CHS, ESHS unite to help local student
by Andy Collier
Dec 12, 2013 | 2392 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Friday night during the Cleveland High School-East Side boys and girls basketball games at the Margaret Wade Gymnasium, donations will be taken up to help raise money for St. Jude Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. in honor of East Side High School senior Jamarcus Davis, who is battling cancer.

East Side High School counselor/Cleveland High head girls basketball coach Jenny McCullough, with the assistance of East Side High School counselor Lucille Holmes, is spearheading the drive. McCullough is conducting the fundraiser through the Cleveland High School/Margaret Green Junior High Booster Club.

For every 3-pointer made by Cleveland High and East Side in their boys and girls games, $5 will be donated in Davis’s name at St. Jude Hospital by the boys and girls teams from both schools.

Davis made an impression on McCullough as she and East Side teacher William Golding drove down to St. Jude to give Davis, 17, the state test Monday.

McCullough said Davis is a special student.

“I had the opportunity to meet Jamarcus earlier in the school year, and we gave state test at St. Jude Hospital,” McCullough said. “That’s when I had the idea to use our basketball game to help raise money in honor of Jamarcus. Jamarcus and his mom (Tawanda Hudson) are both remarkable people. When he took the test, he was really focused. He is a good student and a nice young man.”

When McCullough got back to Cleveland, she got the go ahead from administrators at Cleveland High and the support from administrators at East Side.

Holmes said McCullough couldn’t wait to start the fundraiser in Davis’s honor.

“When she got there she was so impressed with his spirit,” Holmes said. “She wanted to do something to showcase her appreciation for his spirit. We take so much for granted but this student is fighting for survival, and he was as happy as he was. His spirit just touched her. She suggested the fundraiser to me, and she had to get the clearance and she did.”

Holmes also echoed McCullough’s sentiments about Davis.

“He is a wonderful student,” Holmes \said. “He is just as humble as he can be and as sweet as he can be. His mom (Tawanda Hudson) is a lovely lady. Even though she has other children, she’s right there with him.”

Leroy Cotton, who is East Side High School’s athletic director and boys and girls head basketball coach, said his teams will do all they can to hit their shots.

“We’re just happy in honor of Jamarcus to pitch in and help out the cause,” Cotton said. “I hope that we make a record number of threes that night. I saw him around the school and got a chance to observe him. For a student to have an illness like this which altered his education is difficult to see.”

Cleveland head boys basketball coach James Strong said something like this makes him realize cancer doesn’t discriminate.

“I don’t know Jamarcus, but I do have children of my own and cancer can affect any kid,” Strong said. “We want to do our part to help out. Anytime you get a chance to help out with a cause like this especially this close to home, it’s always good to help people in their need.”

McCullough and Cotton believe this fundraiser can help bring everybody closer together.

“This is a great opportunity for our community to come together to support a common cause,” McCullough said.

“For us to come together for one cause is very uniting for the entire community,” Cotton said. “This is bigger than the game. We want to donate whatever we can to help him with the trials he’s going through. I commend coach McCullough for what she is doing.”

Friday’s basketball action between the schools will begin with a B-team boys game at 5 p.m.