Manning Remembered by Rector Helping Hands Foundation

Thursday, March 28, 2019
Cathy Manning
courtesy photo

Throughout the year, the Rector’s Helping Hands Foundation continues its mission-minded activity as the organization funds projects to help children and teachers in the Rector School District. As part of their effort, the foundation awards one-time scholarships and four-year renewable scholarships to graduating seniors who are pursuing post-secondary degrees. These scholarships are awarded based on achievement and need, and over the years have included awards for degree pursuit at universities, colleges and technical schools. The foundation also helps meet basic needs for school children to include clothing, school supplies, or eye-glasses.

On the minds of the Foundation recently is the death of Cathy Manning, one of the group’s original members, part of the executive committee, and secretary/treasurer for the Foundation. In response to her loss, one of the renewable $5,000 scholarships to be awarded this graduation season and will be named Cathy Manning Memorial Scholarship. The Foundation is also exploring a more permanent monument in Cathy’s memory, perhaps a bench with a memorial plaque, to be placed somewhere on the Rector school campus, as approved by the Superintendent Johnny Fowler.

Recently, a thank you note was received by the board which came from a student who had transferred to RHS from Florida. Teachers noticed that her wardrobe needed some jeans and she wrote to let the committee know how much she appreciated their willingness to meet her need for warmth during the north Arkansas winter.

Another project that Helping Hands has undertaken is in support of the Rector Lego League team, which qualified to compete in the national competition in California at the conclusion of the school year. The Helping Hands Foundation will be providing funds for each student that will cover cost for their meals while they travel.

As previously reported in this paper, the foundation has provided elementary teachers with $100 each to purchase recreation equipment for students when they can not go outside for recess due to inclement weather. The foundation has also purchased band instruments, a drum major podium and art display boards. Recently, the teachers have expressed a need for science lab equipment and the school board president Jody Simmons and Superintendent Fowler will be gathering information to report to Helping Hands on these needs.

“Rector Helping Hands Foundation continues to provide a safety net for many students who have emergency needs. It is well documented that students whose physical needs are not met can not focus appropriately on new learning, their energy and brain activity being on meeting their basic needs,” a spokesperson noted. “Helping Hands steps in when administrators, teachers, or counselors notify Foundation school contact Kay Huggins of the need. The awarding of scholarships allows some students to receive just the right amount to pay for tuition, thus supporting students in their desire to pursue post-secondary education.”

School officials noted the Rector School District is indeed fortunate to have a locally administered foundation with the ability to receive input from teachers and counselors to consistently perform according to its mission.

Those who would like more information, or who would like to help, are reminded the foundation has a Facebook presence and a web site set up to receive donations at

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