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OPINION: Young leaders giving back to the county

By: Ruth Bayman

What is a Belle or Beau?  Merriam-Webster definition states that a belle is a popular and attractive girl or woman; especially : a girl or woman whose charm and beauty make her a favorite.  Probably, you have heard the word used in phrases such as “Southern Belle” and “the belle of the ball”.  The definition for beau is a boyfriend or dandy, a man who gives exaggerated attention to personal appearance.

Ruth Baymann is the president of the Luverne Kiwanis Club

Ruth Baymann is the president of the Luverne Kiwanis Club

In Crenshaw County, we use these terms to describe a special group of young men and women.  The Chamber Belles and Beaus can be seen working at different events throughout the year.  They work behind the scenes to make our community beautiful and special.

Did you see the beautiful fall displays in downtown Luverne this year?  They hauled the hay and pumpkins to create these displays that welcomed people to the area.  What about the Christmas tree and decorations at the park?  Yes, that was the belles and beaus using their decorating skills again. Some of the belles also entertained us at the tree lighting by leading us in Christmas carols.

“To serve our community, schools, and environment” is the motto of the Chamber Belles and Beaus.  They are learning to work as a team by supporting worthy causes.  This year, they have directed traffic at the Peanut Boil Festival and Christmas Parade.  Talk about challenging.  Have you ever tried to tell someone where they had to park?  Try being 16 years old and trying to direct adults to park in certain areas.  It is definitely a challenge for them but they adapt and make it work.

Throughout the year, they will tell me that they had no idea this community had so many events.  They will ask their parents, “Did you know about this?”  Usually, the response is no.  Our belles and beaus are learning about people and places that make a difference in Crenshaw County.  They are learning that even at a young age, they can make a difference.

I define them as intelligent, hard-working and adaptable citizens of Crenshaw County.

The 2016-2017 belles and beaus are Elizabeth Bush, Avery Carpenter, Kaitlyn Castle, Cameron Catrett, Justin Eiland, Abbi English, Taylor Evans, Ethan Flowers, Jared Fuller, Makayla Furr, Mallory Gomillion, Grace Grosenbach, Clay Hobbs, Anna Hughes, Shelby Johnson, Olivia Jones, Savannah Jones, Justin Joo, Yeojin Joo, Natalie Kennedy, Lauren Lee, Brittany Lester, Paige McGough, Sydney Morgan, Parker Odom, Darnell Oliver, Payton Owens, Tyler Powell, Gracie Roberts and Elizabeth Ruckel.