Business Steps Up for Northeast Elementary

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

When PTO parents of Northeast Elementary School heard their organization's president was accused of embezzling thousands of dollars, the overall reaction was shock.

"We were all just mortified," said Melissa Labelle, new PTO president. "I mean, we didn't know what to think or how to act, because we've all known and been here and worked together."

The shock diminished when Meridian's Woodstock Furniture stepped up to donate $1,000 to the organization.

"On behalf of Woodstock Furniture, and everyone else in the community, we'd like to start this fundraiser off with a $1,000 dollar check to Northeast Elementary PTO," said David Honeycutt of Woodstock.

Now members of the PTO say they're optimistic.

"I was blown away. I couldn't believe it," said Labelle. "I thought it was great. I was so excited to hear that somebody cared enough to come up here and do this for us."

"Just overwhelming. Words cannot express that somebody in our community is going to rally behind us right now, is the greatest feeling in the world," said Julie Null, secretary-treasurer of the PTO.

Members of the PTO are obviously happy with this fresh start. They say the money will provide a new foundation to rebuild, and ultimately, they know who will benefit, the children.

Almost a thousand children attend Northeast Elementary. Honeycutt agrees that the children are at the center of the company's giving.

"(We) want to help the kids more than anything else," said Honeycutt.

The $1,000 donated will go towards the school's fun-filled day, known as May Day.

Anyone or any business that would like to help Northeast Elementary PTO may call the school for details of how to do that. The phone number is 601-485-4882.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Legal Question Location: Meridian on Apr 13, 2010 at 03:22 PM
    What if she is unable to reimburse the PTO for the non-school debit items?
  • by Johnny Location: Lauderdale County on Apr 13, 2010 at 09:33 AM
    I can't wait till they squeeze the money back out of the girl who stole the money! She had picture of the trips she took, that are in question, on face book with her husband.
  • by NEE Parent Location: Lauderdale on Apr 11, 2010 at 01:15 PM
    Thank you Woodstock Furniture for your donation. I have been buying armbands for several years and I have donated the money for other children to attend the indoor activities and I have never know the PTO to step up and give these armbands away. In fact if the children that are disallowed from participating and have purchased an armband, do not get a refund and that armband is unused and unfair. The major cost of the May Day festivities is the inflatables and ten dollars for less than 30 minutes of jumping is over rated (There are too many students to allow one grade to monopolize the jumping time). If the NEE PTO wants to save money, eliminate the inflatables and that is one upfront cost that has been eliminated. Our children will be just as happy with the other outside activities.
  • by Anonymous Location: at NEE on Apr 11, 2010 at 05:03 AM
    May Day armbands were $10.00. The deadline date was Wednesday afternoon before Friday and had been announced everyday for weeks in the classrooms, over the intercom, and in go-home letters. My child said they ran a commercial on the TV every day for several days telling the deadline date and showing pictures of all of those inflatable jump things and other activities. Plenty of time was given to pay only $10--armbands didn't cost $15 until Thursday before May Day. I think there are about 1000 students at nee and I imagine it takes a lot of somebody's time to double-check the amount of money and count out the armbands, get them to the teachers, and then get them to the students on May Day. Others have told me that PTO money has been used for many school, classroom, and student needs. I know nee will put on the best May Day they can under these circumstances because they love our kids. Thank you WOODSTOCK FURNITURE for helping our pto!! We love you!
  • by Hglyfavored Location: Meridian on Apr 10, 2010 at 06:19 AM
    Yes, May Day is a fund raiser, however if I am not mistaken the cost of the armbands at last years May Day was $15.00 if you purchased the armband after the deadline. I believe they were $10.00 if you purchased them before the deadline. If you have more than one student attending NEE the cost of the armbands can add up quickly. Yes, some students are inside because of inappropriate behavior although, some are there because the parents could not afford the armbands. Yes, there are funds offered to some students who are not able to pay for the armbands, however these funds are limited and all parents are not aware of the available funds.Also, as for the funds being used for playground equipment, and equipment for classrooms, etc... I believe last year's PTO funds were used for other purposes.
  • by Anonymous Location: in the school system on Apr 10, 2010 at 04:54 AM
    I wonder if people know how much money teachers spend every year, out of their own pockets, on their students. Unfortunately, there are students who cannot afford school necessities, and there are also, as mentioned below, parents who can afford iphones, blackberries, cable tv, etc., but cannot afford school supplies--they want the school to supply everything for their children. Just ask a teacher to estimate how much money she spends every year on her students. You'll be surprised. Woodstock, you have been very generous with your donation, and I'm sure the people of NEE appreciate it.
  • by Lilly on Apr 9, 2010 at 07:11 PM
    I "challenge" Jake to match funds so these underpriveleged children can participate in May Day activities. Clearly he likes to "spread the wealth!" However, on a serious note...kudos to Woodstock! What an enormous gesture!
  • by NEE Parent on Apr 9, 2010 at 11:07 AM
    Thank You, Woodstock! I think it is wonderful that you were willing to help in a time of need! What generosity! May God Bless YOU.
  • by Mike Location: Meridian on Apr 9, 2010 at 09:22 AM
    My wife teaches at NEE and every year she's been there her and a group of teachers always "adopt" some of the kids who aren't going to have a Christmas. Everyone of those teachers, including us, usually give $100.00 or more to buy gifts, so please don't start telling me they should have to provide everything else for May Day as well. We're going above and beyond the call of duty already!
  • by Laura Location: Meridian on Apr 9, 2010 at 09:18 AM
    OK, here's the deal with May Day. Most schools use the activity as a FUND RAISER for their PTO that's why they charge for the armbands. However, to put on May Day a lot of the supplies and the vendors must be paid up-front. You can't do that if your PTO account is empty. There's nothing wrong with using the event as a fund raiser they use the money to pay for things like playground equipment, equipment for classrooms, ect.
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