5 Great Things: Navy vet turns 101, Zoo saves eagle, St. Jude gets $1M

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - As thousands of music lovers head down by the riverside to Tom Lee Park for the Memphis in May's Beale Street Music Festival, we began our week with a lot of other great things happening in the Mid-South.

Navy vet celebrates 101st birthday

Navy veteran Mabel Thomsen, born in Des Arc, Arkansas, in 1917 got some special recognition on her 101st birthday. During her 20-year Navy career, which sent her around the country as a member of the hospital corps, she met Elvis Presley while she was assigned to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Memphis. For her 101st birthday, Thomsen had another special visit to the Mid-South when U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) honored her, as a part of his "Salute to Veterans," which recognizes military vets from Arkansas.

St. Jude receives $1M grant

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has received a $1 million gr ant to help fight sickle-cell disease, which affects one out of every 365 African-American babies born in this country. St. Jude is the first hospital to cure a sickle cell patient through a bone marrow transplant--which is why The Links Foundation made the donation. The hospital will use the grant to continue its mission to find a cure for sickle cell disease. The gr ant will specifically help establish newborn screening programs, among other uses.

Zoo rehabilitates bald eagle

Memphis Zoo successfully rehabilitated a bald eagle that was found in March by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Officer Tim Ward. The bird was injured and laying on some railroad tracks near Ripley, Tennessee. Ward d ropped off the eagle to the Memphis Zoo team which removed a blockage in the bird's throat and nursed it back to health before releasing it back into the wild on May 3 in near where it was found in Lauderdale County. The Memphis Zoo rehabilitates around three bald eagles every year, before releasing them back into the wild.

Volunteer group launches new Memphis mural

Volunteer Odyssey has launched its "Heart of Memphis" mural at their office on South Main Street--connecting you in real time to volunteer opportunities. It's part of Volunteer Odyssey's Year to Volunteer Campaign challenging Memphians to get involved. This initiative is challenging Memphis to engage 10,000 volunteers in 85,000 hours of service translating to $2 million in economic impact.

Collierville credited with nationally ranked Main Street

The town of Collierville is getting some national recognition. It was named one of the 25 quarter finalists in America's Best Main Streets competition. The street's profile describes it as a charming community of shops and restaurants.

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