HOMINY – This week, members of the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) at the Dick Conner Correctional Center (DCCC) surprised Jimmy Hamilton at Hominy Middle School by naming him the winner of the inaugural Community Bicycle Drawing.
Earlier this year, CERT members came up with the idea to give back to the community by creating the Community Bicycle Drawing to reward a local student with a bicycle during the Christmas season.
The drawing invited faculty and staff from Hominy Middle School to nominate exceptional kids in the community to officials at DCCC to be entered to win the new bicycle. The criteria for nominees were: students who study hard in and out of the classroom, those who show respect for their teachers and act as a role model to their classmates.
The winner receives a special visit from CERT members to the school to deliver the bicycle.
Delivering the bicycle on behalf of the CERT members was DCCC Chief of Security Shawn Price, Correctional Sgt. Creighton White and Correctional Sgt. Alex Armstrong.
Price said Hamilton was very thankful for the gift and he promised he would continue to be a role model to his classmates.
“He was taken aback at first,” Price said. “It may have scared him a bit when CERT members in full uniform from the prison said they wanted to speak with him in private. We discussed his grades and who he hangs out with. He was completely shocked when we pulled out the bike.
“Being able to bring joy and a surprise like that to a child during the Christmas season makes the whole thing that much more enjoyable for us.”
DCCC Warden Janet Dowling said the program is a great way for staff to give back to the community.
“This year we wanted to find a way to reach out to a special kid in the community,” Dowling said. “I appreciate the CERT members for coming up with a unique idea to surprise a kid who deserves a reward for being a good leader.
“My hope is to get more people on board and expand the program in the coming years.”
The faculty and staff at Hominy Middle School said Hamilton is a kind, caring and thoughtful student who studies hard and respects his teachers.
The staff and prison officials have decided to partner on the event next year and the 2017 drawing will be for two bicycles - one for a boy and one for a girl.
Corrections Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the program is a wonderful gesture and goes a long way in helping kids during the holidays.
“I appreciate the staff at DCCC for their generosity,” Allbaugh said. “We are very fortunate to have facilities around the state participate in a wealth of community-oriented programs this time of year to give to families or kids.
“Outreach programs like this go a long way to show the public while the department’s employees are ensuring their safety on a day-to-day basis; they are also doing their part as good community partners and neighbors.”
Dick Conner Correctional Center Chief of Security Shawn Price
surprising Hominy Middle School student Jimmy Hamilton.
From left: Hominy Middle School teacher Mike Bobbitt, Correctional Sgt. Creighton White,
Correctional Sgt. Alex Armstrong, Hominy Middle School student Jimmy Hamilton and
Security Chief Shawn Price posing for a picture after awarding Hamilton with his new bicycle.
Jimmy Hamilton was the winner of the Dick Conner Correctional
Center's inaugural Community Bicycle Drawing.