I attended a couple of events recently that I think deserve special mention.


I had the opportunity to sit in at the 2017 Dallas County Foundation Awards Banquet. It was held at LaPoste and the décor was fitting to the overall feeling in the room. The aroma of prime rib was wafting from the building before even entering.


While I’ve read articles the Perry Chief has written and always thought the DCF was a great organization it wasn’t until I attended the banquet and experienced the recipients’ gratitude first hand, that it really sunk in the extent the Dallas County Foundation plays in not just Perry, but other communities in Dallas County.


Who would think that $1,300 would make a difference but for New Hope Bargain Shoppe in Perry, it means the difference between a sale or just someone looking. The $1,300 New Hope received from the DCF allowed them to purchase a Point of Sale iPad in order to accept debit/credit cards for payment. Now how convenient is that? New Hope was also able to purchase racks to better display their merchandise, allowing the customer to have a better selection and ultimately making a bigger sale for New Hope.


Unfortunately with the unpredictable nature of people, in-car and body cameras are more important than ever before for police departments across the United States. In smaller communities like Granger, funds aren’t always readily available so receiving a grant for that equipment can make a huge difference in keeping officers and the public safe.


I watched as Suzanne Kestel from Perry Public Library graciously accepted $2,000 from the DCF to be able to replace chairs in the community room. According to Kestel, the chairs in the community room were well worn and hard to clean. I can only imagine the things that children leave behind on those chairs. From someone who never had kids, I really don’t even want to know about those “things!” Again, another fine example of how the recipients of the DCF money need but appreciate the funds awarded to them.


The list of grant recipients goes on and on. 29 to be exact for a total of $133,347.81. That’s a lot of money put into our little communities by a tiny organization trying to make a huge impact. Kudos to the Dallas County Foundation and it’s seven grant committee people!


I also had opportunity to attend the first ever Fiber Arts Fair held at LaPoste and other downtown merchants. Perry looked fabulous covered in yarn. Light pole warmers? Who ever heard of such a thing? I must say they were unique, colorful and fun. Jenny and her girls had a vision and followed through with every last detail to accomplish a great day in Perry. This year’s attendance was about 500 people, drawing visitors from outside Perry into our great community. Just imagine what next year holds!


And on a final note, former Perry Chief owner/publisher Steve Whitehead passed away on Monday. While I never had the opportunity to meet Steve, I’ve read and heard great things about him.


Steve’s father, G.E. became owner of the Perry Chief in the 1930’s and Steve took over in 1964 after his father passed. Steve retired in 2005.


As times changed in the newspaper industry, Steve’s dedication to telling the stories of Perry, its citizens and serving the community never changed. It’s my hope, as current Publisher, to keep telling the stories Steve told and help keep his legacy alive. My thoughts go out to the entire Whitehead family.