Flenory’s grandson picks Stanford

first_imgFollow the New Pittsburgh Courier on Twitter https://twitter.com/NewPghCourierLike our Fan Page us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlDownload our mobile app at http://www.appshopper.com/news/new-pittsburgh-courier Brandon Simmons, Flenory’s grandson, is ranked as the number 12 safety in the country and is one of the top-200 prospects nationally. He is a defensive back at Timberview High School, which is in the Mansfield, Texas, School District. He is only a junior, but has received more than 40 scholarship offers from colleges across the country. Texas, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UCLA, LSU and Harvard are among the schools that have offered scholarships.Simmons, became Stanford University first commitment of the 2014 class and is the Cardinals first signee from Texas since the 2012 class.“A friend of mine from Texas Ty Mongomery plays for Stanford, so they were always high on my list,” said Simmons. “I wanted to major in Forensic or Business and Stanford has a great Business School.”Among numerous qualities about the university, Simmons said the campus and coaching staff put Stanford over the top.“I heard the campus was beautiful but it surpassed all my expectations,” Simmons said. “Coach (David) Shaw is really laid back and doesn’t lose his calm, but when I told him I was committing he jumped up and hollered.”For years Flenory’s proudest memories was his 81 point game in junior high. A performance that led to an appearance in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd.”“I’m more proud of my grandson than anything that I ever done,” said Flenory. “He is just as strong academically as he is athletically. For him to have scholarship offers from schools like Harvard and Stanford. I couldn’t be more proud.”Brandon’s father (Kashann Simmons) is a football coach and he virtually grew up with a football in his hand.Indeed, legend has it that when Brandon was only a few months old, his father placed a football in his crib, thereby setting him on the gridiron path.Brandon is a straight-A student but he is a lot more than Sir Isaac Newton in shoulder pads and helmet.Simmons plays like a combination of his two idols: big hitter Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers and ball hawk Ed Reed from the Baltimore Ravens.As a sophomore he racked up 100 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, and 15 passes broken up. He had nearly 100 tackles as a junior.Simmons is truly a leader focused and determined to be the best he can be.“I wanted to commit early so that I can focus on my senior year,” said Simmons. “As a team we didn’t do very well last year. This year we return a lot of leaders. We have been working hard this spring and we are determined to have a successful season.”The U.S. Army High School All-American Bowl has become the “can’t miss” game for football fans across the country and Simmons has already been selected to play in next years’ game. He will be featured in the same defensive backfield as Gateway’s Montae Nicholson.Did Simmons ever consider playing at the University of Pittsburgh?“Pitt was on my wish list, but they didn’t show me any love,” said Simmons. “Pitt is a great school and has a tremendous medical program. I’m 110 percent committed to Stanford, but Pitt would have been very high on my list.”With Steelers safeties Polamalu and Ryan Clark getting long in the tooth, maybe in four years Pittsburgh can show Brandon Simmons “some love” on draft day. BRANDON SIMMONSBaron “B.B.” Flenory remains a legendary figure in high school basketball, in college basketball and to those in western Pennsylvania. Flenory was a Parade All-American as a senior at Valley High School. He was a star player at Duquesne University. He is in the WPIAL Hall of Fame, Pennsylvania Basketball Hall of Fame and is now happy to pass the torch.last_img read more

