy treatments that week. However, Hughes made sure a video and pictures of the release were given to Peoples.

Hughes had Peoples for third grade and is active with the Relay for Life Team of her employer Baugh Ford. Baugh Ford provided the balloons.

“She is very nice. She is beautiful teacher,” student Ava Baugh said.

Baugh said she enjoyed having Peoples for a teacher because she helps her with her spelling words.

Peoples went in for surgery in October to have cancer removed from her hip.

“Then she found out over Christmas that she has a couple of other spots,” Principal Louise Pitts said. “She is very much missed by students, the school and the community.”

Peoples has taught third grade at CIS for the past 14 years. Prior to that, she taught at Jemsion Elementary School for nine years. She graduated from the University of Montevallo with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood/Elementary Education in 1993. She is also a graduate of Chilton County High School.

The Baugh Ford Relay for Life Team Purple Potty was also placed at the school. Placing the super decorated toilet is a fundraiser for the Relay team.

“We place the Purple Potty in a business or a person’s yard and they have to pay money to remove. For a $20 donation, we will remove it from your yard; for a $30 donation, we will remove it from your yard and place it in a friend’s yard; for a $50 donation, you will receive toilet insurance where we will remove it from your yard, place it in a friend’s yard, and it will never come back to your yard,” Hughes said.

The Chilton County Relay for Life will be April 30 this year.