JOHN WRIGHT | The Sun
Alisabeth Culp (left) and her sister, Katherine Oliver, stand with their dog Caesar on Friday at their home in Reidland. The girls have launched a pet food collection project that started with their birthday parties.
Two Reidland students aren’t looking for Valentines this year. Instead, they’d rather receive pet food.
Alisabeth Culp, 10, and Katherine Oliver, 7, are sisters on a mission. They want to collect 2,000 pounds of pet food by Valentine’s Day to donate to local shelters. The idea started when the family was planning Culp’s fourth birthday party. Crystal Culp suggested to her daughter that she ask her friends for pet food, rather than presents, that year.
“She didn’t balk at it once,” Crystal Culp said. “She was really receptive.”
It was an odd idea to Alisabeth Culp’s friends and their parents, but most obliged. Some brought both gifts and pet food. Inspired by her older sister, Katherine Oliver decided to do the same thing for her birthday. Her daughters didn’t need anything, Crystal Culp said, so it made sense to help those less fortunate.
Last year the girls decided to extend the giving to a holiday for sharing love with others. They wanted to share their love for animals. They involved Reidland Elementary School and collected 500 pounds last Valentine’s Day.
This year it’s expanded to include Concord, Heath and Farley elementary schools. Principals agreed to help out by sending out word through the district’s phone messaging system alerting parents to the Valentine’s collection day.
Navy honors Giffords
Gabrielle Giffords, the recently retired congresswoman from Arizona who was shot in an assassination attempt 13 months ago, returned to Washington Friday for double honors. The Navy named a ship after her and she saw President Barack Obama sign the last piece of legislation she authored into law.
In a ceremony at the Pentagon, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus unveiled an artist’s rendering of the USS Gabrielle Giffords, a littoral combat ship. The craft is among the Navy’s most versatile and can operate in shallower coastal waters than larger ships.
Singer Houston dies at 48
World-renown pop singer Whitney Houston died Saturday at the age of 48 of unknown causes. Sunday’s Grammy ceremony included a musical tribute to the singer, including a rendition of her most famous song, “I Will Always Love You” by Jennifer Hudson. Houston also starred in several movies.
Teen of the Week
CJ Elliott is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week. Elliott, a senior at Graves County High School, scored a 35 on his ACT, recording a perfect 36 in the math portion. He stays busy with theater and music, especially concert, marching and pep band.
In May, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners, who will receive a four-year scholarship to Mid-Continent or a $2,500 scholarship if the winner choses another school.