Pilot Club honors Anchor seniors

The Pilot Club of West Point invited the Oak Hill Academy Anchor Club to honor the graduating seniors and welcoming the incoming freshman.
Staff Writer

The Pilot Club of West Point welcomed the Oak Hill Academy Anchor Club at the pavilion at the home of Jeannie Johnson.

The Anchors were served dinner and each of the graduating seniors were presented with a gift from the Pilot Club.

"Kaeley Tackett was the recipient of the Pilot Club Scholarship," Nina Coleman said. "She was not able to come tonight."

Incoming freshmen and new members to the OHA Anchor Club were presented with their club pins and will be full members of the Anchor Club during the next school year.

After the meal, the Anchors were allowed to leave, as many were heading back to OHA for a baseball game.

"We will be presenting a weighted blanket to the Special Needs class at Church Hill Elementary, " Amy Waide, president of the WPPC, said. "It will be used for autistic children. Michelle Estes is a teacher for that class and can explain how the blanket benefits children with autism."

Estes said the blanket is 100 percent cotton and is weighted in each individual square with pellets. It is machine washable and durable.

"It is amazing to see how quickly a child with autism will calm down when we cover them with a weighted blanket," Estes said. "Autistic children can often have extreme outbursts and are very hard to calm down."

Weighted blankets have long been popular for calming individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Typically the blankets contain metal or plastic beads sewn into quilted layers. The idea is that the weight provides gentle, deep pressure that addresses the sensory-integration issues often associated with autism.

"Church Hill has one weighted blanket, but it is used for a child with frequent outbursts," Estes said. "I had brought the need to the attention of the club and they ordered the blanket. Those of us who work with children with special needs appreciate the donation of the blanket."

Cathy McKinney said the club is still collecting personal hygiene items for the young people who come through the doors of the Sally Kate Winters Family Services.

"We want to start 'Casseroles for Caregivers' soon," Waide said. "This will be a part of our community projects. We will give Brainminders coloring books during the Kid's Health Fair sponsored by North Mississippi Medical Center next month and a few other projects after we begin our new club year. "

Jeannie Johnson said the next fundraiser would be selling chances for a $300 Walmart gift card, tickets will be $1 each, with the drawing taking place Saturday, June 9. The week before Father's Day.