Cougars Are Bad Join Together for Effort

Thursday, March 23, 2017
Students participated in the service project on a chilly late winter day. (TD photo/Jane Gatewood)

The drug-free and service organization Cougars Are BAD, at Rector High School, banded together against more than drugs on Thursday, March 16.

A group of 21 volunteers and their sponsors, Jill Wynn and Stephanie Brandaberry, tackled a proliferation of litter and debris. Dressed against a more-than-chilly morning, the BAD group could be seen in a large field along Highway 49, beside the Fred Sain collision and repair shops.

The organization promotes a clear message of freedom from any kind of drug use and participates in service endeavors. Presented with several options for a service project, the teens selected the field known as a landing place for wind-blown trash and a catch-all for litter bugs' drink cups and food sacks. "Seeing this eye-sore year after year," said Wynn, "the kids said they were tired of seeing the trash in the field. It did not give a welcoming impression for Rector."

Wynn reached out to Buddy Dills, who farms the land. Sherry Dills said that she and husband Buddy had picked up the field for years but the task for two people is enormous. "We are thrilled about this effort from the students. We struggle each year with trying to clean up this field. Buddy just left to get the mule (side by side) to handle all the heavy trash sacks the kids have collected."

Wynn said the guys in the group first attacked the roadside ditch to get the litter out and the girls walked the rows with Mrs. Brandaberry, high school math teacher and co-sponsor. When the group had accomplished their main objective, they crossed the highway and took on the next field, working their way toward Harps, the donor of the trash sacks used in the project.

Wynn said she tries to cultivate within all students a desire for service to their school and community. She also encourages the students to become involved in contributing to a clean and healthy environment. "The result of work by teachers such as Wynn and Brandaberry and students like those of the Cougars Are BAD organization represents an ethic all communities need in order to thrive, Sherry Dills said. " Motorists are certain to notice the result of one morning of a combined service effort by these community-minded students.

The BAD group participating included Sydney Wofford, Brianna Glasco, Landon McClung, Zephyer Tinsley, Caine Walker, Corrinna Owens, Evan Dooley, Conly Lockhart, Bethany Keas, M.J. Stump, Taisha Morgan, Eternitei Lindsey, Bailey Hoots, John Ford Hendrix, River Walker, Kyleigh Huckabay, Colton Lindsey, Lane Casebier, Olivia Sutherland, Morgan Garner and Shelby Boyd.

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