Daycare students watched while Pat and Gina Neely, who co-hosts the Food Network’s “Down Home with the Neelys” spoke to them and delivered bags of gifts to the children.
If the glowing faces and twinkling smiles of 200 children signified anything, they were signs that Gina and Pat Neely, hosts of the Food Network’s “Down Home with the Neelys” successful cooking show, had accomplished their mission.
“Seeing the kids’ faces… that’s precious,” said Gina Neely, who, along with Pat Neely, made a grand entrance Thursday afternoon (December 22) and brought with them bags of toys to present to the children at The New Glory Preparatory & Learning Daycare in the South Memphis community.
“Gina and I are so excited to give back,” said Pat Neely, who wore a Santa hat along with Gina and dropped off seven red, blue and green bags filled with toys. The words “Santa’s Sack” were imprinted in white letters on the four red bags – an indication no doubt that the Neelys were, at that moment, South Memphis’ Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
The Neelys arrived in an SUV filled with the big bags. Gina, Pat, their daughters and staff attended the event as well. Pat Neely referred to them as elves. They wore red and green pointed felt hats for the occasion.“The kids are excited, but not as excited as we a
re,” said Pat Neely, adding that he and Gina plan to keep the spirit of giving alive throughout the year.
“Over the past few years, we felt we hadn’t given enough,” he said.
Henry Brooks, owner of the daycare, said he and the Neelys have been friends since they were students at Melrose High School.
“They are celebrities and haven’t changed since high school,” he said.
Gina and Pat Neely, host of the Food Network’s highly rated “Down Home with the Neelys” cooking show, will be in Memphis Thursday, December 22, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., to present toys to the children at The New Glory Preparatory & Learning Daycare at 1044 Mississippi Blvd. The Daycare will also provide dinner for the children’s parents following toy presentation.
The Neelys are noted for their generosity and commitment to Memphis and the Mid-South community. Their presentation of toys to the children at this south Memphis daycare is an extension of that generosity and commitment to those who may be less fortunate this holiday season.
The Neelys are conscientious of the fact that children are affected the most when hard times hit a family, particularly during the holiday season. Gina and Pat hope to make a difference by presenting the children with a special gift for Christmas.
“Children are special. We hope that what we’re doing will help put a smile on the faces of children whose parents may not have the means to buy them Christmas gifts. This is something we’re compelled to do,” said Gina Neely.
“I can’t think of anything better to do this holiday season than to present a toy to a child and watch that child’s face light up,” said Pat Neely. “This is what the holiday season is all about. It’s a time for giving. It’s the reason for the season.”
About Gina and Pat Neely
The Neelys are Memphis natives known for their special brand of savory, mouthwatering barbeque at the Neely’s restaurants. Gina and Pat own the Neely’s Barbecue Parlor restaurant in New York City. The two joined the Food Network in 2008 with the premiere of their own cooking show, “Down Home with the Neelys.” It has received some of the network’s highest ratings since its launch. The couple recently finished their second cookbook “The Neely’s Celebration Cookbook.”
About The New Glory Preparatory & Learning Daycare
New Glory Preparatory Learning & Learning Daycare is a private own company established in 2005 and incorporated in Tennessee. The Daycare employs a staff of approximately 30 people and offers daycare, afterschool care and transportation to 200 children ages six weeks to 12 years. The hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis will have a Ribbon-Cutting and Open House for the new Acute Care for Seniors Inpatient Unit (ACS) on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 10 a.m. The 15-bed inpatient unit, located on the 10th floor, features Care View, a state-of-the-art patient-monitoring system that allows for minimal use of physical restraints. A Special Care Unit within the ACS unit has been created to care for mildly confused patients and features a one-to-two staff- to-patient ratio. All ACS staff are specially trained to work with seniors.
The Saint Francis Acute Care for Seniors Unit provides specialized, compassionate care that is tailored to the unique needs of patients 65 and older. A team of health care professionals from a number of disciplines including physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists and dietitians review and monitor each patient’s progress, problems and needs.
Doctors and nurses often notice that older patients who were in the hospital for an acute illness begin to lose some of their ability to function independently. One way to combat this decline is for hospital staff to look at the total-care picture rather than focus just on the illness that led to the hospital stay.
