2011-01-28 / News

Teenager needs help gaining pounds

Adair Bramlett Adair Bramlett By Cathy Cobbs

Adair Bramlett wants to gain at least 2,011 pounds by Super Bowl Sunday, and she needs your help.

As one of 12 members of the National Youth Advisory for the Souper Bowl of Caring, Bramlett, a senior honor student at Hammond School, is spearheading Columbia’s efforts to collect food for the hungry from now through February 6.

She hopes that Hammond’s goal of 2,011 pounds of food and $500 will be matched by Ben Lippen, Heathwood Hall, and Cardinal Newman, other area schools that are also participating in the can drive. Locally, the food and cash raised will be donated to Harvest Hope Food Bank.

The Souper Bowl of Caring was started in Columbia at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in 1990 by Brad Smith, who was then a seminary intern. It garnered about $ 5,700 in its first year of operation. The effort expanded nationally, and last year, gathered more than $ 10 million in cash and supplies for local communities across the nation.

The goal this year is to break $11 million, and Bramlett is determined her hometown will help in reaching that benchmark. She was inspired by Smith, who is now the senior pastor at her church, Eastminster Presbyterian.

“I just thought it was neat that it started in Columbia, and I wanted to get involved so I applied to be on the National Youth Advisory,” she said. “I also want to keep the momentum going after I’m gone, so (junior) Emily Bakkus is going to take over next year, and she’s already getting involved.”

But the most compelling reason for Bramlett’s involvement is that she loves children and hates the thought of their suffering.

During her power point presentation last week to Hammond students, she told the group that one in four children in Columbia doesn’t get enough to eat.

“So out of everyone in this theater, the entire senior class would hypothetically go hungry tonight.”

That made a real impression on many in attendance including senior Kelli Wessinger, who pledged to take an active role in this year’s drive.

“I especially like that 100 percent of every dollar that’s raised will stay in the city,” Wessinger said. “It’s easy to skip that cup of coffee one day and take a few canned goods to school.”

This isn’t the only cause that Bramlett, a National Honor Society student, Cum Laude honoree and varsity soccer player, embraces. She volunteers for the Red Cross and on Sundays, shadows special needs children at Eastminster. She also teaches art classes after school at Jubilee Academy on Wednesdays.

Her goals for the future also include chil- dren, with a plan to attend Wake Forest University with a double major in art and biology, and hopes of becoming a pediatrician.

But for now, she’s on mission to take on a lot of weight, and with the help of Columbia, she feels confident she is ready to handle the load.

For more information, visit www.souperbowlofcaring.org or call ( 803) 788- 3746 or ( 800) 358-SOUP (7687).

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