Keith Frye Jr. with Fatherhood First spoke to the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce during the monthly luncheon Thursday about the 40-hour training program for fathers and potential fathers. The program serves men in the counties of Scott, New Madrid, Mississippi, Pemiscot and Dunklin.
According to Frye the classes cover a variety of topics including anger management, drugs and alcohol, parenting skills, communication skills and money management. Working with the Career Center, part of the program offers information on job skills such as filling out a job application and interviewing.
While not promising to make every participant a good father, Frye said, "It will give them the tools they need to be better fathers."
Fatherhood First has existed in Sikeston for a year. Of the 67 Fatherhood First graduates, Frye said 19 are employed and doing well.
Frye predicted the program would continue to grow and said more funding will be needed. He called on local support from businesses and corporations.
"This is very worthwhile. Fatherhood First was established to build men into becoming productive in our communities, in our workforce," Frye said. "We plan to be one of the programs that will affect the outcome of communities."
Also speaking during Thursday's meeting was Gary Howard, youth director for the Sikeston Elks. Howard said the Elks will again produce a Fourth of July fireworks display and will seek donations from the community to defray the $8,000 cost.
"The community really kicked in and helped us last year and we appreciate that," said Howard.
Also he pointed out during the past year, the local Elks provided $53,000 in scholarship money to Sikeston Public Schools and another $12,000 to Kelly High School.
Missy Marshall, executive director of the SACC, announced several upcoming events.
* The community Memorial Day Service will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Veterans Park. In the event of rain, the event will be conducted at the First Christian Church.
* The Sikeston Jaycees Professional Bull Riding event is June 3 and 4 at the Jaycee Rodeo Grounds. Tickets will be available each evening.
* The 15th Annual Ed Nunnelee Memorial Tennis Tournament is set for June 3 -5 at the Sikeston Public School tennis courts and the Sikeston Country Club tennis courts.
* The American Cancer Society will host the Relay For Life at the Sikeston Sports Complex from 6 p.m. June 3 to 6 a.m. June 4.
* Springfest will be at the Jaycee Rodeo grounds with the midway provided by Miller Spectacular Shows. Wristbands, which are $10 in advance at the Chamber office or $15 on the grounds, can be used Tuesday and Thursday.
* "Magic T-shirts" which can be colored by children are now available at the Chamber office. The cost is $15 each.