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Donation to flood victims among the items to celebrate from last week

Whether reaching out to those in need or providing services to children, Vicksburg is a community where people help people.

To ensure children are prepared for kindergarten, Warren County became certified as an Excel By 5 community. To continue their efforts through the summer, several programs are being offered. Day of Action is scheduled for June 27 at the Purks YMCA and the event will include information on literacy, good health, good eating habits and how to remain safe in the community. Curious George and Sister Bear will even be in attendance, United Way of West Central Mississippi Executive Director Michele Connelly said. In addition to the United Way’s participation, she said, businesses throughout town have signed up to provide interactive activities for the children while others in the community will also assist, including the Vicksburg Warren School District, United Way partner agencies and the Junior Auxiliary of Vicksburg.

Excel By 5 has also partnered with the library for their summer reading program and a community-wide baby shower, which will include parent resources is scheduled for July 25.

“Excel By 5 has just been a wonderful opportunity for the community as a whole. It has brought a lot of people together with a similar focus making sure our children are ready for kindergarten,” Connelly said.

Due to the high water from the Mississippi River and flooding in the Yazoo River backwater area, on Friday, WaterView Casino donated a $1,000 check and 20 cases of water to the Eagle Lake Volunteer Fire Department.

Casino general manager Penny Bankston said the decision to make the donation was made after seeing accounts of the disaster caused by rising waters and prolonged flooding in the Mississippi Delta.

“Eagle Lake is very close to us in proximity, and seeing the stories of families displaced, the animals, we felt we needed to step up and help out particularly the first responders who are trying to handle such a terrible situation,” Bankston said.

“We’re kind of isolated, because basically all of our roads are shut off,” Eagle Lake Fire Chief Earl Wallace said. “It’s like 64 miles from I-20 just to Eagle Lake.”

“We appreciate WaterView for stepping up to the plate,” he said, adding the fire department will donate the money to United Way of West Central Mississippi “to help the public out.”

Wallace said the fire department is in good shape financially thanks to donations from county residents.

“I don’t want to turn down money, but (this is) to help people; not only at Eagle Lake, but in the Delta that’s affected by this,” he said. “We’ve been fighting this — I’ve been fighting this — since Feb. 14.

More positives in Vicksburg:

The consulting firm hired by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to perform a feasibility study for a new Vicksburg Port has received the OK to start its work.

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. of Atlanta, Ga., Monday was authorized by the board to begin its first task under its contract with the city. The board May 10 approved a contract with Jacobs not to exceed $240,000 for the work.