A rose to former White House chef and Columbus native Andre Rush for his support of Contact Helpline, a non-profit crisis call center based in Columbus. Simmons, who served as chef for four presidential administrations – Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump — held a book-signing event at the American Legion Post 69, donating all of the day’s proceeds from his book, “Call Me Chef Dammit,” to Contact Helpline. Rush has long been an advocate for mental health causes, especially suicide prevention and PTSD. As a 24-year Army veteran, Rush realizes that military members and veterans are often susceptible to these mental health issues. For Rush, Saturday’s event was a way to give back to his community by helping support a charity that makes a difference for people in crisis. So, thanks Chef Rush and Bon Appetit!
A rose to Tennessee Titans star and Macon native Jeffrey Simmons, who continues to give back to his hometown — and his adopted hometown of Starkville — in a variety of ways. This week, Simmons cut the ribbon on a new football field house he paid for at Noxubee County High School and attended another ribbon-cutting event for the new turf football field at the Sportsplex in Starkville, where Simmons starred as a defensive lineman at Mississippi State before becoming the first-round draft pick by the Titans in 2019. For three years now, Simmons has returned home to stage football clinics, too. As an emerging NFL star, it would be easy enough for Simmons to forget his hometown. Many star athletes do. Simmons’ commitment to his roots is his way of giving back. We applaud Simmons for his generosity, both with his money and his time.
A rose to Cody Burnett, who is the city of Starkville’s new city engineer. The city’s board of aldermen chose Burnett as the replacement for Edward Kemp, who had served as city engineer for 14 years before stepping down in March to take over as general manager for
Starkville Utilities Department. The board didn’t have to search far to find Burnett, who has served as Kemp’s assistant engineer for the past eight years. There is much to be said for promoting qualified people from within, as is the case with Burnett. His experience with the city’s engineering department and the relationship he has built over the past eight years should mean a smooth transition, one that will benefit the city and its residents. Congratulations, Cody!
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.
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