The unit itself is designed to encourage patients to socialize and remain as active as possible. The goal is for the patient to maintain and, when possible, improve their functional abilities.
Some of the special features of the ASC unit include:
- Board Certified Geriatrician Medical Director
- Staff specially trained to meet geriatric patient needs (patients 65 and older)
- Telemetry (Cardiac Monitoring)
- Emphasis on appropriate nutrition and mobility for seniors
- Minimal use of catheters and physical restraints
- Senior Activity Lounge – includes flat screen TV, Wii games, Board games, Library and Music
For more information about the Saint Francis Hospital Acute Care for Seniors Inpatient Unit, please call 901-765-1154 or visit our website: www.saintfrancishosp.com.
About Saint Francis Hospital
Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis is a 519-bed full service hospital located at 5959 Park Avenue in Memphis, Tenn. The hospital has been recognized for excellence of care by: United Healthcare, CIGNA Healthcare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and the American Society of Bariatric Surgery. The hospital provides a broad-spectrum of quality medical services, including an Ambulatory Surgery Center, Behavioral Health Services, Cardiac Care Center, Center for Surgical Weight Loss, Neurosciences, Orthopedics, Rehabilitation Services, Sleep Center, TotalCare Outpatient Imaging Center, and Women’s Center.
In addition, the hospital serves as an academic training site for University of Tennessee Surgical, Family Practice, and Psychiatric Residents. The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the nation’s oldest and largest hospital accreditation agency. To learn more about Saint Francis Hospital, visit www.saintfrancishosp.com.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is hosting the Daisy Bates Education Organizing Summit December 1-3, 2011, at the Hilton Memphis hotel at 939 Ridge Lake Boulevard in East Memphis. The Summit theme is “Finding Our Way Back to First.” Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President & CEO, is the keynote speaker.
The Summit honors the late Daisy Bates, former president of the Arkansas State Conference of the NAACP and advisor in 1957 to the “Little Rock Nine,” students who challenged Jim Crow laws and those vehemently opposed to the integration of Central High School. Daisy Bates was a believer in equitable education and succeeded despite the abhorrence of mobs intent on causing her physical harm.
The focus of the Summit is to move the NAACP’s education agenda forward. Grassroots organizers from across the country will convene for the explicit purpose of combining traditional and innovative education organizing techniques in concert with local allies. The Summit is an integral part of the NAACP’s year-round training regimen for state and unit Education Chairs to empower them to address local education issues.
“The Daisy Bates Education Summit presents a unique opportunity for educators in the movement for social justice to share ideas and issues and formulate a national agenda to address the changes in education affecting African Americans from pre-school to higher education,” said Madeleine C. Taylor, Executive Director, Memphis Branch NAACP.
State and local NAACP stakeholders and education advocates will participate in the following planned sessions:
- Expanded Learning in High School
- Distributing Great Teachers
- Creating Diverse Schools
- Education & Civic Engagement Plenary
- Listening to Teachers as Partners Plenary
- Pre-K as a Foundation for Literacy
- Federal Policy Update: Waivers & Turnarounds
- Engaging Parents and Communities
- Civil Rights & Discipline
- School Funding Equity
- Equitable Higher Education Support
The Summit will also include a tribute to Dr. Maxine A. Smith, a longtime civil rights and education activist who served 33 years as the executive secretary of the NAACP Memphis Branch. A gala dinner will be held in honor of Smith, the national NAACP Education Committee Chairman Emeritus.
The inaugural of the National NAACP Maxine A. Smith Scholarship Fund also will be unveiled, along with tributes from Roslyn Brock, Chairman of the National NAACP Board of Directors, Tennessee education advocates, and Smith’s colleagues in the fight for civil rights.
The Summit is not open to the public, but the gala dinner and tribute to Dr. Maxine A. Smith is $100 per person. Tickets are available by calling 901-521-1343. Donations to the national scholarship fund being established in Dr. Smith’s name may be submitted to the NAACP, 588 Vance Avenue, Memphis, TN. 38128.
About the Memphis Branch of the NAACP
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights for all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination. The Memphis Branch is the second largest chapter in the organization.