HOLIDAY SPIRIT: Warren Central High School students thank Ergon for support

Published 2:34 pm Friday, November 11, 2022

From holiday decorations to specialty treats and providing entertainment, the community-based class at Warren Central High School pulled out all the stops on Wednesday to thank employees from Ergon Refining Inc.

Through donations collected from the Ergon employees, a grant was awarded to the community-based class with funds going toward appliances so students can learn real life skills.

“This is more than words can say,” Ergon Human Resource director Maribel Melo said of the thank you party. “We never expected something like this.”

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Initially, Jennifer Ray Cain, the teacher for the community-based class, said the idea to thank the Ergon employees was to host an open house.

“But that just didn’t feel like enough,” Cain said.

Therefore, with the help of some of the students, parents and teachers who work alongside Cain, it was decided to go all out.

“The kids like the lights, so we wanted to do a winter wonderland theme and just kind of really surprise them (the Ergon employees),” Cain said.

And that they did.

The room was adorned with Christmas trees, elegant table decorations and Santa hat-clad chairs. The big screen TV was also tuned into a room with a Christmas tree and crackling fire.

During the party, an oversized thank you card was presented to the Ergon employees. It had also been signed by all the students.

For refreshments, a cake made by Sweet Magnolias owner Jessica Miller and decorated by the students was served along with cupcakes and other finger food. Entertainment for the event was provided by the WCHS Madrigals.

It was obvious from the reactions of both the guests and students the performance was a hit. Clapping ensued especially when the choir began to crescendo during a musical passage in the song.

Cain said she applied for the grant at the end of 2021 and by the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, the appliances were delivered.

“They (the Ergon employees) pretty much housed the whole kitchen. We have a washer and dryer, refrigerator, deep freeze, stove, dishwasher and cooking utensils,” Cain said.

With these resources, Cain said, students can learn to cook, clean and wash clothes.

“Anything you would do at home,” she said.

Also with these new appliances, Cain said, the students are planning to do their own community service project.

“We are going to adopt teens and will eventually wash and dry things for them,” she said.

Abby Perry, a member of the Ergon Service Committee, said the function of their committee was to do things that can make a difference for others. Ergon employee Trent Owens, the husband of one of the community-based class teachers, Perry said, made the group aware of the class’s needs and by doing so the grant was awarded.

Melo, who also serves as the sponsor for the Ergon Service Committee, said the committee’s goal is to be part of the community.

“We have been here a long time and we just want to be present in the community,” she said.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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