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Cowbells for cancer: Tips from festival food tent help local patients

5242445e43435_imageMITCHELL — Asher Arce rings the cowbell after giving Phi Beta Psi member Carolyn Zeeks, left, a tip. The bell ringing is a new tradition at the Phi Beta Psi food tent. The tips are used to help local cancer patients. The sorority did a brisk business Tuesday afternoon at the Mitchell Persimmon Festival.

 

BEDFORD — Leaving a tip at the Phi Beta Psi food stand is a big deal these days. Whether it’s loose change or several dollars, the members working the Persimmon Festival make sure everyone knows the tip jar just got a little richer, and someone battling cancer will benefit.

Clang, clang, clang goes the cowbell, followed by a chorus of hoots and hollers. And they do it for every tip.

On Tuesday, their enthusiasm for tips was still going strong.

“Let’s hope we’re still that loud Saturday night,” joked Nancy Mundy, a member of Phi Beta Psi and chairman of the festival food stand.

More Cowbells for Cancer will raise more than $1,000 this week for local cancer patients.

For years, the sorority has used the festival tip money to assist cancer patients in Lawrence County.

“Tips usually ranged from $200 to $300,” said Mundy.

A few years ago, a member brought up that the sorority needed to draw attention to the purpose of the tips so more people might give.

The idea for the More Cowbells for Cancer initiative was born and tips have grown exponentially.

“Last year, we raised $1,357,” said Mundy. “Our goal for this festival is to get $1,500 in tips.”

By midday Tuesday, tips totaled about $250, but Mundy said as the festival goes on, the crowds — and tips — get bigger.

“A lot of people didn’t realize what we were doing and they would ask, ‘Why are you ringing a bell and screaming?’ said Jodi Mundy, a Phi Beta Psi sorority member.

Now that the cowbell has caught on, festival-goers want in on the action.

“If kids are here at the stand, we let them ring the bell,” Nancy Mundy said.

The sorority may make a big to-do over the tips, but it goes about helping cancer patients quietly.

“If we find out someone has cancer, we’ll send them some money or a gas card,” said Nancy Mundy said. “All the tip money stays in the community.”

The sorority also supports national organizations that do cancer research.

The success of More Cowbells for Cancer makes the long hours at the Persimmon Festival worth the effort, say the members. Phi Beta Psi has had a food stand on Main Street for 66 years.

Sue Beasley, Mona Mundy and Sherlia Hunter don’t get to see much of the festival. They spend their days in the sorority house down the street, making chili, cutting pies and other food prep.

“We’re there from 8 to 8,” Hunter said.

Chili, sloppy joes and tenderloins are the stand’s biggest sellers, as well as its homemade persimmon pudding and pies.

“We go through about six pies a day,” Hunter said.

Each member is responsible for making four puddings for the food stand.

“One gal made 15,” Hunter said. Beasley made nine.

The week before the festival, the members brown 270 pounds of ground beef, which is frozen to be used in the chili and sloppy joes.

The 40 active members of the sorority are required to work 15 hours in the stand, but Nancy Mundy said many more people are involved in the stand.

“A lot of our husbands are involved putting the kitchen together, setting up the stand,” she said.

Beasley’s husband, Russell, peels the onions.

“It’s one week of hard work, but we all have fun with it,” Hunter said.

Article and pictures courtesy of the Times-Mail

 

Fifteen young women in running for Persimmon Festival queen

Fifteen young women in running for Persimmon Festival queen ceremony: 8 p.m. Monday, downtown stage

Times-Mail
September 19, 2013, last update: 9/19 @ 8:48 am

Angela N. Moody

ANGELA N. MOODY

Residence: Mitchell

Parents: Gary Moody and Sheila Taylor

Grade: Senior at Mitchell High School

Activities: Key Club, National Honor Society, SADD, Spanish club and Student Council.

Sports: Girls track and manage boys basketball

Affiliations: Tulip Street Christian Church

Employment: Millstone Dining Room at Spring Mill Inn

Higher education: Plans to attend Indiana University or Ball State

Aspirations: Athletic training or PTSD therapy

Hobbies or fun activities: Reading, traveling and meeting new people

Sponsor: Price Farms

 

Victoria Scarlett Kathleen Autrey

 

Residence: Mitchell

Parents: Bonnie Williams

Grade: Sophomore at MHS

Activities: Do charity work with my mother and sister, spending time with family and friends.

Likes: I adore animals, even insects. I enjoy tattoos and piercings. I see them as art, a lifestyle and also as beauty.

Personality: Extroverted and a good listener.

Hobbies or fun activities: Drawing, sketching, writing poetry and playing video games.

Sponsor: Big Daddy’s Tattoo & Body Piercing

Note: No photograph was available.

 

Meghan Jade Emberton

Meghan Emberton

Residence: Mitchell

Parents: Shane Emberton, Micke and Jenny Hopper

Grade: Sophomore at MHS

Aspirations: Degree in personal and public communications

Personality: Outgoing, love meeting new people and talking with old friends.