United Way of Thurston County Connects Workplaces with Non-Profits for Day…

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by the United Way of Thurston CountyEvergreen students Kathleen Smith and Sam West sort food at the Thurston County Day of Caring, 2012. Photo by Shauna BittleUnited Way of Thurston County will celebrate its 22nd Annual Day of Caring with over 700 volunteers and 34 local agencies on September 26 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.“Day of Caring is an unforgettable, hands-on experience providing volunteers an opportunity to actively improve our community while enhancing on team-building outside the workplace,” said United Way Executive Director, Paul Knox.Day of Caring was established as the single largest day of volunteerism in Thurston County to increase awareness of human service organizations and demonstrate how people working together for the common good helps accomplish great things.“United Way is connecting community partners and supporters with nonprofits throughout Thurston County to accomplish projects that can’t normally be done,” said Executive Director of Family Support Center, Schelli Slaughter.Seasoned Day of Caring volunteer teams like Olympia Federal Savings, Anchor Bank, and Puget Sound Energy will participate in projects for the Olympia Downtown Association, Kiwanis Club of Olympia, Thurston County Food Bank and more. United Way also welcomes new participation from Umpqua Bank, Cabela’s and Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s B-Troop, 8-1 CAV 2-2 ID.Volunteers will participate in over 40 different projects ranging from painting and landscaping low-income, disabled individual’s homes, harvesting food banks, and invasive plant pulling at locations throughout Thurston County (A full list of projects attached).United Way continues its longstanding partnership with Evergreen State College, which engages nearly 150 incoming freshman students in volunteer projects throughout ThurstonVolunteers assembled by City of Olympia employees gather to paint and install new lighting in the parking area at First Christian Church in downtown Olympia. Photo by Jennifer Crain.County.“New students from Evergreen will be joining Day of Caring to connect with our community, get to know important organizations working for justice and hopefully plant the seed to be involved in more sustained learning through action in the future,” said Ellen Shortt Sanchez, director of the Center for Community-Based Learning and Action, The Evergreen State College.This year, United Way also joined forces with the Olympia Downtown Association (ODA) to recruit volunteers for their Downtown Clean Up project and collaborate on the Day of Caring After Party.Following the completion of team projects, volunteers and agencies will gather for a Day of Caring After-Party at the Olympia Press Building from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. to celebrate a rewarding day with food, drinks and raffle prizes.For More information Contact:Michelle Rodriguez Director of Communications & Events mrodriguez@unitedway-thurston.org (360) 943-2773 ext. 13Paul Knox Executive Director pknox@unitedway-thurston.org (360) 943-2773 ext.last_img read more

Trick or Treat for UNICEF Boxes begin to Circulate in Thurston…

first_imgSubmitted by Ellen RiceIt was a mistake. In late October of last year, local resident Ellen Rice received a shipment of 22,000 Trick or Treat for UNICEF boxes. The errant shipping company offered to take the cartons to the dump, but the Rices wanted the boxes to have a chance to do their job of helping students learn about children around the globe who are helped by UNICEF. Family and friends rallied to help distribute the coin boxes and at the end of a very busy week, several thousand boxes had been handed out.Jan Sharkey, a family friend, offered to store the boxes in her heated storage area over the winter. As the weather warmed into spring, Ellen began contacting school districts and community leaders, saying, “The boxes are here. This is Captain America time. We can save lives with this.”Now the coin boxes are being distributed across Thurston County. The first person to offer help was Ken Storman of Ralph’s Thriftway. “I’m sure we can offer the boxes,” he said in July. Now there is a tray of UNICEF boxes at Ralph’s Thriftway for shoppers to take home. The Griffin and Rainier School Districts were the first school participants to ask for cartons, with the Olympia School District and Faith Lutheran also recently asking for boxes.The Timberland Regional Libraries have rolled out the welcome mat and patrons can pick up individual boxes at the Olympia, Tumwater or Lacey libraries. The Olympia Farmer’s Market and the Arbutus Folk School also volunteered to be distribution points.Children can collect coins or earn donations during October – especially at Halloween! Each family then turns their coin collection into a Coinstar machine at Ralph’s Thriftway, Albertsons, Fred Meyer, QFC, or Haggen Foods. Dave’s Market in Tenino and Bailey’s IGA in Rochester also have Coinstar machines. A contributor pours the coins in the tray and selects “Donate” and then “UNICEF” to make the donation.  (The machines at Safeway and Walmart do not have a UNICEF option).And the lady with the truckload of cartons? Ellen says, “We have several thousand boxes to go, but we’re off to a great start. People can learn about the work of UNICEF on their website.  It’s got a top rating at Charitynavigator.org.  The most important thing to me is that this is one of the rare chances our children have to truly make a difference in the world they are about to inherit. We need their visions for a more caring world.” Facebook25Tweet0Pin0last_img read more