Athens, Ala – On Monday, December 10th, April Landinger was in a vehicle accident that took her life. April left behind a six year old daughter named Mia. Responsibility for Mia now falls on her grandmother, Debbie Dollar. Because of the circumstances, a fundraiser was set up to assist Mia and her grandmother. After Brandon Elder of Arab, Alabama, who is well known from the American Idol program, heard of Mia’s situation, on his fan page he posted, “Hey guys! So I hardly ever do this but this story of this little girl touched my heart! It’s so close to Christmas time if any of you guys can help out with this cause please do! Please SHARE!!! Thank you so much in advance!” Mia’s story has touched the hearts of many. If you would like to support the effort, go to Christmas for Mia and donate.
Listen to Brandon’s message to Mia and fans below.
Hoover, Ala. – The story is everywhere. Alabama National Guardsman Rashad Wilson Billingsley came to 12 year old Molly Davis’s aid when she was shot in the back at Riverchase Galleria in Hoover on November 22nd. Rashad has been hailed a hero and rightly so. What led to that moment took positive influences in Rashad’s life to make it happen. Let’s look at one very important figure in Rashad’s life.
Rashad’s uncle, SSG Willie Dunn, served in the Alabama National Guard for 22 years. During that time, SSG Dunn served in the Persian Gulf War in Iraq. His entire life, Rashad witnessed firsthand his uncle’s service to his state and country and it instilled a desire to serve himself.
After high school, like his uncle, Rashad joined the Alabama National Guard. During basic training, his Uncle Willie was fighting lung cancer. Before he could see his nephew graduate from basic training, Willie passed away. Although, his Uncle Willie had passed on, his memory and legacy continued on through Rashad.
On November 22nd, part of SSG Willie Dunn was on the floor with 12 year old Molly Davis working to save her life. The powerful positive influence of SSG Willie Dunn in the life of his nephew, was clear on that night. Willie Dunn was also a preacher and referring to that night at the Galleria and his life to this day, Rashad said, “Without God, I wouldn’t be here today. I want to give him all the credit.” It appears that his uncle’s impact was extended far beyond Rashad’s desire to join the military.
We all have an Uncle Willie, someone who has influenced us in a way that leads us to make a difference in the lives of others. We simply have to follow that path and allow their legacy to help move us forward.
While we continue to thank Rashad for his actions that night, we thank SSG Willie Dunn as well. Uncle Willie’s legacy lives on.
This week on The Mark White Show, we’ll be focusing on heroin addiction. Joining me will be Danny Molloy with Addiction Prevention Coalition, Leslie Reagan Plaia, M.Ed., LPC with Recovery Resource Center, & Patty Carter Sykstus with Not One More Alabama. We’ll be discussing resources that are available from these three organization in our state as well as the upcoming End Heroin HSV Walk! taking place on August 18th in Huntsville. During The Mary Faye Headrick Good Deed Segment, I will be talking to Sandy Russell Hicks about her successful recovery from drug addiction and how she is now trying to help others on their journey to recovery.
This week, The Mark White Show takes an ocean theme. I will be talking to Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of Jacques Cousteau, John Jackson of Hartselle, Dr. Ken Heck of the Daulphin Island Sea Lab, and Joel Holt who preaches in Puerto Rico.
This week’s show takes us a few places including Ukraine. Joining me in studio is Hartselle Intermediate School teacher Jonathan Bragwell and writer/storyteller Melissa Thornton. During my interview with Jonathan, we have a special call from Shane Pack of Boaz, Alabama, who is currently in Ukraine with his family. In the third segment, I’ll be talking to nurse Jane Cavanaugh about a special program to help babies who are born addicted to drugs. In the final segment, I’ll be talking to Melissa Thornton about her mother’s suicide and her efforts to help others who are suffering with thoughts of suicide.
Live from Children’s of Alabama for Bryant Lay’s 8th birthday! Also joining me were Nichole Hughes the founder of Water Guardian’s Levi’s Legacy, Jason Wilder, who is the great great nephew of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Alabama/Gulf Coast Executive Director Regan Goldberg and campaign managers Tricia Center, Julie Moon, and Kate Siqueira.
This edition of The Mark White Show focuses on Lyme Disease. Joining me on the show are Dianna Strickland, Maryandra Kendall-Ball Wiser, and Tina Neathammer with the Alabama Lyme Disease Association. During The Mary Faye Headrick Good Deed Segment, I was joined by William Flippo and Neal Clark with the Paint Rock Volunteer Fire Department. They were in on the effort to rescue a blind puppy named Toffee who was stuck in hole 50-60 feet deep.
This week’s show is focused on MPS awareness. Joining me are National MPS Society President Terri Klein. Amy Holland, and Mieke McPherson Embry. During The Mary Faye Headrick Good Deed Segment, I’ll be talking to Sarah Piebes who is looking for her daughter’s organ donor recipient in Alabama.
Justice For Connie Ridgeway with Austin Williams, Decatur American AAA Rookie All Stars Good Deed, Pancreatic Cancer Awareness with Steve Cook, Our Backyard Homes for the homeless with TK Devine, and The Line – WYDE co-host Jessica Borklund Discusses Daughter’s Cancer Journey.
Athens, Ala. – In emergency situations, we depend on first responders to help us. Many times, first responders are unsung heroes. They simply do their job. On March 4th, one of those unsung heroes passed away, Connie Green. Connie was a retired paramedic at Athens-Limestone Hospital. One of Connie’s friends described her as having “a heart of gold.” Friend, Wendy Wright, said, “Connie was loved her family and loved her ‘kids.’ She was loyal, she was kind, and would give you the shirt off her back or her last twenty bucks. She always listened, she always gave advice, she never had a problem telling you like it was if she needed to do it.”
Right now, because of issues with insurance, the community is coming together to take care of Connie’s funeral expenses. A GoFundMe has been set up to give people a way to contribute. If you would like to help, go to the link and donate.