Hobbies or fun activities: Enjoys music, dancing, singing, riding horses and camping with friends and family.

Sponsor: Maple Street Restaurant

 

Hannah Lynn Irwin

HANNAH LYNN IRWIN

Residence: Mitchell

Parents: Eddie Clark and Venessa Irwin

Activities: Pep Club, Tri-Hi-Y, SADD, FACS, choir

Affiliations: AMP’D Students in Bedford

Hobbies or fun activities: Love to sing, go to the gym and hang with friends. I rescue stray cats and take care of them.

Sponsor: Thelma’s Beauty Shop

 

Mattie Jean England

MATTIE JEAN ENGLAND

Residence: Mitchell

Parents: Matt and Robyn England

Grade: Sophomore at MHS

Activities: SADD and Student Council

Sports: Varsity golf team and varsity cheerleader

Affiliations: Tabernacle of Praise and youth group

Hobbies or fun activities: Listening to music, reading and hanging out with my friends.

Sponsor: Flippin’ Out Gymnastics

 

Burgandy Kay Eagans

Burgandy Eagans

Residence: Mitchell

Parents: Jamie and Robert Floyd

Affiliations: Army, Indiana National Guard

Higher education: AIT job training, ROTC training and college

Aspirations: Military career, possibly a private detective.

Hobbies or fun activities: Taking care of animals

Sponsor: Employees of Loogootee Health Care and Rehabilitation

 

Holly Zena Wood

HOLLY ZENA WOOD

Residence: Huron

Parents: Robert and Laura Hoffman

Grade: Senior at MHS

Personality: A natural blond who loves putting different colors in her hair, I wear bright colors, great with people.

Hobbies or fun activities: Music and drawing

Sponsor: Randall Wood

 

Chelsey Renee Terrell

CHELSEY RENEE TERRELL

Residence: Mitchell

Parents: Jason and Kim Terrell

Grade: Senior

Activities: Taking vocational training

Sports: Played basketball for six years

Aspirations: Become a nurse

Personality: Dedicated, loyal and responsible

Hobbies or fun activities: Horseback riding

Sponsor: Hughes Auto Repair

 

Irish Nicole King

IRISH NICOLE KING

Residence: Mitchell

Parents: Troy and Tamara King Richason

Grade: Senior at MHS

Activities: Play the flute in band

Affiliations: Girl Scouts

Aspirations: Music teacher for elementary children

Personality: Favorite colors are Laguna blue and purple

Hobbies or fun activities: Band, reading, singing and listening to music

Sponsor: James Insurance Agency

 

Mia Brooke Burton

Mia Burton

Residence: Mitchell

Parents: Steve Burton and Linda Burton

Grade: Senior at MHS

Activities: Varsity basketball and varsity softball

Higher education: Indiana University in Bloomington

Aspirations: Political science; becoming a lawyer

Hobbies or fun activities: Giving back to the community, participated in the United Way Day of Caring

Sponsor: Mitchell-Orleans Exchange Club

 

Abbie Nicola White

ABBIE NICOLA WHITE

Residence: Mitchell

Parents: Katonya White

Grade: Senior at MHS

Activities: Art Club, FACS Club and SADD

Personality: Enjoy the festival because it’s the week of her birthday, and the festival food

Hobbies or fun activities: Spend time with friends and family

Sponsor: Jim Orr Auto Sales

 

Alexis Nichole Jeffries

ALEXIS NICHOLE JEFFRIES

Residence: Mitchell

Parents: David Garrison and Jennifer Taflinger

Activities: Basketball and football manager at MHS

Affiliations: Tulip Street Christian Church

Fun activities: Hang out with friends, writing music, singing and painting.

Sponsor: Knowles Trucking Service

 

Jayda Marie Eubanks

JAYDA MARIE EUBANKS

Residence: Mitchell

Parents: JJ and Jamie Eubanks

Grade: Sophomore at MHS

Activities: Student Council, Tri-Hi-Y, Spanish Club, Pep club

Sports: MHS basketball team

Fun activities: Spending time with friends, fishing with her dad and watching Dance Moves with her mom

Sponsor: Magical Vacation Planner

 

Brittany Lynn Bell

BRITTANY LYNN BELL

Residence: Orleans

Parents: Bobbie Livingston and Troy Bell

Grade: Senior at MHS

Aspirations: Attend college to

become a language arts teacher

Fun activities: Reading books and spending time with family.

Sponsor: Golden Comb Beauty Salon

 

Kylsey Leeann Tillette

KYLSEY LEEANN TILLETTE

Residence: Mitchell, originally from Scottsville, Ky.

Parents: Anthony and Stacy Tillette

Future plans: Dentistry at USI

Personality: Favorite color is purple or anything bright

Sponsor: Carl Goller