Celebrity, community combine for collaborations benefiting children

Published 3:53 pm Thursday, August 18, 2022

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Editorial by the Greenville Advocate Staff

It’s beautiful to see community and celebrity combine for the benefit of our children.

A pair of instances in Butler and Lowndes counties in recent weeks, both featuring former Alabama basketball star JD Davison, shines a light on how positive this relationship can be.

Greenville Regional Medical Center hosted Davison and his mother, Catrina Davison, for a summer reading program event Aug. 9 through Reach Out and Read-Alabama.

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Not only should Davison, a Fort Deposit native who now plays for the NBA’s Boston Celtics, be commended for visiting with the children, but Greenville Regional Medical Center deserves praise for giving away 1,600 books to children so far in 2022. In an age where traditional books find themselves in competition with the allure of electronic screens and various gadgets, promoting reading must be a daunting challenge, but a needed one.

Davison’s tour through our coverage area extended to Fort Deposit, where the community honored him Saturday with a parade along Alabama Highway 185 that began at Lowndes Middle School. After the parade, Davison held a meet-and-greet at the school in the gymnasium, a building not quite big enough to contain the crowd for more than 700 guests from the local community and surrounding areas.

During an event that featured grilled food, several pick-up games, and a variety of children’s activities, Davison received two proclamations – one on behalf of Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and one from the Fort Deposit Council and Mayor – congratulating him on his accomplishments.

Oftentimes, so much emphasis in the sports world is put on the wrongdoings of athletes and the harsh criticisms hurled via flaming hot takes from the talking head du jour, so it’s refreshing to have opportunities to give thanks for the athletes who do things right, give back to their communities, and show us all that they’re more than just athletes and entertainers, they’re stakeholders who can use their influence and position to give back to the communities that facilitated their growth and development into the people they are today.

We look forward to more opportunities to highlight these athletes, whether it’s JD Davison, Marlon Davidson, or any other homegrown product who stops by our cities and towns to show us some love.