MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - As many of you get ready for a little NCAA Sweet 16 action at FedEx Forum this weekend, I've already narrowed down the 5 GREAT things that happened in the Mid-South this week!
It all started Sunday when Divine Life Church packed the pews by giving away hundreds of dollars in gift cards, giveaways and promises to pay bills. Pastor Tony Wade likened himself to a good fisherman with good bait. The offers were so good, some people stood in line to get into the church. Pastor Wade said he and his wife have held these sorts of giveaway services before, and the effort has grown over the years.
U-S Marine Roy Hundley found out firsthand about the generosity of Mid-Southerners when, during a cross country trek from San Diego to Quantico Virginia, his vehicle was broken into during a barbeque stop in Memphis. His handgun, knife, laptop, radio and thousands of dollars in personalized military uniforms were stolen. But, after hearing about what happened, dozens of Mid-Southerners helped Hundley raise more than enough money to replace all of his stolen items.
Memphis Police Department welcomed a new batch of recruits to the force and with numbers of around 150, it's the largest class since 2010. They will go through five months in the training academy before they officially become officers -- a welcomed relief for the department which is short about 400-500 officers.
Memphis native and NBA star Tarik Black formed a foundation to help transform the lives of young people in Memphis and help the community. The Lakers forward/center launched the Tarik Black Foundation in January to mentor and inspire the city's underserved youth. The foundation will hold the Transformation50 Basketball and Life Skills Camp this summer. Unlike most basketball camps, skills will come secondary. Black hopes to teach the boys about life skills like financial responsibility, proper etiquette, and conflict resolution.
Zakiyah Walker is working to become the valedictorian at Soulsville Charter School. She plays on the volleyball team, works at a skating rink on the weekends, and even finds time to mentor younger students. So, it's no surprise with all that giving the 18-year-old, who is on her way to Howard in the Fall on a full scholarship, was recently named the 2017 Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis Youth of the Year. Walker will head to Nashville to compete against others from across the state who have also benefited from the Boys and Girls Club.