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Local business, Hopeful Tomorrow team up
judo scholarship
Walmart community involvement coordinator Paulette William-Walthour presents $1,000 to the World Martial Arts Academy, represented by Anthony Butler, 5, Hezekiah Kemp, 7, Terry Thomas Jr., 11, and Steven Westerman, primary instructor, toward the Hopeful Tomorrow scholarship program. - photo by Pat Young

Partners in creating a positive change for less fortunate children, Walmart, the World Martial Arts Academy in Hinesville and Hopeful Tomorrow, took steps to help area children through martial arts.

Presenting a donation of $1,000 for Hopeful Tomorrow, Walmart assistant manager and community involvement coordinator Paulette L. William-Walthour said the business tries to help non-profit organizations like Hopeful Tomorrow, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the Humane Society, the Dorchester historic preservation effort, and Veteran groups such as the Vietnam Veterans of America and the Disable Veterans Association.

"We are a community store," William-Walthour said. "We try to repay that trust by giving back to local groups."

Hopeful Tomorrow, www.hopefultomorrow.org, is a national non-profit that tries to provide disadvantaged youth scholarships to the martial arts training.

"The donation helps provide students who couldn’t usually afford classes to take advantage of the benefits provided by studying martial arts," said World Martial Arts manager Steven Westerman. "The program also offers the opportunity for children who are having problems at home or school a place to go. The program helps build on good character traits such as self-discipline, respect, and confidence."

Terry Thomas Sr., who has two children in the WMA for several years, said there are benefits to martial arts training.

"It helps give them a chance to unwind and focus after a long day of classes," Thomas said.

Thomas’s sentiments were shared by Shalay Kemp, mother of an up and coming yellow-belt, Hezekiah Kemp, 7.

"The classes not only help with socialization, but I’ve noticed he has a lot more self confidence," Shalay Kemp said.

To learn more about scholarship opportunities or the WMA academy, call (912) 876-3088 or visit online at www.hinesvillemartialarts.com.

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